Volkswagen

The incredible world of Oscar winner Stéphane Halleux

The second episode of Off Track shows off how forgotten antiques become works of art, full of magic.

DDB Brussels launches the second episode of the Volkswagen documentary series: Off track. Stéphane Halleux is a Belgian sculptor who won the Oscar for best-animated short film in 2014 with “Mr Hublot”, a film based on characters he created. His world is full of bizarre creatures made from antiques and recycled materials and brought to life. In this episode of Off track, Stéphane takes us to Liege, and the ancient spa and baths, Sauvenière, as well as the famous flea market in Brussels where he finds inspiration and parts for his creations.

Off Track is a series of six documentaries designed to bring to life unique and unusual places in our country. Off track features six Belgians, each of whom is prepared to go off the beaten path. One of them, the sculptor Stéphane Halleux, travels the length and breadth of Belgium in search of antique materials to shape his dream world. He works exclusively with articles he finds in second-hand markets, flea markets and hardware stores. It is by mixing all his discoveries together that he is able to bring to life a world in which absurdity and humour come together harmoniously. His work is the result of hours of craftsmanship and meticulous construction.

A wonderful world

In this episode, Off track takes you along the beautiful country roads that surround Hamois, in the province of Namur. Stéphane’s workshop can be found in this idyllic setting, hidden between the woods and the typical grey houses of the region. This is where the magic happens, where he recreates and gives life to abandoned objects and forgotten pieces. You can find everything in this workshop, from the craziest industrial toys, to the most amusing robots. Quite literally it feels like being a child in a toy store. Stéphane’s studio is unfortunately closed to the public but his work can be found in galleries in Bruges, Knokke, Paris and Luxembourg or at various one-off exhibitions. For more information: www.stephanehalleux.com.

Back to the past

With Belgian simplicity and contagious originality, Stéphane takes us to Liège to make a trip to the past. It’s a remarkable journey, as when you think about his characters and his work, it’s easy to gently slip into a world where both the past and the future merge. No wonder therefore that he has been exhibiting in the recently renovated baths of Sauvenière. “La Cité Miroir is a unique place of culture dedicated to citizens,” says Stéphane. “The unique spirit of the old spa and baths have been respected, and this has maintained the innate grandeur of this emblematic building in Liege, just as I’ve tried to do (laughs)”.