BIOGRAPHY: ERIC G. C. WEETS
By Filomina Pawar.
Because of the wife of an Austrian customs official, who brought a boy in this world named Adolf; who in his turn saw a chance to put the world in fire; a young French speaking Belgian wanted to fight for his country and became a soldier. At the end of the war he fell in love with a kind Flemish village girl, which led consequently, that on the third day of August 1951 a just born baby, in an utmost uncomfortable, upside down position, shed his first tears at St. Maria Maternity home, Merksem. They named the new arrival Eric Georges Charles Weets.
This child born too early, too small in size and too ugly to be proud of gave the impression as not to have a bright future ahead. Nevertheless………
Eric spent the first 16 years of his life in a small village Ekerendonk, outside the city of Antwerp, with his maternal grand parents.
At the age of 6, he declared, in front of the Head Master and before a class full of 6 year olds, that he wanted to become an art painter.
On finishing his primary school, Mr. Driesens, the Head Master of the local boys school, advices him to join the school of Decorative Arts in Antwerp. His grandparents didn’t see any future in arts, and decide with all the best intentions thinkable, to send the boy to the local athenaeum where they thought he would at least learn to get butter on his bread. This leads, from the first day of school, to a grandiose disaster. Eric becomes one of the worst students in the school’s history.
1965 : Left Royal Athenaeum Ekeren, happily.
- Learns the profession of diamond cutting.
- Studies art history with the help of local librarian.
-Visits, on regular basis, the Museum of Fine Arts, Antwerp, especially to see the big works of Ensor and Delvaux.
1966-67: Under the influence of the 60’s, experiments with pictures and sound, using all kinds of mediums like copper, steel, canvas, paper, parts of old radios, tape recorders etc. The paintings of Fred Bervoets and the piano concertos of Fred Van Hoof, free jazz musician, are eye openers for Eric.
-Eric attends a course of Blues and Jazz and is fascinated by free Jazz in particular.
-Along with Marcel Willem, a Roman Catholic priest, Eric organizes happenings, group sessions and poetry evenings.
-Attempts composing music for guitar, 3 small tape recorders, an electronic device made from the coils of a battery and an old radio.
1968: Eric exhibits couple of pen drawings and oil paintings in a group exhibition organized by Espedic at Merksem.
1970: Dre Van Den Broeck, a painter from Antwerp, sees potential in Eric’s work and invites him to his atelier to watch, learn and paint if he wants. Eric visits on a regular base Van Den Broeck’s atelier.
- Eric also learns guitar from Marcel Bocu, a renowned guitar teacher in Antwerp.
- Eric declares that he’ll never work from Monday to Friday and starts working only on weekends as professional dishwasher and baby sitter.
1971: Eric, along with Marcel Willem and other friends, is invited by numerous cultural organizations to give lectures on the new way of living, the hippy sub-culture, flower-power and the non-conformist life style.
1973: After failing to organize a band, Eric puts together couple of public performances on his own, but because of his uncontrollable stage fear, decides never to perform again.
Eric has a small exhibition at the local gallery. Is not happy with what he puts on the canvas and starts rethinking the whole process. Doubts the value of art in general.
1974: Eric makes a couple of trips to Amsterdam but notices times have change and is totally disappointed in the commercialization of the hippy movement. Utopia has failed.
- He paints portraits, of pub regulars, for a living.
1975: Eric leaves Antwerp city and goes back to the village he came from. He gets involved, for a short while, with a magazine about the Para normal, spiritualism and studies occultism.
-Eric experiments with music by recording variety of sounds and edits them on master tapes.
- Eric paints quiet large canvases and sells them, under priced, to anybody who likes them.
1978: Eric attends a course in electronic music and meets Mr. Eric Ferremans, Director of the School of Electronic Music in Antwerp. Later, both become good boozing friends.
-Builds a robust analog EEF synthesizer, along with Guy Driegen.
1979: Gives his cosmic music concerts called “music of a new age”.
1980: Eric became teacher in the School of Electronic Music.
- Exhibits at gallery Atelier in a group exhibition, paintings behind glass.
1981: Starts a sound recording studio, specializing in sound effects, with Yves Hellegeerd and together they give live performances.
1982: Becomes demonstrator of EEF analog synthesizer built by the School of Electronic Music and has group exhibitions in gallery Atelier and at the Alchemist.
1983: Eric is occupied mostly in composing background music for theater, happenings and exhibitions of other artists.
-Tries to find a way to combine picture with sound.
1984: Performing in front of live public makes him physically sick and he decides, again, to stay away from the stage forever.
-Changes the location of sound studio and starts working full time with Roland Thouy, the pianist, of Ferre Grignard.
-Is invited, together with Yves Hellegereed, to host a radio programme with Radio Central, a local radio station.
1985: Paints 18 big paintings, depicting the madness in the world like he sees it. After finishing the paintings, he keeps them with a friend from where they mysteriously disappeared before they could be exhibited.
1986: Travels to Singapore and visits the Philippines. He is impressed and overwhelmed by the colors and lights. Is brought in contact with some Philipino painters in Manila. Is fascinated by the bright light they use and the deep spiritual meaning in their art works. On return to Belgium Eric too starts using more bright colors in his paintings.
1987: Group exhibition in the gallery De Zwaan in Antwrerp.
-Visits India and is very mcuh impressed by the Dravidian temples in the south of India specially, at Chennai.
-Laureate in the 7th prize of figurative art organized by the town of Boughout.
1988: Back to India and discovers the philosophy of Sri Aurobindo, which is a kind of revelation.
1989: Back in Belgium, composes music with Yves Hellegreed and Jack. Makes master tapes but record companies are not very interested. Disappointed, returns to India to study the teachings of Sri Aurobindo and Mirra Alfasa, closely.
1990: Through Eric Ferremens, meets the Director of Lou video production, who proposes to make a documentary film of local manifestations in India. Because of malfunctioning of the 16 mm camera, film does not meet the broadcasting quality.
1992: Visits Pondicherry, the place where Sri Aurobindo spent a big part of his life. Impressed by the city, he decides to settle down there.
-Starts paintings but is not satisfied with the results and leaves the paintings behind with friends.
1994: Moves to Pune attracted by the Osho Ashram, but was very disappointed with what he saw there. Unable to move anywhere else due to financial constrains stays in Pune.
-Concentrates on pen drawings and big abstract collages in black and white.
1995: Together with Omar, computer engineer from Saudi, experiments with electronic music on computers.
-Starts working on 2 large canvases.
1996: Through the teachings of Sri Aurobindo, finds a way to combine the experimental music with what he puts on the canvas.
1997: Due to lack of equipment, stops working with computers and concentrates on painting only.
1998: Meets Filomina Pawar.
1999: Finished the first 2 paintings made in India where he is happy to put his names on. Paintings are sold before they could be exhibited.
- Starts on a large canvas, 6 feet by 12 feet at his friend’s place, the Architect, Girish Doshi.
-Pays a short visit to Belgium in Dec 1999 to celebrate Millienium eve.
-Back in India in Jan 2000.
2000: Group exhibition at Art World, Chennai, India.
2000: Travels to Sri Lanka.
-Joint exhibition with an Indian artist, Philomena Pawar, at Paradise road gallery, Colombo, Sri Lanka.
•2001 : Travels to Thailand.
- Joint exhibition at Viengtavern gallery, Bangkok, Thailand.
- Goes back to India, stays with friends and worked more on the 6 x 12 canvas.
2002 - Leaves for Sri Lanka to work in quietness and peace on the 6 x 12 canvas, he started in India and want to exhibit in Bangkok. Is unable to finish the painting before leaving Sri Lanka.
- Continues working on the 6 x 12 canvas in a much too small hotel room in Bangkok, where it was impossible to unroll the whole canvas.
- Finishes the 6 x 12 canvas, titled, "Adventures in perpetual agony", a week before the exhibition.
-Joint exhibition at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand, Bangkok.
- Group exhibition at Chaisri Gallery, Bangkok.
- Initiates an experimental project - “ Center point for World peace”, but saw it pointless to continue with it, after the Iraq war started.
•2003 : Solo exhibition organized by H gallery, Bangkok.
- Gets interested in Computer generated art and devotes all his time to learn to use the digital medium.
- Travels back to India.
-Makes his first experimental digital art prints.
2004: One day digital art prints and light boxes exhibition at the Residency club, Pune.
2005: Decides not to have public exhibitions any more, instead put works he thinks is worth to be published, on the internet, so it can be seen by all.
2006: Starts working on his biography, "MIJN KLEIN LEVEN".
- Experiments with animation and moving pictures, sound-scapes.
2007: Starts on his biggest canvas till date, “90 days from B to C”, inspired by the ideas of his pen drawings.
2008: Concentrates on moving pictures, sound-scapes and exhibits them online.
- Is one of the 50 chosen artist, to exhibit in “Digital show - Futuresonic 2008”, Manchester, from 1st May to 5th May 2008.
- Pantheon International xperimental film and animation festival”, Nicosia, Cyprus 14 – 15 Nov 2008.