IN: Inspiration

GETTING INSPIRED WITH HANNEKE SCHUTTE

It’s a great privilege to have Hanneke Schutte within our ranks as an Imaginarium thought leader...

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It’s a great privilege to have Hanneke Schutte within our ranks as an Imaginarium thought leader. Bubbly and charismatic with a wealth of creative knowledge and awards to her name, Schutte is undoubtedly one of the country’s most accomplished young filmmakers. She took some time away from her busy schedule to chat to us about creativity and other disciplines that inspire her.

Where do you find your inspiration?

I’m inspired by everything. I find inspiration in dreams and in childhood memories. All disciplines - whether it’s architecture, fashion or product design - are about storytelling. You need to be able to surprise and that’s what storytelling is: it’s about connecting, and telling a story. The way we tell stories is by drawing from our own lives, from our own experiences and from our own cultures. As soon as you’ve got a unique voice, that’s when your product, design or story becomes completely original and surprising. I think what often happens, is we often look at Europe or America for inspiration.

What would you say is your unique story?

My feature film was about farmers. My grandfather was a farmer and so I knew the farming world. It meant I could tell a story that was unique. That’s what I encourage people to do: to tell stories that showcase their world, their families and their stories.

Let’s chat about artists that inspire you…

There is a Portuguese artist called Dalila Gonçalves who I love. She created these very interesting moulded concrete boulders, which she covered with Portuguese tiles. She created patches of tiles on the boulders, which was so unexpected. That’s is exactly what I love: when you draw from your own world and combine things that are surprising. It makes something really beautiful and original.

And architects?

Casa de Musica, which was designed by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, is such a wonderful surprise. There was this contrast between its raw concrete exterior and its personal, handcrafted interior. Again, it’s about contradictions and telling surprising stories. He has really created an emotional connection with the viewer.

Is there anything about industrial design that inspires you?

What I love about using concrete is that – like filmmaking - we can do it ourselves now. You can be inspired, write a story and then tell it. Similarly, anyone can be an industrial designer, especially with concrete. You can experiment and make anything you want. I recently saw these beautiful concrete water bowls for dogs that I’m dying to make!

And fashion?

A great fashion show has to be a great story. That’s why it’s important for a fashion designer to have a point of view. Someone like Jacques van der Watt from Black Coffee is so inspiring. Much of his work is based on his Afrikaans heritage. It’s not about looking at Europe and trying to copy what Valentino is doing; but rather looking around you, looking at old photographs, looking at stories that your grandmother told you and getting inspiration from that. It’s about creating drama and creating connections.

Do you have any other favourite creatives locally?

I have so many! One of my favourite local artists is Mariette Bergh. She was originally in advertising too. She works by painting on glass, which creates beautifully surprising pieces of art. It’s been so wonderful to see her work develop over the years, and how she starts to find her own voice and her own way of doing things. I love watching upcoming artists, especially the young one. In fact, I have my own blog where I feature young, up-and-coming artists.

The film category in the PPC Imaginarium Awards is a new category, so how do you view concrete as an inspiring medium for film?

I think it’s going to be tricky, but it’s an exciting challenge. I think when you’re stuck, which many entrants might be, the first thing to do is identify a problem and see how you can solve it. Interestingly, that’s what both concrete and storytelling do. As I’ve said before, the best concepts come from chatting to people and asking what the problems are in their lives. Then, as artists, we need to ask: how can we solve this? How can we make it innovative?

Do you have an innovative design solution? Show it off at this year’s PPC Imaginarium Awards.

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