When I was awarded the Culture Prize by the town council of Lovendegem, in 2010, the opening speech to my exhibition was given by my arts teacher from Anderlecht. Here follows a part of his speech.
Some people are said to be born with a brick in their stomach. Erna, I suppose, was born with an etching needle in one hand and a paint brush in the other. As a matter of fact, she is an artistic jack-of-all-trades, with a perfect mastery of techniques and tools to express her innermost feelings and share them with her public in a most generous way.
She fully enjoys the appeal of her subjects and invites us to enjoy them with her. Her admiration for Creation and all the good that Man has derived from it is unbounded.
“In my work creation is symbolized by the horse, with its monumental body and its soul that reflects the human soul,” says Erna, thus offering a clue to the interpretation of her work.
By emphasizing the colossal power and majestic nobility of the horses, she makes us see the power of their expression and the feelings they evoke in her, rather than their earthly frame.
Thanks to her thorough command of the etching technique she creates a highly personal version of an age-old artistic form: one copperplate after another, one layer after another, each print resulting in an even subtler range of colouring.
This is what makes Erna’s work so authentic and unique. She has developed an artistic language of her own in which to communicate her passionate love of nature’s grandeur.