unexpected guests: at swim-two-birds.
by victoria comment


first i fell for Belgian textile artist Renilde De Peuter’s mobile sculptures, and then for her home. so i may have done a little happy dance when renilde of at swim-two-birds kindly agreed to let me share her home/studio with you on unexpected guests. a stylist who works part-time in a shop, renilde is also trying to make a living as a textile designer. A graduate of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, Belgium, renilde is a multi-talented artist with many creative skills — well known for her textiles, knitting, crochet and patchwork, with her mobiles available at mr. kitly. you can follow along on her blog at swim-two-birds (named after a Flann O’Brien novel) for updates on all her beautiful creations, and more gorgeous photography — renilde shot all of these!

where exactly do you live?
I live in Borgerhout which is a district of Antwerp, Belgium. Borgerhout is really a mix of different nationalities, with a huge range of groceries, bakeries, nightshops etc… I think it’s just fun to stroll around in the neighborhood, cause there’s always something to see in the street. I’m also a thrift store girl and I especially like to hunt for yarns and other stuff that I can use for my artwork; so what I make is often determined by what I can get my hands on in the thrift or flea market.

Any secrets about the city you think we should know?
Living in a city is vital for me, but usually I keep far from the hubhub, so it can happen sometimes that I hear from friends on the other side of the globe that a new store has opened in Antwerp, shame on me But I do know some nice places nearby Antwerp where you can enjoy the birds and butterflies and pick wildflowers among the Galloways. My favorite spot is Hoboken Polderstad, And last Sunday I spent an afternoon amid the greenery, right in Antwerp harbor; the place is called North Castle. Maybe I have a little secret though; this Wednesday, September 12th, Atelier Solarshop will open their doors and have a permanent store; they will sell stuff from young designers and vintage design furniture. I really love their goods!

What are your top three etsy, handmade or online shops?
I almost love everything at MR KITLY, especially their ceramics. I love Napa Books; And I’m craving the Excel Floor Lamp at Rich Brillant Willing.

Recent Art exhibit we should have seen (or still can):
The Jimmie Durham expo in the M HKA, ‘A matter of life and death and singing’ — the expo runs until the end of the year.

What’s your favorite possession?
Nothing in particular actually, but if I really need to choose, I guess that would be my current apartment, which is spacious and quiet and full of light. I love to live and work in this place.

What talent do you wish you could master?
I wish I could sing and play the guitar :^)

do you have a Favorite quote or expression?
my favorite quote: ‘Color is the place where our brain and the universe meet’ by Paul Klee.

What five things can’t you live without?
my friends and family, my working space, my computer, a pile of books and plants to care for.

What’s currently on your turntable/ or ipod?
On my turntable: the Joni Mitchell cover ‘A case of you’ by James Blake.

what bores you to death?
nagging people.

Pick a place, any place…where would you go, and why?
because I’m a nature lover I would love to visit a food forest, like that 2.000 year old one in Morocco.

19 responses to “unexpected guests: at swim-two-birds.”

  1. This is perfectly-imperfect and feels so lived in. Love the ironing board and the clothes drying rack and the crafts cupboard all making the statement, “a relaxed and organized artist lives here”..

  2. For interior design I always prefer on simple but stylish furniture that is made for eye catching. I’ve got some idea from your blog to create some furniture for my new design plan.

  3. Love the artist, love her philosophy, her work, her apartment. Thank you so much for exposing us to this talented individual. There were so many inspiring ideas I can’t even start to enumerate them! This is why I visit you daily – I never know what wonderful things I will find. Hope the home hunt is going well… I have a goodish-sized house I would offer you just to see what you would make of it, but it is in Arkansas so that is a washout.

  4. gorgeous… Unexpected Guests is the reason I keep coming back to this blog. I love the tours you share, and this one especially hits the spot. Also, that whole food forest thing? Soooo cool.

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