Sometimes my work is like a series. The complete series shapes into a book. Every page is like a part of the story. When you turn the page, you close one part of the story, and go on to the next. With the bookroll I break loose from this hierarchy; when the bookroll is unrolled, the whole story unrolles in one glance.

dated 2009 until 2010 (click on an image to enlarge an artwork)
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Honi soit qui mal y pense

2009

My mothers' grave was cleared away without the knowledge of my sister and myself. An unsatisfying correspondance followed with the church authority and, after our complaint, with the diocese. What appeared was that the rules had been followed. For us, the subject was much more about a piece of personal history that was removed without our knowledge. On 54 cotton strips, 1 strip for every year our mother had lived, I wrote this text: 'here reposes Annie van Son van de Ven, 10 november 1932 - 5 mai 1985, Honi soit qui mal y pense'. I went to the graveyard where her grave used to be and attached the strips. At the gate at the entrace, on the spot where her grave used to be, on her husbands grave, in the bushes around. Next I went to another graveyard where family is burried and did the same. Finally I went to the cathedral that used to play an important role in her life en the lives of her ancestors. There again on many spots I left the strips with her name, her date of birth and date of death and the motto. The tombstone with her name was removed, but by way of the strips, her name started to roam around again. I took a photograph of every spot where I had left a strip. These photographs I processed into a bookroll made of 7½ meters of cotton. Being her story. Being the story about her. I did not make a selection in the photographs, I put them all in the bookroll in the order I took them. I rolled up the bookroll, closed it with the last strip of text that was left. Thereby this story is closed too.

The Deanery

2010

The Deanery, a stately house in the west of Ireland... It has been empty for many years... After some asking around I got in touch with the key keeper... He takes me for a visit... The house and land have been purchased by the local community... The whole site in front of the house is changed into sports fields... The building lays there, waiting for what will come... Windows are broken... Lace curtains hang useless... Inside time breathes in and out... A stately entrance with beautiful woodwork... There is still furniture... A beautiful wardrobe with a high mirror... A once comfortable armchair... A carpet sweeper stands ready for use... The locks and copper handles on the doors are marvelous... There is money to build the sports fields... There is no money to maintain the house... A couple of years later I pay a visit to the house again... I don't have to ask the key keeper; the house can not be locked anymore... The door stands next to the frame... Life has moved on... The mantelpieces are gone... The stones of the wall behind lie open and this gives another, intriguing image... On the first floor I meet the men who are supposed to build the sports fields... They play cards... They do their needs in the corners of the house and the strip flooring rots further... A swallow has built its nest in a corner of the room... And the carpet sweeper that two years earlier stood ready for use has broken its handle... From the key keeper I understand that there still is no money for the maintainance of the house... This has been a few years ago now... I have not been back there since... Photographs I took I worked into this bookroll. On old textile, matching with the charecter of the house. A continuing story, the book has not been closed yet.