A Child in A Cradle @ Van Zijll Langhout Gallery
In May and June 2023 I had a solo exhibition at Van Zijll Langhout Gallery in Amsterdam where I presented my latest project: A Child in a Cradle.
When you entered the gallery you would see the hand woven basketry sculpture hanging from the ceiling. 24 woven bands dangled from it: each one carrying a sentence and together forming a woven poem.
The complete poem of six stanzas was visible on a framed photograph, hanging on the wall. I have built the poem from text fragments that were taken from legends and stories in which the basket has a symbolic or mythical function. This resulted into a new narrative about two figures on a journey, carrying a burden.
One of the legends involved was the legend of the inexhaustible basket, in which a basket large enough to fit over the end of a thumb provides food for a long journey. This story was played on the headphones and a tiny woven basket was presented next to it, as well as a the photograph that I took from the basket on my own thumb.
Alongside the art works, I presented some materials that I had used in the process of making: a selection of images from people carrying baskets, a copy of Bobarts’ Basketwork through the ages and other publications that I used for this project.
During the exhibition, art critic Lieneke Hulshof wrote an article in which she connected A Child in a Cradle to the cultural and social history of basketry in the Netherlands, thus using the object (i.e. the basket) as a portal to the past. Read the text (Dutch only).