About the artist
Diane Petry, born in Kalmthout - Belgium in 1942, was always busy with drawing and coloring as a child. She studied stylism – pattern drawing and drawing at a Roman haut couture school in Antwerp. As a 16-year-old she drew a complete collection of evening wear for the world exhibition EXPO 58 in Brussels. After her training, she soon worked with students from the Antwerp fashion department academy, including Patrick Van Ommeslaeghe. He opened the MOMU fashion museum in Antwerp in 2002 with his parade.
Natalie Vleeshouwer, the later clothing brand Fragil (worldwide), also signed for well-known names such as Dries Van Noten, Marina Yee, Christian Wynants, Dirk Huenberghe, Wauter Hoste. She drew costumes for the opening act of Il Trovatore Royal Opera, later the costumes left for Japan.
After her education she followed a sculpture course at the academy in Deurne with professor De Martelaere. In addition to her work as a pattern designer and her own clothing line 'Tia Tia', she also continued to paint.
Once she retired, she gave herself completely to this and with her knowledge of materials, fabrics and paper, she found it fascinating to develop materials with surprising results. It is fascinating to see how they react to water, heat, paint and color pigments. Also using materials for things they are not suitable for at first sight, that is how her monumental wall textile paintings came about. In the past, she also painted on huge 'kites' in canvas, so that she did not place the frame around but in the work and exhibited it in various galleries.
Her large canvases (can be 4, 6 to 8 meters) are in great demand, because she prepares her materials herself, she is unlimited. The result of combining fabrics and paper is so special that it quickly generated a lot of interest, both at home and abroad (including the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Canada, Argentina, Cape Town, Australia, Florida, Japan). She gets her inspiration from very simple things such as rusted metal objects, scaffolding poles in the harbour, aerial photos taken from central East Africa. Especially roofs of small houses in slums and then suddenly accidental faded clippings from newspapers or drops on photos, etc. She works alone in her very large studio where she can be found around the clock. It is a pleasant search for more for her.
She is vice-chairman of the Bark art circle and a member of the culture council.