Textile Cycle Tours 1


Every other year a textile festival is held on our doorstep and I’d never been. High time to rectify that, so this year I gave myself two whole days to cycle the two tours plotted by the organisation. Textile art was displayed in 18 indoor and outdoor locations in and around the Weerribben nature reserve.

Here is my impression of the first day, the route through the peat bog part of the area. From the literally hundreds of pictures I’ve taken, I’ve chosen exhibits that have a strong link with these watery surroundings, although they are by artists from all over the country.

Take these ferns by Rineke van Zeeburg – don’t they look as if they grow here naturally?

Monique Aubertijn made shapes from hessian using crochet and embroidery. Displayed in this location, the ones below look like fish traps from a fantasy film scene.

The same artist who made the big fern leaves from rough hessian, also makes exquisite art quilts. To the left ‘Poisonous Frog’ and to the right ‘Dragonfly’.

She told me that she dyes all fabrics herself. The longer I looked, the more I saw. Dragonflies inside the dragonflies, and machine embroidery that gives the impression of veins on the dragonfly wings and of water droplets around them.

These quilts look very much at home here, where many different kinds of dragonflies flit among the water lilies.

Along the water and opposite a campsite, there’s a strange pillar in shades of rust and blue.

The sign next to it says ‘Roadside Book’. Margriet van Vliet (no website) has created a fascinating object from many of those face masks carelessly dropped along the roadsides in recent years.

To get from A to B I’ve decide to deviate from the official route and follow the ‘100-bridges-cycle-track’ (as I’m secretly calling it) instead. There are not exactly 100 bridges to cross, but there are many.

Halfway along it is a perfect lunch spot. In the reed bed right behind the bench: the song of a reed warbler. In the distance: cuckoo, cuckoo.

To reach the next location, we need to wait for a bridge in the village of Kalenberg. € 2,20 per boat, the sign along the canal says. No debit cards here. The bridge keeper collects the fee in a wooden shoe…

… attached to a fishing rod.

At the next location, two works by the same artist, Helma van Kleinwee, evoked opposite emotions in me. The first one made me laugh out loud.

The second one is so subtle, that I hope you can see it on your screen. It’s a semi-transparent piece of fabric showing two human figures, moving in the wind between two pollarded willows. For me, it is a poignant image of our fragility. It made me think of the song ‘Dust in the Wind’ by Kansas. (The funny thing is that Dutch uses the same word for both dust and fabric: stof.)

Finally, here is a sketch of a tjasker by Monique ter Beeke (no website). Only, instead of charcoal she has chosen machine embroidery as her medium. The edges are sandwiched between layers of irregularly shaped glass. (Click on images to enlarge.)

It’s the same tjasker we’re passing along our route. (A tjasker is a small wooden windmill. In the past it was used for draining the land to make peat extraction easier. Now it is sometimes used for pumping water into the land to prevent it from drying out.)

Usually, I go on outings like these together with a friend. This time I went on my own. On the one hand, that gave me complete freedom, on the other I missed the company and talking about the artworks.

Sharing this day here is a way for me to process everything. I hope it’s also been fun and interesting for you reading this. I’m planning to write about day 2 next time and hope you’ll join me again then.

19 thoughts on “Textile Cycle Tours 1”

    • Ja, leuk hè? Raar dat ik er nog nooit eerder was geweest. Ook leuk om gewoon eens wat meer in deze omgeving rond te kijken, ook op plekken waar je anders niet zomaar komt.

  1. Fascinating works! Thanks for posting this, I really enjoyed seeing the variety of textile works being done and displayed “in the wild”. Cheers!

  2. Wonderful – a bike ride, gallery tour, and nature hike all in one. Another entry on my travel dream-list.

    • I think you’d really enjoy it here, but just dreaming about it is almost as good. If all goes according to plan, more armchair travelling next week.

  3. Loved the bridge keeper collecting the fees with a wooden shoe and fishing pole. Loved seeing all the pictures.

    • It’s fun isn’t it? It’s how it was always been done here, but there are also automatic bridges here now. They must have a different payment system for those, because I’ve never seen a fishing rod come down to a boat without a real person at the other end.

    • Hi, how lovely to ‘see’ you here. I’m very grateful for all the work you’ve done – you’ve given me (and many others) a great couple of days!

  4. I enjoyed the varied display of artwork seen on your “field trip”! I also enjoy seeing the environment in which you live… so quaint and picturesque.
    The quilts captured my attention, since I do love to quilt, but haven’t finished my last project after many years!! Yes, I am ashamed to admit this! Meanwhile, the dragonfly quilt is fascinating to study!
    Many thanks for sharing what must have been a most enjoyable destination!

    • I’m glad you enjoyed the trip. As the (Dutch?) saying goes: a joy shared is a joy doubled. And you’re not alone: I also have an unfinished quilt that’s been nearing completion for – dare I say it? – 22 years.

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