The paddling pool in the Beatrixpark of Amsterdam is a playground for children, yet everything is grey and made solely out of stone. How nice it would be to soften this spot up? Never having worked with textile in an outdoor place before, I choose this location to be my first.
I started out by spending time there, observing how children used the space while playing. Also, I measured all the dimensions of the playground and mapped these out in a maquette, which helped to create ideas about how to apply textiles in the space. The municipality of Amsterdam had heard about my developments and invited me to do a textile workshop for children in Beatrixpark, on July 31st 2016. Through a local newspaper, I invited children to join and bring old clothes and textiles, which we upcycled together by building playful objects integrated in the playground. It was a playful evet for the children and a fruitful experience for me; it triggered me to involve other people in my work more often.
Workshop in Beatrixpark, Amsterdam
Workshop in Amekhlij,
In March 2017, the txt department of the Rietveld Academy went to Amekhlij, Morocco. On the invitation of artist Haid El Kanbouhi, we visited his piece of land which also is the home of a traditional Berber community.The meeting between us and them was focused on artistic exchange between the women of Amekhlij, who are highly skilled tapestry weavers. The children were eager to interact with us too, but having no clear role, this seemed difficult. When we (students) were given the time to do a short project there, I wanted to make playful objects again with the children, from textiles. As a common language between us was missing, I had no way to invite them. As soon as I setted up a warp between branches, they came out, curious and excited to help. Soon enough, two girls quickly became queens and wardens of their self made chair. The real surprise for me came when the boys appeared after I created a messy warp between two trees. I learned that in their culture, weaving is assigned by gender; vertical tapestry looms are for women and horizontal weaving is only done by men. They were eager to learn, never having had the chance to learn how to weave from their mothers