zondag 27 april 2014

Insel Hombroich

The 6th of April 2013 was the day of Bram's funeral. A day I will never forget. Filled with memories and warmth from friends around me. It is a day to remember every year. For me it will be a day to celebrate life.
One year later I came up with the idea to go together to Insel Hombroich in Neuss (Germany). I had been there once together with Bram, but that was many years ago.
Started in 1987 by Art collector Karl-Heinrich Müller (1936-2007).
It is a beautiful combination from Art and Nature. Once you enter the grounds (it is really an island),you enter a world of beauty. You forget the daily worries and your soul is going to be touched deeply.

On the grounds are several buildings as a Tower, a Labyrinth, the Orangerie, the Graubner Pavillion and a few more.
Inbetween is a restaurant and a simple, but very tasty lunch is included in the entrance fee.

The tower is the first building you find. It has 4 doors on each side. There is nothing in it. But when the door closes the noise reminds of a cathedral. The meaning of the tower is to leave everything behind you, and get an open view towards what will come.

There is nature everywhere around you as those daffodils.

Next building is the Labyrinth. It is a big building with also 1 big door in the 4 huge walls. 

Inside various art can bee seen.

I particular liked the room in the middle.

It contains a combination from old art from the Far east mixed with beautiful modern paintings by Gotthard Graubner.

Jos took some beautiful photo's of me in front of the beautiful paintings. It might be strange to read, but for the first time I like myself on those photo's.

Also beautiful was this combination of old Chinese vases in beautiful colors. It is like a color-sceme and could be used for the start of a collection.

There are drawings by Brancusi and Matisse.

The Spanish artist Eduardo Chillida (1924-2002) has made this strong work out of a thick layer of felt. 

As said, next to all the art is the nature, and Spring really has arrived.

Not far from Insel Hombroich is the Langen Foundation museum built by Tadao Ando.

Inside was an exhibition by Otto Piene with colorful sculptures filled with air.

For me, being together with Jos, means that going to see exhibitions together sharpens your view on Art. And next to that, what else is more special than going to an exhibition with Jos while Bram too walks with me in my mind.

Moved by a very special carpet.

Being in Amsterdam very often nowadays,  there are things to discover. 
Sometimes there is suddenly an unexpected surprise you come across.

On a sunny Sundaymorning a few weeks ago I went to the "Amsterdam museum" , which tells the history of Amsterdam. 

The museum also offers one free attraction which is called: "de Schuttersgallerij". It is a narrow lane in-between two buildings of the museum covered with a glass roof. 
On the walls big paintings: the so called Schutters-stukken. 17th cenury paintings similar to a painting as "De Nachtwacht"
It is always a joy to walk that lane and I hadn't been there for ages.
I went in and first had a look on the walls to see the paintings.

But than my eyes caught a huge carpet on the floor. A patchwork of different fragments with different details.

All kind of different fragments from 80x84 cm and with a width of 3,2 meters by 40 meters length.

Titled: "A celebration of diversity".

Designed by textile artist Barbara Broekman it tells the story of 170 different nationalities who currently live in Amsterdam. She has done a lot of research after all the textiles from those different countries. Textile is from everyone and is used every day.
I was moved by this piece of art, because instead of the "We versus Them" or "the Others debate, it is about the opulence diversity can give to a society. It is a project about similarity.

What I really like about this work is that you can walk over it, and in the meantime admire all the different traditions or decorations in the 170 fragments. Textile can be a statement as this work of art shows.

Marimekko. Love at first sight.

Last Monday (on 2nd Eastern day) we visited the Marimekko exhibition in museum De Kunsthal in Rotterdam.
I must admit: I don't like that building at all. It is so complicated to find your way. 
There are different exhibitions at the same time. 
We didn't had enough time to see it all, because first we visited the Boijmans van Beuningen museum. No on is the show with works by Rosso, Brancusi and ManRay. About sculpture and photography.

One wasn't allowed to take pictures, but my favourite of the three of them is Brancusi. His works are so intense and so about shape and meaning.
I bought the postcard with the famous Kiss sculpture which was used as a grave-monument on the Cimetiere Montparnasse in Paris.

I did buy the postcard, because I did start collecting postcards with the theme: Kisses.\
A link to that blog with the name; Duizend Kussen (Thousand Kisses)  can be found HERE.

After coffee and applecake we made the walk to the other exhibition with work by one of my favourite fashion and textile firm: MARIMEKKO.
A long time favourite of mine, ever since we went on holiday to Finland. We visited beautiful Marimekko shops in Helsinki filled with the bright and colourfull fabrics and garments. Love at first sight. 

Some years ago I was for a schoolproject in Helsinki. Ofcourse I had to go to the shops. The young women working in the shop told me that wearing a vintage Marimekko was very fashionable. I could imagine them going to search into the wardrobes of their grannies hoping to find a beautiful dress. You never throw away a Marimekko they told me. They are kept and treasured.

The amazing history of Marimekko can be read HERE.

The exhibiton itself. Not very nice presented. 2 small rooms, rather crampy. The exhibitions starts at the end, so we had to go to the first floor to start at the beginning.
It all starts with the beginning of Marimekko. Simple shapes and not very complicated 
patters. F.e. this one designed by Vuokko Eskolin-Nurmesniemi. 


She has also designed the famous Jokapoika shirt in 1954.

That shirt is my all time favourite to wear. I have 2 already for years.  Simple, great fabric, perfect shape and a joy to wear. It is a real classic one. Any man can wear it. Young or old and for me this is an example of real democracy of a garments.  Might buy a red one for the coming summer. 

Ofcourse there are fabics hanging.

From the simple dotts till fabrics with inspiration out of traditional textiles from Slovakia.

Most of the fabric they use is 100% cotton, but they also do wool and silk.

This one is from the 2011 collection.

Ofcourse there are series of very colourful garments. Very fashionable in the 1960's.

But next to all those vibrant colors are simple black and grey dresses.

Or these beautiful -almost Japanese- patterned dresses. One has to say that Marimekko is very popular in Japan. Probably because of the simple shapes.

Interesting are the sketches from the pattern design and the outcome of it.

I have found out that when I talk about Marimekko that people think -if they know the brand, and a lot don't- that they only do those big old fahioned shapes. The opposite is true. Marimekko is a real fashion brand with great designers and great looks and fabrics for women, men and kids.

They design great -long lasting- bags too. One is still on my list. 

Next to those items they designs items for the house as towels, cups and plates etc.

Young designers come up with new pattern designs as this one.

But the one that is still very fashionable and used very much is the one with the name Unikko (Poppy).

Designed by Maija Isola and this year 50 years old. A typical 60's print? The story is that Marimekko announced that they would never print a flower pattern. Maija refused and came up with an entire serie of gorgeous floral prints.
Ofcourse owner at that time Armi Ratia was convinced that this pattern had to be printed. An icon was born. Never out of fashion.

Marimekko. I will always love their fabrics, garments and their attitude towards the celebration of life.

zaterdag 26 april 2014

Rembrandt now

With my 3th year fashion students I have done a "collar-project". Based on collars traditional worn by the Dutch in the 17th Century.
To get inspiration and starting points we went to the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam to see paintings from that time. The famous painter Rembrandt Harmenz. van Rijn is the so named painter of light. In all his paintings it is about shadows and lightning.
Because our department also contains photography, we decided to do this project together.

First they had to make collars from paper. Pleating, folding etc. Paper is the perfect material to get volume.
After that is was time to work with other fabrics. 
Next to the collar they also had to make garments to be worn with the collar, or find another way to get the atmosphere right.
The whole project was about creativity, and it was a joy to see them at work.

A few weeks ago it was time for the photoshoot.
Roza Aziz, a 2nd year student from the Photography department really enjoyed it. For lightning we used simple flashlights.
The results are stunning.
It is as Rembrandt is back.
He probably would have loved to do this.

So just enjoy while watching the whole serie.