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).

This project could only be realized in collaboration with basket weaver Barbara Mahler, weaving specialist Marieke Kranenburg and her team of skilled weavers, weaving specialist Esmé Hofman, photographer Gert Jan van Rooij and leather work specialist Ilona Prins.
A Child in A Cradle was supported by Stichting Niemeijer Fonds, Stichting Stokroos and Fonds Kwadraat.
Special thanks to Marian van Zijll Langhout, 37 PK Haarlem and MuseumGoed.