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The Artist
My name is Viona ielegems. I am a fine art photographer from Antwerp, Belgium. A few years ago, I moved to Germany, to a Victorian mansion in a beautiful forest, which I now call home. Over the past decade, I have created countless mysterious and storytelling images for clients world-wide.
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Artistic Style
My photographic style is well-known for its dark fashion, luxurious and often historically inspired atmosphere. Although I have made thousands of pictures before, Wunderkammer is my first still life collection.
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Natural History
As a collector of antique and vintage objects, I have always had a fascination for beautiful and enchanting things. I am in deep awe of the botanical world and how it was perceived in history. Fortune had it that I was introduced to the archives of the natural history museum in Magdeburg. This museum hosts an old and valuable collection of taxidermy objects. My interest was instantly sparked. Soon after, a concept for a new photography series was born.
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How it began
I set up my studio in one of the museum's storage rooms. Assisted by the house taxidermist, I had unlimited access to the archives. Endless rooms with high cupboards filled with an unimaginable variety of species. Often, the animal objects were very old, dusty and a bit forgotten... But they stole my heart! I sorted out the animals and matched them in species, shape or color. Slowly, my new collection of photographs started to grow.
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Future plans
I plan to expand my Wunderkammer collection over the next few years. In storage rooms world-wide, there are still so many animals untouched for decades and waiting to see the light again. I will try to give them that chance.
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Special thanks
I want to thank Andreas Seidel, the in-house taxidermist of the Natural History Museum in Magdeburg for introducing me to the museums collection, to assist me during my project and to always spoil me with interesting stories and cups of tea during my work! I also want to thank the director of the Museum, Herr H. Pellmann for granting me the time, space and possibility to create Wunderkammer.
BIOGRAPHY

Contemporary fine art photographer, dark fantasy visionaire and leader of the neo-historical scene worldwide with over 10 years of experience in organising high-end extravaganza events, inspiring people from all over the world to live their dreams.

Viona is a Belgian artist, she studied photography in Antwerp and graduated in 2003. She now lives and works in a sumptuous 19th century hunting lodge, in the depth of the dark forests between Hannover and Berlin, Germany. For the past 10 years, she has been working as a fairytale photographer and fantasy costume designer. Her aim is to draw people into her magical world, where possibilities are only limited by one’s own imagination.
Over this decade, her work has influenced many fans, followers, other photographers, and the fashion industry worldwide, who have watched closely how she transforms her ideas into pictures, costumes and events. Viona’s events have inspired people to organise their own, similar events, in countries including France, United Kingdom, Italy, Brazil, USA and Mexico.

EXHIBITIONS

SOLO EXHIBITIONS:

  • Solo show “KULT!” 09/04/2017 – 25/06/2017, Museum Römerhalle, Bad Kreuznach, Germany (curated by Marco Van Bel).
  • Solo booth at BLOOOM the creative industry art show, 28/10 – 01/11/2010, Cologne, Germany (curated by Yasha Young from Stryhnin Gallery Berlin/NY).
  • Fashion Art show at the VIP opening of BLOOOM at ART.FAIR.21 COLOGNE, 28/10/2010, cologne, Germany (curated by Yasha Young from Stryhnin Gallery Berlin/NY).
  • Solo show “Sarabande”, 28/06- 11/07/2009, Kasteel van Poeke, Aalter, Belgium.
  • Solo show “Wu Ye Sheng Ge”, 31/03/2007, Club Inner Affair, Beijing, China.
  • Solo show “Silvanelle”, 26/08 – 26/09 2006, Galerie Lucien Schweitzer, Luxemburg.
  • Solo show, 06/05 – 20/05/2006 may 2006, Kapel Cultuurpunt Altena, Kontich, Belgium (my hometown).
  • Solo show, 16/02- 24/02 2006, Nieuwe Galerij Pius X, Antwerp, Belgium (curated by Natus Verbaenen).


GROUP EXHIBITIONS:

  • Group show, Leipzig in Schwarz, o9/03/2016 – 29/05/2016, Stadtgeschichtliches Museum Leipzig, Germany.
  • Group show, Sweet 18 – contemporary art/fashion/design inspired by the 18th. century”, 01/05 – 05/07/2015, Kasteel d’Ursel, Hingene, Belgium.
  • See.Me Exposure Awards 2015: The photography presented within this collection was honoured at a private reception at the Louvre Museum, Paris, 13/06/2015.
  • Group show,WAK, 23/04 – 01/05/2011 Villa Snoeck, Aalter, Belgium.
  • Duo show with Danielle Goffa “ Expo Boudoir”, 19/11 – 12/12/2010, Galerie Hangar 311, Mechelen, Belgium.
  • Group show “Dark skies over Sint Andries”, 2007, coStA, Antwerp, Belgium.
  • Graduation group show “LOCO 03”, 06/2003, Antwerp, Belgium.
  • Group show at the 1st edition of International Witchfest Europe, Zuiderpershuis, Antwerpen, Belgium.
  • Group show at Kunstprijs Lint 2003, winner young talent, OC De Witte Merel, Belgium.
  • Duo show with Paul ielegems, “Ontmaskerd”, 20/02 – 25/02/2003, cultural centre Kontich, Belgium (my hometown).
CLIENT REFERENCES

Adobe User Group (Belgium) – Anne Zellien (Belgium) – Baba Studio (Czech Republic) – Benjamin Pollock’s Toyshop (UK) – BLOOOM at Art Fair Cologne (Germany) – Brigitte Minne (Belgium) – Concept S (Belgium) – Corset Story (UK) – Create Agency (NL) – Daan De Decker (Belgium) – Dr. van der Hoog (Netherlands) – Finale (Belgium) – Flame Tree Publishing (UK) – Galerie Lucien Schweitzer (Luxemburg) – Gemeinde Rogätz (Germany) – Gleijm & van der Waart (Netherlands) – Hangar 311 (Belgium) – Infantium Victoria (Germany) – Janez Detd (Belgium) – JPC Collection (Belgium) – Kasteel d’Ursel (Belgium) – Kasteel Van Gaasbeek (Belgium) – Little Miss Robot (Belgium) – Maze Films (USA) – Museum M (Belgium) – Qntal (Germany) – The Cast (Belgium) – Trevillion Images (UK) – Uitgeverij Schors (Netherlands) – WGT (Germany) – Who Killed Joe (Belgium) – ZOO Antwerpen (Belgium)

INTERVIEWS AND ARTICLES

Algemeen Dagblad (Netherlands) – Automax Magazine (Belgium) – Astan Magazin (Germany) – BILD (Germany) – BG Magazine (Ecuador) – Bliss Magazine (Belgium) – Bruid & Bruidegom (Belgium) – Cobra TV (Belgium) – Een (Belgie) – DANS Magazine (Netherlands) – Dark Spy Magazine (Germany) – De Standaard (Belgium) – Digital Photo (Germany) – Elf Fantasy Guide (Netherlands) – Faerie Magazine (USA) – Fiend (Australia) – Galo Magazine (USA) – Gazet van Antwerpen (Belgium) – Glam Couture Magazine (USA) – Gothic Beauty Magazine (UK) – Gothic Lifestyle Magazine (Germany) – Gothic Magazine (Germany) – Gothic Lolita Bible (Japan) – Het Laatste Nieuws (Belgium) – Het Nieuwsblad (Belium) – Kera Magazine (Japan) – Karaat Magazine (Belgium) – Karfunkel (Germany) – Knack Weekend (Belgium) – Le Quotidien (Luxemburg) – Libelle (Belgium) – Loving You (Belgium) – MDR (Germany) – Kasteel van Gaasbeek (Belgium) – PAF Magazine (Denmark) – Photo Vogue (Italy) – Renaissance Magazine (USA) – Spectrum Fantastic Art (USA) – UIT magazine (Belgium) – Uitgeverij Schors (Netherlands) – Unscene Magazine (UK) – Touring Magazine (Belgium) – Volksstimme (Germany) – Zoom Magazine (Belgium)