October 31, 2011

Lichens & birds made out of fabric

In August I visited the Textiel Museum & De Pont in Tilburg with Susan van Uden. In the Textiel Museum they had two exhibitions, Lilies and thistles (till 6 november) & The Making Of, Projects From The TextielLab. In the blogpost Water lilies & table linen you can find photo's of the exhibition Lilies and thistles. Unfortunately it wasn't allowed to make pictures in the exhibition The Making Of, Projects From The TextielLab. But there where some nice works in progress on display in the TextielLab, enjoy!

These must-have carpets are made by Lizan Freijsen. This work is based on lichen.

"Lichens are composite organisms consisting of a symbiotic organism composed of a fungus with a photosynthetic partner, usually either a green alga or cyanobacterium. The morphology, physiology and biochemistry of lichens are very different from those of the isolated fungus and alga in culture. Lichens occur in some of the most extreme environments on Earth—arctic tundra, hot deserts, rocky coasts, and toxic slag heaps. However, they are also abundant as epiphytes on leaves and branches in rain forests and temperate woodland, on bare rock, including walls and gravestones, and on exposed soil surfaces in otherwise mesic habitats. Lichens are widespread and may be long-lived; however, many are also vulnerable to environmental disturbance, and may be useful to scientists in assessing the effects of air pollution, ozone depletion, and metal contamination. Lichens have also been used in making dyes and perfumes, as well as in traditional medicines."
From Wikipedia

The texture of the tufted carpet is so close to the real, but of course much smaller, lichen. Tufting is a type of textile weaving in which a thread is inserted on a primary base. I would love to do a project with tufting. It's such a beautiful technique. The TextielLab has the knowhow & equipment for it, hope to do a project there one day..

Designer Arjan van Arendonk uses the fabric as a base for his paintings. Working over it with thick layerd materials, leaving bits open, showing the birds or other parts of the fabric. I already like the fabric as it is.

More about the TextielLab on www.textielmuseum.nl

October 21, 2011

NijntjeWalk in Utrecht

"Pray" by Anrealage

This small lovely exhibition fits nicely in the subject Traditional Dutch. I think Nijntje (also called Miffy) is one of best know Dutch icon. Her creator Dick Bruna is a great artist and everyone who is interested in Art should get to know his work better!

Last week me and my mother visited the Dick Bruna Huis in Utrecht. With Miffy in Fashion the Dick Bruna Huis celebrates it's 5 year anniversary in the year of the rabbit. They invited fashion designers to create a party dress for Nijntje (see pictures). On of them is an African Batik Nijntje (more info below)!

My favorite is the Nijntje with the pearl earing. "Slow made Miffy" by i-did slow fashion is the perfect combination between old traditional Dutch & new Dutch fashion. The scarf around Nijntje's head is draped like the girl on the Vermeer painting, but it's also similar to how young & hip Muslim girls where their Hidjab. Brilliant & beautiful!

Miffy in Mood Indigo made by Lidewij Edelkoort

In search of handmade minimalism, Miffy's eyes become a dot pattern rendered in African tie-dye & dye craft.

'Miffy, Tahiti hostess' by Clements Ribeiro

"Slow made Miffy" by i-did slow fashion

'Pining for the heavens' by Edwin Oudshoorn.

Nijntje covered with beautiful butterflies by Claes Iversen

Got inspired?! Well you can make your own Nijntje dress for a competition. Hurry up, because the dress has to be at the Dick Bruna Huis on 30 October. More information about it here http://centraalmuseum.nl/bezoeken/agenda/ontwerpwedstrijd-nijntje-in-de-mode/. There you can find the pattern & conditions to participate (in Dutch).
If you make a dress, please let me know, I would love to share it here!

Nijntje in de mode / Miffy in fashion is shown at the Dick Bruna Huis in Utrecht till 22 of January 2012.

October 20, 2011

Water lilies & table linen

Water lily in my pond

Running terribly behind with al my blogposts. I'm visiting a lot of exhibitions, getting inspired by new things I see & read every day. Every blogpost turns into a little project. I'm still looking up information about this flower carpet they make in Asselt (nearby Roermond). I found a old blackandwhite photo in a book. Apparently during the Procession, the priest walked over the flowers towards the church...Does it ring a bell?
The Gods Walk on rice in Selat on Bali...How remarkable is it that two traditions involve a temporary material (rice & flowers) which they make a carpet of and then the priest walks over it...two total different parts of the world. Apparently they also have a similar kind of tradition in Brazil with salt. So a lot to discover about this subject & I have a new idea for a work with this theme/tradition, soooo I will keep you posted. (And already some about it in this post!)
Yesterday I interviewed the assistant curator of the Museum Nusantara in Delft. Great interview and also a suprize closet full of Batiks! My mother is going to translate it for me, so soon an interview in perfect English here on De reis naar Batik.
Also I continued my quest for Delftware in Delft without visiting the standard tourist places. Which is quite a challenge. So that one is on the to-do-list as well (see blogpost A quest in Delft II) .
Last but not least I visited the Miffy in fashion exhibition & the Museum of contemporary Aboriginal Art in Utrecht. The last one really gave me a lot of ideas, MORE?! Yes even more. And seeing this short film by Lucas Grogan, I know I have to explore some Australian territory.

But before I do all of the above, Water lilies & table linen. In August I visited the Textiel Museum & De Pont in Tilburg with Susan van Uden. In the Textiel Museum they had two exhibitions, Lilies and thistles (till 6 november) & The Making Of, Projects From The TextielLab (see blogpost "Lichens & birds made out of fabric)". In this post I focus on the lilies, the TextielLab projects I save for later.

Table linen

"An exhibition with a central role for floral motifs in table damask.
Roses, carnations, lilies, thistles and violets have been a favorite motif on table damask for centuries. The way they are displayed varies over time and frequently follows prevailing art styles.

The exhibition shows damask table linen as well as designs, samples and pattern books from the last quarter of the 19th century, Art Deco, Art Nouveau, and the post-war period. Linen with floral patterns of contemporary designers such as Jurgen Bey and Chris Meindertsma is also shown.

Traditionally hunting- and flower patterns where used in Damask table linen. A common pattern is the "gesayde bloemen". Researchers say this pattern goes back to an old tradition. People use to sprinkle flowers around in their house as table decoration and on the ground. Still during processions flowers are used to cover the street like a colorful carpet."

I totally read over that last bit the first time..it's almost creepy..enough about people making temporary traditional carpets, continuing with the lilies.

Design "water lilly" by A. Louwers, 1900

Design "Water plant" by Albert Maurice Lejeune, 1912-1915, watercolour on paper

When I saw the sketch for the table linen design with Water lilies, it reminded me immediately of Batik. They simplify the flowers without making it abstract. The pattern "Water plant" looks much like the Batik pattern Kawung. The batik motif "Kawung" is a very ancient motif as can be seen in the carved stones of some Hindu and Buddhist temples in Java island built since 7th century.
The red curl is almost like a garuda from Batik Lasem.

Water lilies

Me at the entrance of the Indian water lilies

The design of the water lilly inspired me and I had this feeling I have to do something with it (and still have). A water lilies has a exotic, sunny feeling to it like a Sunflower, but more mysteriously. I went looking for a connection between Water lilies, Damask, Batik & my interest for it. Haven't found a water lily pattern in Batik from Indonesia yet, but found a lot of related things.

The synchronicity starts with my love for the Indonesian/Indian Water lilies from the Efteling ( a theme park full of fairy tailes). This attraction tells the story of these beautiful fairies who love to dance. One night 7 of them didn't stop dancing, the moon goddess called them to turn back in to stars, but they wouldn't listen. A witch had them under her spell, and let them dance ever since when the moon reaches the sky, poor little fairies.

Cover of book "Dewi Sri". written by Ruud Greve

Page from book "Dewi Sri" with the story about Dewi Nawang Wulan

The story is loosely based on a Indonesian folktale about Dewi Nawang Wulan. This Dewi Nawang Wulan is also know as Dewi Sri. In August I also visited the Museum Nusantara and I bought this wonderful book about Dewi Sri there. The book written by Ruud Greve is full of traditions, stories & legends about the goddess of rice and one of the stories is the story about the 7 bathing nymphs ("hemelnimfen"), the legend of Dewi Nawang Wulan. On the cover of the book Dewi Sri is walking in a Sawah filled with, yes, Water lilies.

As I mentioned before I didn't found a Indonesian Batik with Water lilies, but I found something else. Apparently the national flower or symbol of Sri Lanka is a water lily, and "drumroffle" they make Batik in Sri Lanka. A friend of mine is going to Sri Lanka and she promised me to look for Water lily covered Batiks, so the story continues!

Now maybe your thinking what's all this talk about Water lilies. so I like to end my longest blogpost ever (at least the most hours spend on one blogpost) with a picture made by my grandfather that hangs in my studio & if you have time and no plans this weekend, go to the exhibition "Made by Vlisco" at the Gemeentemuseum Helmond. It ends 23 October (if you go, let me know, I would love to hitch a ride!)

Dia put to photo by my grandfather Aad van Toor

October 7, 2011

Bloemencorso in Zundert

On Sunday 3 September me, Koen, Isa Gama & her kids went to the Bloemencorso in Zundert. I missed it last year, when I saw pictures of it , I promised myself I wouldn't miss it again.

It inspired me to make the ricecarpet for Vincent at the Van GoghHuis in Zundert last year. You can find pictures of that project here.

Ricecarpet for Vincent, 2010

The Bloemencorso is an event in which tradition & temporay art come together. The Bloemencorso, or Flower Parade is a parade in which float are decorated with flowers, and in Zundert only with Dahlia's! It's a total different ball game from the floats they show during Carnaval in Brabant. Those papier-mâché head spinning funny cars have their charm, but the floats in Zundert are really fine, detailed, precise pieces of Art. The floats are very delicate, covered with Dahlia's in beautiful colors. It's great to see how a village makes this together and no one is talking about the temporary state of the floats. They just honor the beauty of flowers & creativity in general!

This year was the jubilee, 75 years ago they organized the first Bloemencorso in Zundert! Next year it will be on Sunday 2 September, put that date in your planner! More info about the Bloemencorso on www.bloemencorsozundert.nl.

Enjoy the photos & see you next year front row!

October 6, 2011

Temporary Art

In my previous post about Traditional Dutch I announce more posts about Dutch Arts & Craft. I also would like to post more about a subject already close to my work, Temporary Art. There will be some cross-over, like the Flower Parade ("Bloemencorso"). It's traditional and it really doesn't get more temporary then that! And I would like to show that the ongoing discussion about "Unsalable Art" is really pointless. There are so many examples of Temporary Art that has been bought & are on display in museums. And Temporary Art has such a strong story to tell and the story would just dissolve if the work was permanent.

To show my point :), I start with two works on display in two Dutch museums.

Michiel François "Niet vallen! Pas Tomber" (Don't fall!) dandelions ("paardenbloemen") & carpet (carpet is not on the pictures)

This work shown in De Pont in Tilburg is very nice example of Temporary Art. How did he hang those dandelions?! Normally if you pick the dandelions and you blow softly, the seeds will be carried of by the wind. How did he get them there?!
Really beautiful!

I'm not so fond of the total work. It includes a carpet on the floor, based on the map of a cell from a FPK clinic. The concept is very strong, using the carpet as a "prison" and the dandelions as symbol for freedom. But I'm not sure about the choice of material. The contrast between the temporary & the permanent is too fierce. How ever it's still a very nice partly temporary work!

Second up, the Wood Circle by Richard Long.

"In the nature of things:
Art about mobility, lightness and freedom.
Simple creative acts of walking and marking
about place, locality, time, distance and measurement.
Works using raw materials and my human scale
in the reality of landscapes."

- Richard Long

It made my day when I saw this picture. Haven't seen the real deal yet...The Wood Circle is shown by the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven. They are Crowd Funding to buy this fine piece of Art! You can help them by buying a nice button, t-shirt or book, more info about that on their website.

Coming up next the Flower Parade in Zundert, so keep visiting my blog!