Since I started this blog, I wanted to dedicate a section to guests and friends. Conversing with very interesting creative persons. People who search new concepts from their own different working fields and original, own solutions. I think of writers, musicians, visual artists, sculptors, scientists, comedians, singers, gallery owners, directors. I want to talk about their world, take pictures of them, learn how they work, and above all, talk about creativity. Today I start with Jo Geelen. It was a special conversation, inspiring.
Jo is a humble man, full of vitality and enthusiasm, sparks spurting energy. Black clothes, gray hair, and fast movements. He must be together stubborn and perfectionist, humorous and cheerful.
The first step in his house, I felt that he was different, interesting, it was a step in his world. Someone who dares to be himself. In his house every room has a different atmosphere, the colors, the light, the substances and objects, especially all the objects.
His father worked with iron, as a blacksmith, in the hall hang three beautiful art deco designs created by Jo’s father, but he also sold and repaired bicycles, repaired appliances and a thousand other things, a professional handcrafts man.
Jo lives in his parents’ house, renovated and decorated for his size. He created together with his wife, a lovely B & B. www.bedenbotram-bieos.nl. The detail is important. The reservation is confirmed with a postcard from B & B Bie Os sent by mail. The coffee biscuits are made in Thorn and for Thorn. He is committed to small things. Jo is seen as a very creative person.
He worked for many years in the retail fashion world. Chose the clothes for the collections, designed shop windows, directed photo shoots and chose the models.
He decided to work for himself. You can describe him as a creative doer. Maker and author for shop windows, festivals, celebrations, and many many other things.
What is creativity for you?
„Realize something that make people feel happy. “Hands should not miss what you are thinking”
His privacy and that of its customers is essential to him. He has no pictures of what he makes. His philosophy is that every client is different. He wants to know his customers and then searching their needs.
“People get rid of their valuables and do not dare to be theirselves. They dress themselves and their homes with things from catalogs of the major companies led for commercial purposes.” Jo told about a cabinet that is in one of the rooms, it was always there, since his childhood, it is part of the chamber and thus his home.
Jo has traveled the world and he is surrounded by many different objects. He puts them in the space according to certain criteria, which may be the similarities and differences between them. This way of organizing is that the objects are becoming special.
For example, he puts together all kinds of blue porcelain. Delft porcelain with kitsch souvenirs, adds contemporary designs along with an historical Chinese pottery, expensive with inexpensive, modern with antiques, combines exhibits with pieces of the market. It’s all in the right place. Each object will get its own value, and the relationship or contrast enhances the whole.
It is a cozy house that amazes you. You open a door and you enter into an unexpected new environment. The door is at one side green on the other side timber. This separates an English chicque room with a leather couch, illustrations about principality, antlers of animals, art books from a Dutch room with blue porcelain, tableware, flowers and mills. Whether you discover the space where everything is white with lace, embroidery, buttons and clear crystals with a gold rim. Enchanting.
Jo is in connection with his objects, handmade objects, objects that tell us about the people and their cultures, the bowl where you can feel the wood of the tree from which it is made, certainly a tree that gave many flowers … I think he feels a huge passion for well-made things, he knows and recognizes the value of the beauty and want to surround himself with these things.
Photos: Ángeles Nieto