Silent Places

Refuges for a Modern World

About the artistProjects

Projects

Embrace, Abrazo, Abraço, Umarm, Omfamna, Faðma, Merangkul, Omhels, 接受, 抱く, احْتِضان

2018 | ‘Embrace’ -an installation of sheep wool
A pietà, made of 66 pounds [30 kg] of hand spun and hand knitted sheep wool. Connected to birch branches and situated in an old barn at the beautiful island of Texel, the Netherlands. Let’s put it this way: it’s all about the Art of Stillness.

The work was part of an ART manifestation in June and on people’s demand the exhibition ‘EMBRACE’ was extended until the end of August 2018. Today, it’s the beginning of november and people are still impressed by the Quiet Atmosphere of the installation in that old barn. So, we decided, the owner of the barn and the artist herself that it’s still open, this time we don’t talk about ‘the end’ anymore! It’s permanent! You’re very welcome!

The installation is open all day from sunrise – sunset.
Location: Cycle path between Mokweg & Stolpweg in Den Hoorn at the island Texel.
See Google Maps

Probably the most famous piece of ART ever made about suffering is The Pietà of Michelangelo made out of marble during 1498-1499.

Some words I connected to a Pietà:

suffering
sorrow
sadness
mourning
love
motherhood
death
compassion
consolation

I’ve tried to create an abstract Pietà in which the white woolen knitted panel [5×5 meters] interacts with a smaller black one. They both hang upon birch branches. The black one [wool of the Zwart Bles sheep] in front of the white one [wool of the Texelaar]. The white one slightly bended tot the black one.

The way the wind blows through the knitted panels, the way the light falls upon them, creates a ‘picture’ a vibe, a story, a feeling, an energy. But still they are nothing but handspun and handknitted panels. Hanging together in an old barn, which stands on very old ground [150.000 years old].

There’s a voice. There are more sounds, very cello-ish like [though some visitors did not hear any music at all..no wonder, they kept on talking in that barn].

There are more smaller knitted panels. All about 2×1 meters. Made of Manx Loagthan sheep wool, Ouessant, Heideschaap and Blauwe Texelaar. You can sit behind them. So you have a private spot to look at the Pietà called, EMBRACE. You can also choose to sit in the open and maybe meet another visitor in silence overthere, in front of this woolen Pietà.

There are words. There’s a small book [you can buy that one]. But most of all there is you, stepping in that barn. I do hope this installation might be a landing field for your soul. I do hope it inspires you to be you: just another human being. A living soul.

It’s about time our ego will bow for the qualities of the soul. For ego creates duality as the soul unites.

The soul knows all about compassion. No stories needed. She knows what it is to suffer and she does know all about the ART of Consolation. Maybe my EMBRACE is just another attempt to point at that ‘fact’. We have become so arrogant, so full of illusions to make our own world popular and succesful that we look upon the other person who ‘does not make it there’ that he/she is a loser. or doesn’t try hard enough to become famous and we are all but compassioned towards the other. We have important opinions [as do I]. And we hardly embrace a total stranger anymore. We judge another. All of the time. We look at the cloths, the cars, the status. Our eye sees a lot of differences where the soul sees another human being. Sometimes suffering, sometimes filled with laughter and joy, sometimes in pain, sometimes filled with ideas to make the world a better place.

I  quote Edvard Munch [1863 -1944]

“What are we but a collection of energy in movement, a light that burns”

SILENT PLACES

In fact all of my SILENT PLACES [1-6] are studies for The Big Project called:
CATHEDRAL OF WOOL, which I do hope to finish around 2020.
I got to find some land to built her on….Do you have a place in nature or do you know someone who has a piece of land…please contact me. It would be wonderful to put her out there in the open. Surrounded, protected by glass[house]

2013-2018
6 Silent Places
‘Moments of Reflection’

2017 | Books of wool

17 books made of raw sheep wool, exhibited in old drawers, which were tied to birch branches, located in an old sheep farm.
Monastery, Chapel or Library?

Concept: In the beginning there were books without any words. You just had to read the ‘image’, the structures to understand your own interpretation. Was a black book ‘The book of Death’ to you or maybe ‘The book of love’ since love is sometimes all about broken hearts.

2016 | Yggdrasil or [not] far fallen from the tree

Over more than 25 bags, hand spun and hand knitted, made of all variations of sheep wool, hanging on birch branches, like a huge universal family tree. Willow branches keeps the bags closed. They are all sealed. with a wax seal stamp.

Some questions to reflect on.

What becomes of us when we know nothing of our ancestors.
What becomes of us when our ancestors where rich and had power.
What becomes of us when we feel ashamed of our ancestors ‘cause the had caused some trouble, or even worse had done ‘bad’ things.

What becomes of us when we are raised in fear, or when we are raised to be proud. What happens with the virtue ‘to trust’ when we are told not to speak of an ancestor? What happens with our self esteem when there has been f.e. a sense of quilt in our ancestors? Can we change the energy of our ancestors, can we, should we, change our ‘destiny’, can we, should we learn from the past? To be able to do so we have to know our past. Were we slaves or rulers. Where we poor or rich? What ‘message’ lives true your ancestors behavioural in your family: f.e.  the idea “we are all equal.” or “We are better people.”

What did you see in your grandmother eyes: that no matter we are poor or rich, black or white, young or old, man or female: we are precious, or was her tongue filled with judgement, opinions and assumptions? Have our [grand]parents shown us how to forgive? Have they shown us to love?  To trust your ‘self’? To be kind? To be courageous, no matter what?

to be continued
working on a book about all these thoughts and bags.

2015 | Knitted chapelletters to Maria

In the summer of 2015 I made a chapel of sheep wool, which was exhibited in the garden of Museum Kranenburgh during the Kunst10Daagse.

A chapel is still connected to Catholic idea of contemplation and reflection and maybe even penance, with the lady in front of you: the one and only: Maria. What letters would I, would you write to her?

LAter on the chapel was also exhibited in the Central Hall of EndeMol Shine Group and in 2017 in ‘Het Glazen Paleis’ at the island of Texel.

2015 | Groos [Proud]

The item of the ART festival Klifhanger in 2015 was ‘600 years of city rights of Texel’.

I transformed 27 ordinary Barbies into archetypes of mankind. ‘Cause I bet amongst the pioneers of Texel where people just like today: the brave one, the passionate one, the fragile one, the lost one, the victim, the perpetrator, the proud one, the fool, the hero, the worker, the fighter.

They where standing all together, like somehow Rembrandts ‘Nachtwacht’. All connected to birch branches. In the background you heard the clatter of spinning wheel with and the sound of the clock of a church bell, counting every 15 minutes the time from 1 to 12.

2013 | Chapel of the sheep installation | performance

This very first ‘silent place’ was the very first installation with sheep wool presented during the Klifhanger ART festival.

It was also a performance. The long weekend of pentecost, I was spinning in a barn. Basic idea was to start the ‘spin of’ of making ‘a giant dress’. That dress never really set foot on a ground, though the performance had potential.

I put down the sheep wool for a while until I understood I had to go on with this ‘global’ idea, but in a different form.When I look upon it now, 5 years later, I realize it was the beginning of ‘silent places’. Up till now, 6 installations were ‘born’. Each in a total different shape yet made of the same material: sheep wool and birch branches.

A few words about the Initiator of Silent Places

Visual artist/writer/choreographer Ericka Voortman (Enschede – Holland – 1964) alias ‘Hendrikje‘ has a concern, and many with her, about where this modern world will take us and whether it is possible to do something about it. She is not the kind to sit back and enjoy the ride, but she is also not the kind to yell from the barricades. With some generalization she fits in the *Quiet Revolution, yet she has a deep consideration for ‘ancient’ wisdom and virtues from the past that should still count but somehow seem to get lost in an ever tougher, faster, louder and outwardly bound world.

In her own words:

Choreographing time and space…

As a former dancer I’m totally interested in the ingredients of the elements ‘time’ and ‘space’.
What’s the quality of the time and space between me and you,
Between my thoughts and my heart
Between right or wrong

Between introvert and extravert
Between me and the world.

What’s the quality of time without space?
Or space without time [hurry!hurry!]
What does a Room with Patience looks like?
How does it feel to be in an old sheep barn with a lot of Consolation in it?
[see my latest ART project ‘EMBRACE’]

A place to abide

SILENT PLACES

I’m worried about so much noise in and around all of us.
Loudness in speech.
Loudness in movement.
Loudness in action and deeds.

Our poor soul has no place to land anymore.
So I feel the need to create ‘landing fields’ for the soul.

I call them SILENT PLACES.

photo: EMBRACE,  a pietà made of sheep wool

Exhibited during the ART festival Klifhanger at the island Texel
on people’s demand the installation will be shown till July 15th. 2018.

Ingredients of silence

All of my ‘Silent Places’ are an attempt to create a moment of reflection

In my opinion you can stop talking, but the mind never stops thinking. To be able to slow down our way of thinking, we need to focus on f.e. breathing, so we can open other communication ‘channels’ like our ears, eyes, smell, skin and heart.

Ingredients to become silent
• attention
• focus
• discipline
• curiousity
• openness
• commitment

The experience to become silent in these moments of reflection, can activate, or ‘awaken’ virtues like reflection, like modesty, patience, respect, openness, honesty, compassion, kindness, joy and playfulness and stimulates detachment, observation, commitment, dedication, tolerance, humor, peace [or not at all, ‘cause you can get pretty frustrated by a loud mind] courage, forgiveness, mercy, inner wisdom, intuition. Wonderful ingredients to develop an open mind.

Contact

Silent Places

Schoudieck 61
1791 WE Den Burg – Texel
The Netherlands
(0)6 136 140 46/ (0)6 209 888 35

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