Local Heart, Global Soul

December 4, 2016

The Rose-Hips Are Gone, But In Their Place…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

My first visit on “Parels” (Pearls) day was to a lovely lady called  Mirelle.

Her full name and address were given in the Parels brochure and she was happy to have her photograph taken for this blog post but, still this is the internet, so erring on the side of caution I have edited out her full name and address.

Should anyone be interested in contacting her for a commission, I would be happy to pass your details on to her so that she could contact you directly.

When I first flicked though the brochure that advertised each of the events and locations, I saw this image, did a double take and went back to it.

I expected the glass with the green rose-hips (if that is what they are) to be a photograph, but was in for a pleasant surprise when I started to read and saw that this was a painting and the artist adores the hyper realistic paining genre.

I went along hoping to get a close up look at this rose-hip painting but Mirelle no longer had it.

Luckily there were plenty of other paintings and artworks to catch my eye, everything from sketches and personal portraits of family members, to studies of various techniques from the Dutch old masters. For instance, Mirelle has made paintings of old Delftse porcelain, others of still life with a skull, a painting of her mother in costume with friends (painted from an old family photograph). Small paintings of boxes, large ones of beetles and roses. It’s hard to know where to look first. The work is amazing…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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Mirelle…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

December 3, 2016

Painting The Town…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Being largely confined to the four walls of home can make you more than a little stir-crazy sometimes since you slowly get cut off from the outside world.

Himself has to juggle being the family taxi driver and the drug-free, clear headed listening brains in my many medical appointments, keep up with work, extended family duties, drive kid to sports, clubs and social life events, and then do housework and cooking.

I help out with cooking, laundry and supervising kid homework as much as I can, but even so, Himself certainly does the lions’ share of the work.

When he is really busy and there is nothing I can help with, I don’t want to heap more on his plate by asking for a car rides somewhere, help getting in and out of the house or anything else that would make his work load even heavier.
I do not get to step outside of the front door, often for more than a week on end which can get me down sometimes.

Luckily I have good friends who keep me up to date on events that are worth an outing so every now and again, for which I am very grateful.

Different neighbourhoods in The Hague have their own versions of  the “Kunst Route”  (Art Route)  Statenkwartier which I wrote about a few years back (link at the bottom of this post). This is where people display their art and hobbies in their own homes on a sort of “open day”, but also that it’s a coordinated thing, so up to sixty homes will be open on one day.

I’ve been meaning to go for ages but so far other appointments have gotten in the way. Earlier this year my intended visits around the Statenkwartierwere set aside because of my mother in laws serious dip in health, and whilst I was disappointed, Family comes first.

It was therefore a lovely surprise when a friend informed me that another neighbourhood also hosts a similar event, and passed on the brochure. Called “Parels” (Pearls), the  neighbourhoods covered are the “Flora en Faunawijken” (Flora and Fauna), so this means the districts in which the streets are named after fruit, trees, flowers etc. There is a fold-out map in the back and a list of fifty-two addresses that can be visited on their Open Day.  There are not just paintings to see though, the Open Day covers everything from sculpture to space saving eco-gardening, from hedgehog rescue and quilting to puppetry and medieval music recitals. I aim to try and visit several of them and be inspired by what artistic endeavours are happening right here in my own city…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Psst, Wanna Come Home and See my Etchings?!!!

December 2, 2016

It Might Hurt This Poor Man To Sit Down…

Filed under: ART,PHOTOGRAPHY,Scheveningen,Statues / Sculpture,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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Regular readers will know that I have many collections of photographs on my blog Most of them are art works of some sort, statues, sculptures and the like but there are also street man hole covers, bicycles,various pieces of architectural detail and quirky stuff such as letter boxes, loos and strange wheeled vehicles. This post is rather tame when it comes to quirkyiness: it’s a statue of a man looking towards the harbour area. Located in the Scheveningen district that connects The Hague with the sea, it’s one of many “blink-and-you-miss-it” pieces that needs to be glimpsed on the pavement between parked cars.

It has not however escaped my eagle eye, and is now another checked off item on my long list of sculptural pieces in The Hague and surrounding areas.  No, I have no idea why the poor man appears to morph uncomfortably out of the post that supports him. He doesn’t exactly look comfortable does he? It kind of looks painful. But here he is… standing guard? waiting? My first feeling looking at is that I’d like to give the poor man a chair. Who knows what the artist was thinking…. I’m not entirely certain I want to know.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

December 1, 2016

Holding Out As Autumn Arrives…

Following yesterday’s post, it was not only the busy bee collecting pollen that captivated my interest in our friend’s garden this summer.  I was also interested in the artistic merit of the forms and patterns of many of the leaves and flowers and I want to build up a more detailed reference file for my drawings. I found the different colours and shapes appealing but also had as much interest in the insect eaten leaves of one poor plant as I did in it’s healthy uneaten neighbour. This second half of my photographic series is a record of nature a week or so before the warm weather literally switched itself off, the winds turned around and started to come from the west and the north and the last fruits of summer held out as autumn arrived.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

 

 

November 30, 2016

To Bee Or Not To Bee … Is Not The Question On This Occasion!

Sometimes you have to improvise when you are trying to photograph nature close by but don’t have access to much of it because you don’t have a garden. I happened to have my camera on hand when we went out to dinner with close friends one evening this summer, and got lucky when a bee visited some flowers close to the outside table where we were sitting. I’m allergic to bees and wasps but this one was so busy with the flowers and setting the zoom onto maximum allowed me to get close without getting too close. I’ve always struggled with photographs of flowers so these pics are a big step forward in my learning process and I’m delighted with the results. To bee or not to bee… that is not the question on this occasion!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

 

 

 

November 29, 2016

Choosing Function Over Form…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The foot saga continues (in a good way at least) in that my custom boot is now ready.

Of course it’s a prototype and a “work-in-progress”, and we hope to improve future additions as I discover what works and what doesn’t, but it’s a start and a big step away from my old lumpy grey plastic boot.

This one, ok, whilst only slightly less lumpy, is at least a little more camouflaged in basic black.

This is only the second shoe the company have ever made where the entire front section lifts off so that the foot can go in at ninety degrees, so the only way to know if it helps in reality is to wear it.

Even though it’s custom made for my foot, I will have to get to know how tight to pull the straps and to see if enough space has been left for my foot to swell when I’ve been standing, or sitting with my foot down for longer.

I will have to get used to the pressure of the construction on my skin rather than the airbags that are in the bigger boot. I will have to get comfortable with wearing it for longer periods of time. They suggested starting with just five minutes, practicing balancing and generally getting used to it without overdoing it.

We already see some gaps between the  two sections that are going too need adjusting in a future boot, in the meantime I’m looking forward to leading the way in this experimental shoe design. I care less about the look, by now there have been too many hours of tears and pain to start quibbling about if something is enough of a fashion statement, “functional” will do be perfectly well and I’m happy to help make it more and more functional and fashionable later into the future. That said I have also reached the stage where if I had to choose between something that looked fabulous and something that didn’t, but did the job better, I’d go for function over form every day of the week. At least we are trying something new, looking at alternative ideas and making the best of a nasty situation.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

November 28, 2016

Little Mr. Was On The Right Track After All…

Filed under: PHOTOGRAPHY,Scheveningen,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Whenever our kids went to the beach this summer they would arrive home with stories for me at home about how their day had been.

On several occasions, when having been down by the harbour, Little Mr would start to describe several vehicles, and to say that he gave me rather strange visions about what he had seen was an understatement.

The vehicle he described had “wheels but not wheels, …like a tank, a truck tray that tips backwards, but with big sides, like a skip, and a sitting place for the driver, but not like a truck, … like a crane.”

My head tried had to compute what he meant, … and failed.

Then he tried to draw it (and in order to not heart his feelings, I did the Parent Thing: told him it was a beautiful drawing and I got it, but reality was that the drawing was no blue print and I didn’t really get it). Yes, it was a white lie, but the drawing was a blue print in his mind and I should have gotten it, so I played the game. Several weekends went by and we went other places so it was more or less forgotten. Then we returned to the beach by the harbour and saw these on the way home. Indeed, Little Mr. was completely right: his description was on point, even if  I had been too stupid to imagine all the parts together. It’s a truck with tank tracks, and I’m wondering if it has anything at all to do with the harbour,  might this be used in dredging work? I asked Himself to cruise past whilst I took a string of photographs. It’s another unusual vehicle to add to my photographic collection but in all honesty, this one is all for Little Mr.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

November 27, 2016

Ode To Bicycle…

A photographic post…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Don’t forget its’ cycling shadow…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

November 26, 2016

The More I Look The Less It Makes Sense…

Filed under: Uncategorized — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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On one of the roads around Wassenaar, there is a round-a-bout that has some art in the middle of it. I’ve always tried to figure out if it is meant to be a jug or an urn, and the fact that the handle seems to be on upside down has always been a grain-like niggle. The handle shape looks (to me at least) like it should be up the other way, with the larger part of the opening at the top, the same as you would find it on a cup. It could be a cup or beaker of some kind if the opening was the bit that’s face planted into the ground, the handle would then be the correct way up even though it’s placement is too far to the bottom. If the object d’art was meant to be pointing skywards then the handle looks to be placed incorrectly too, so either way this piece jars my sense of order.

Of course the answers is probably that the artist intended that it be neither an urn or a flask, rather just an abstract piece with a Picasso-like cubist thought that bits can be both mixed up and recognisable. For this reason I waiver between liking and disliking it. Then all of a sudden on our last drive-by, I saw the frilly bit of this piece near the ground. Clearly the object of this piece is simple: the motivation is surely to make it so that the more the viewer looks at it, the less it makes sense.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph Kiwidutch)

(photograph Kiwidutch)

November 25, 2016

Stepping Stones Of Cabbages Lead To Jail…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Sometimes your local history lesson can be found directly under your feet.

Such was the case when Little Mr and I visited Gouda to fulfil his wish to go to the Playtoday Lego shop.

Whilst he was only interested in the Lego, I cast my eye around me for the details that give a city it’s character and I didn’t have to look long.

Dotted around us and inlaid into the brickwork of this pedestrian shopping street, were some interesting round cast plaques.

I was puzzled when it became obvious that the first one had broccoli on it, then came all sorts of varieties of cabbages.

Little Mr. was impatient to leave and the plaques stretched a long way further down the street, further than I could manage, so it was a sort of “snap and go” sort of mission, but I got as many as I could in the immediate area.

There was text around some of the plaques and since they had been there along time, dirt from the street had built up, obscuring most of the images and making the text almost impossible to read. I enlarged the photographs on the computer to try and make out individual letters and words, trying to string together something that made sense. Suddenly we made out the word “Warmoesstenen” and it all started to make sense. Himself explained to me that “warremoes” was a very old fashioned Dutch term, and went and looked it up.

It turns out that the more modern word for it is “warmoes” and the text around the broccoli tells us that this ” is the term for a mash made out of vegetable scraps, usually food for prisoners.”

The other part of the word: “stenen” means stones (i.e. these inlaid plaque stones).The next text says: ” Na negeren van een bevel verstoren van de openbare orde of bedreigen van de baljuw volgde berechting” , which translates as: “After ignoring an order, disturbance of public order or threatening a baliff, the court would then pass sentance.”

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Following image text: ” De uitspraak van het stedelijk gerecht leiden tot boetes, gevangenschap, verbanning of tot de galg“,  which means: “The decision of the city court results in fines, imprisonment, exile / deportation or the gallows”

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Around the next plaque the words are all for vegetable and cabbage types: “spruit” (sprouts), “koolrabi” (kohlrabi, a.k.a. turnip cabbage), “savooi” (savoy), “radijs” (radish), “paksoi” (bok choi), “koolraap” (swede / swedish turnip), “rammenas” (winter radish), “spitskool” (conical cabbage), “raap” (turnip / swede), “chinese kool” pronounced “shin-A’s-coal” (chinese cabbage) and “raapstelen” (turnip tops).

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Then I discovered some information about who has placed these here: “De warremoesstenen zijn een schenking van het 100 jarige Goudse Vuurvast NV aan de gemente Gouda”.The “warremoes” stones are a gift from the “Gouda Vuurvast Company to the municipality of Gouda (to mark the occasion of Vuurvast’s 100 year centenary).”

(Side note from Kiwi: The Vuurvast company makes refractory materials that keeps their strength under high temperature. Their products are used in the iron, steel and glass industries to make molds and crucibles and also to make deflectors for rocket launch structures). Once I knew the name of the company who made and gifted these stones I also found the following information (links as usual at the bottom of my post.) The illustration on this stone is Vuurvast’s (literally: “fire fast”) company logo.

The sites were in Dutch so I translated for you:” Warmoes stones: Up until 1845 the landscape of the Lange Tiendeweg in Gouda was dominated by the Warmoespoort, a bridge with in-built cell space for prisoners.The bridge was named after the remains of cabbage leaves that was the prisoners food. One hundred “stepping stones” set into the Long Tiendeweg have been used to build a picture of this historical past near the center of Gouda.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The following stone appears to never have had text on it because the image runs completely off the edges. If the Vuurvast Company celebrated it’s 100th Centenary in 2009 then these have been here for seven years now, hence the build up of grime.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The next text  around the sprouts consists of random words: “vlooken” (to swear), “smijten” (to chuck / to throw), “razen” (furious / rage), “spuwen” (to spit / old fashioned form of  the modern word “spugen” = to spit), “schelden” (scold), “tieren” (rant).

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

De cipier kreeg 35 cent per arrestant voor de voeding en genoot een inkomen van 75 guilden per jaar.” (The jailer received 35 cents per prisoner for food and enjoyed an income of 75 gulden per year).

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Brassicaceae: brassica campestris var pekinensis (kruisbloemenfamilie: Chinese kool)” (Brassicaceae: brassica campestris from pekinensis (cabbage family: Chinese cabbage)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Bij inschrijving voor afbraak te verkoopen: de TIENDWEGSPOORT. aan het einde van den Langen Tiendeweg.” (Selling upon demolition, register at the Tiendweg gate, end of the Long Tiendeweg.) In the center it says: ” OPENBARE VERKOOPING 20 November 1854“, (PUBLIC SALE 20 November 1854)
… which makes no sense to me, especially the date! It appears then that maybe these were only meant to be temporary and that people could register to buy them later… but the date is 1854 …which makes us all just a tad late!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Here are some of the other stones (duplicate in image to the above, so that you can see the wear and tear…)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Gouda Vuurvast Services

More about the history of Gouda Vuurvast (Note:Dutch language only)
 The Gouda “Warmoes” Stones.

 

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