Lena Vansteelant was born in Torhout (1950) in Belgium.
She studied 3 years high school ( fashion) at the Burgerschool in Roeselaere and 3 years high school upgrade level (fashion) at the Technical Institute " Zusters Maricolen " in Brugge.
She got her graduate at the private fashion academy " Marja van Riel" in Rotterdam. Holland.
From 1980 until 1995, active as a fashion designer ( amongst others; at Queens Jeans Vanilia of the Confection Centre Amsterdam and for Intercity), also did design work for theatre, television and circus.
Moved to Portugal in 1995.
Was teacher at the Circus school "Chapitô" in Lisbon.
Initiated her own company in 1999, called " Flock-deco" , with big projects of designs and execution of the logo type projects for publicity.
Her passion for fabrics is dated from the early days of her youth.
Fabrics and patches were her toys.
Further in life she always had contact with fabrics.
During her time at the circus school the idea came up to make paintings with anything that could be included in the word textile.
Through circumstances it happened that only after being sixty, she started " painting without paint…in color”.
She is an autodidact and always longs for perfection.
Her work looks like real paintings from a distance, but nothing is less true, there hasn't been used a drop of paint.
When you get closer, you are able to distinguish all sorts of fabrics which are all woven into each other . Sometimes there are even six layers on top of each other in order to reach for the desired effect. By using various textiles like lace, tule, and transparent glittery fabrics, she is able to make her drawings into the smallest detail. Most of the work is sewed on by hand through very small stitches, but some parts need to be done by the sewing machine, to be able to fix the whole piece of art onto a wooden frame.Pictures cannot transform the real intensity of her work. A picture can never give you the effect of a different light angle like the glimmering of the different rich fabrics. Even with paint you can never reach the same effect as with the fabrics. The structure of the fabrics have far more expression then you could ever reach with paint. Their glow and appearance is much more powerful then paint.
She works mainly with synthetic fabrics.
Colors are used in an exciting and excessive way, but is compensated by inserting calmer parts in her artwork. By using a lot of color she wants to reach for joy and happiness with her spectators
Her favorite subjects are clowns, cabarets and characteristic faces. She also loves to visualize animals.
She spends a lot of attention on portraits, the eyes have to speak for themselves as well as the lips, they have to be very typical for her work.
Some of her artworks are framed with a glass protection. Other works are being protected with a varnish spray.