Local Heart, Global Soul

May 22, 2017

Meeting The Royal Family ….70’s Style.

Yesterday’s post from the Garderen Sand Sculpture festival showed Dutch artist Rien Poortvliet helping the (then) Dutch Queen Juliana, and other members of the royal family out of the “Golden Coach” on Prinsesdag. This is the day of the official Dutch opening of Parliament and the coach makes it’s way from Palace Westeinde to the old parliament building. Large crowds line the streets every year to watch the Golden Coach pass by. Rien’s role was a special privilege and a very significant one.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Wikipedia / Dutch Artist / Rien Poortvliet
Garderen Sand Sculpture Festival

July 23, 2017

Dividing Up Some Of The Newest Land On The Planet…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The Dutch province of Flevoland was officially born on 1st January 1986, when the southern and eastern Flevopolders were merged into one province.

Almost all of the land belonging to the province was reclaimed in the 1950s and 1960s.

Nearing the end of a weekend away, Himself and I travel homewards via the length of the southern Flevopolder and find many road signs that somehow seem a little strange to me.

Himself explains that when the polders were being drained and farms established on the land, farmers or would-be farmers came from all over the Netherlands to take over the new land.

To make the transition easier it was decided to place all of the farmers from each region together in groups, thus everyone from the province of Zeeland together etc.

The roads were then named accordingly, with references to the places they had left behind or things familiar to their area. Thus the road sign: “Alikruikweg” (references a small edible shellfish, something like the New Zealand pipi), and “Oldebroekerweg” is a reference to a village left behind.

The farms were established in a very distinct pattern, think of four squares in a block as four farms, with the four farms in the corners that meet in the center of the block. So continued the pattern for much of the polder. Whilst visiting the Schokland Museum I found an old aerial photograph that shows the pattern rather well. In one of the farms someone was celebrating their 40th birthday, notification of the fact could not be said to be inconspicuous and raised a laugh. The land is flat and even on the hazy day we had, the camera picked up the top of the roller-coaster and big wheel of Veluwemeer Walibi World fun park in the far distance. The road is straight and mostly deserted so we make our way south at leisure.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 22, 2017

Doing Our Best To Avoid Wet Feet…

Filed under: Flevoland,PHOTOGRAPHY,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

When most of your country is below sea level, and the even the canals that receive the water pumped off the land are below the level of the sea, how do you remove the water built up in the canals to make space for more water?

In Flevaland Himself and I see one of the hundreds of installations around the coast that are the solutions to this problem.

Pumping stations large and small are programmed to empty water from the canals into the sea twice a day with every low tide.

This frantic game where water is hurriedly displaced as quickly as possible when the sea recedes is played out morning, noon or night almost every day of the year.

Only when the seasonal storm surges occur in the North Sea, and the corresponding high water which even at low tide is unusually high,  that the pumping station gates can not be opened. If the gates were opened during a storm surge, then the pressure of the incoming sea would be so much greater than  the canal water trying to exit, that sea water would flood disastrously into the canal system.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Of course global warming and rising sea levels are of great concern for the Netherlands, but plans are being carried out to attempt to future-proof the countries  coastal barriers.

The largest gap in the countries defences therefore now come in the form of the large rivers like the Maas (Meuse), Waal, and Rijn (Rhine).

Due to centuries of construction, cultivation and industrialisation along their banks, these rivers have been more forcibly contained than ever before.

Danger happens when exceptionally heavy rainfall hits the length of the river, combined with storm surges in the North Sea, so the pumping stations need to be closed and the river water can not exit fast enough.

Some fifteen years ago exactly this scenario happened and dikes, under pressure from high water levels for weeks at a time gave way causing flooding between the rivers.

Today controversial action has been taken, not just increasing and strengthening inland dikes but also designating entire areas of farm land as overflow areas: basically to let the water flood huge tracts of farmland in a controlled manner rather than have a uncontrolled flooding into cities for instance.

Needless to say the Dutch war with the sea is far from over, it’s a battle that rages twice a day returning water to the sea with every low tide.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 21, 2017

This Kind Of Quirky Is My Kind Of Thing…


(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The saying: “A picture tells a thousand words” is never more true then when converting facts and figures into an image that can be instantly understood.

Telling someone that the land they are  driving their car on was once the former sea bed only takes the imagination so far.

Building a monument in the shape of a little house, adding “smoke” to it’s chimney and then a small ship so that the smoke is also now the waves under the ship is a stroke of genius.

The ship sails at the height of the previous sea level, and the visitor gets an instant visual picture as to how high use to be the water above their heads.

I think it is the perfect way to demonstrate the “before” and “now” situations.

Regular readers will know this this kind of quirky is exactly my kind of thing.  Art, history, information,  an ingenious way to show it all…. perfect!


(photograph © Kiwidutch)


(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 20, 2017

Blowing Hot Air And Electrical Current…

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

Flevaland is a province of two parts, the bit people think of first is the “island” polder section but there is also the section on the “mainland” where Schokland is located.

Crossing the bridge back onto the island section of the province we see many of the modern windmolens (windmills) that generate electricity.

Himself and I are committed to getting our electricity from green sources so have in recent years been attached to a company who operate windmills like these.

For us they are far from an eyesore, in fact I find them beautiful, tranquil and having grown up in New Zealand where nuclear power stations have been effectively outlawed by the will of the people (a move I also supported) I find these so much of a safer idea than nuclear power.

As old nuclear power stations are not being replaced in the Netherlands, more and more of these molens are around, as well as large wind farms out at sea. At one point we also see a large concrete blade, a brilliant choice of artwork for this area!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 19, 2017

The Perimeter Walk…

Filed under: Flevoland,PHOTOGRAPHY,Schokland,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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Leaving the now ex-island of Schokland, Himself points out the small walking and cycling trail that surrounds what was once the perimeter of the island. For the most part the only sign that the island was there is the small area of fractionally raised land and a ring of trees that section off  the surrounding sea bed that has now been turned into farm land. We drive slowly as we drive away so that Himself can point out the route he walked whilst I finished touring the museum site.  It’s been a very enlightening visit, Himself thought he knew a little but found far more than he expected,  I knew nothing so we have learned a lot.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Wikipedia (partial English translation of Dutch Wiki site)/  Schokland /Flevaland / The Netherlands.

July 18, 2017

Excellent Timing For Coffee…

Filed under: ART,Flevoland,My Reference Library,PHOTOGRAPHY,Schokland,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Last summer Himself and I had a weekend away, and after spending time in Garderen we made our way to the ex-island of Schokland.

After visiting the inside museum building we then made a tour of the grounds.

Since I move very slowly and sit and rest a lot, I tell Himself to set off at his own pace and we will meet up together later.

Later he joins me because he had finished his tour of the grounds but I was only a fraction of the way around since I traveled so much slower than he did.

Himself therefore decided to walk around the old perimeter of the island whilst I continued my slow tour of the grounds. After I eventually finished I made my way to the café / restaurant near the museum entrance.

I phoned Himself to see how far away he might be from me and it turned out that he was about half way up the main drive. I ordered his coffee and it was served within a minute of him getting to our table. Excellent timing and he made short work of it soon after. I got a photograph of my hot chocolate in the meantime, and, a few of some photographic leaves that I thought I might draw later.

I did have some better photos of the outside area from earlier but since a few families there had children and I could not get them directly out of the front of the picture, I ended up using the late afternoon ones I took when the  tables were mostly empty instead.  It’s clear that Schokland gets it’s fair share of visitors and is often very busy indeed. Both Himself and I loved it here, but were not sure that our kids would have been as absorbed for the same length of time that we were. That’s what has made this kid-free weekend so special: the chance to do stuff at our own pace instead of that of our kids.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Wikipedia (partial English translation of Dutch Wiki site)/  Schokland /Flevaland / The Netherlands.

July 17, 2017

Zooming In On The Details…

Filed under: ART,Flevoland,My Reference Library,PHOTOGRAPHY,Schokland,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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Regular readers will know that every now and again I take a stupid amount of  photographs of a particular item, or series of items. Usually these posts consist of a general set of photographs followed by a post of more detailed ones. This is one such of these posts and these are details of the boat in yesterday’s post. These are for my reference files becuase I hope to one day draw or paint something from this reference material. I hope you like the details as much as I do.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Wikipedia (partial English translation of Dutch Wiki site)/  Schokland /Flevaland / The Netherlands.

July 16, 2017

Not Sailing Away Any Time Soon…

Filed under: ART,Flevoland,My Reference Library,PHOTOGRAPHY,Schokland,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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Outside the Schokland museum in Flevaland, I find an old fishing boat. It’s a stunning example of weathered wood, the texture is rough, faded and worn. I took a stack of photographs, maybe I will draw it one day but in the meantime I will enjoy  the colours, patterns, textures and shapes.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Wikipedia (partial English translation of Dutch Wiki site)/  Schokland /Flevaland / The Netherlands.

July 15, 2017

A Sad Meaning To “Packing Light”…

Filed under: ART,Flevoland,PHOTOGRAPHY,Schokland,Statues / Sculpture,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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Outside the little church on the ex-island of Schokland stands a small statue of a couple and their children. Called: “De ontruiming van Schokland 1859” (the evacuation of Schokland 1859) it is by Piet Brouwer and is dated 1994.

An information board nearby has a poem and text by T. de Vries and reads:”The evacuation of Schokland 1859.”
“Schokkers, attached to their soil, born and bred there, they were told to leave and loose their land.A very big and heavy step to take, whatever advice they received, it all seemed bad, and their fight was lost and all of their attempts futile. See this young family here with their few worldly goods, forced to leave because of want (want of livelihood/ poverty), the woman who supports her husband in leaving and the man carrying the anchor on his neck

Standing on a plain colourless concrete plinth this small statue looks out to where the sea once raged but where grasses now bend in the breeze.The sculpture depicts the woman holding a baby, the man carrying the anchor, a toddler standing at their feet next to a small chest containing all of their worldly goods. It give new and sad meaning to “packing light”.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Wikipedia (partial English translation of Dutch Wiki site)/ Schokland /Flevaland / The Netherlands.

July 14, 2017

The Threads Of The Past Painted Into The Present…

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

The ex-island of Schokland has a small church which, if the conversation about fitting in a wedding date going on between the vicar and a young couple in the main body of the church is anything to go by, is a popular wedding location.

There are a series of semi-joined rooms down one side of the chapel and it is in these spaces that two artists are featured.

One I have already covered in yesterday’s post, the second is a woman called Rolina Nell.

Before I go into detail about her, I laugh at a copy of a little ditty on the wall,  translated into English it reads: ” The Minister of Urk / Who was going to preach on Schokland / But because of the raging sea / He forgot his sermon.

The Minister of Urk / Who was going to preach on Schokland / But if the (field of) grain is rustling / He forgot his sermon”. It appears that this minister got easily distracted!

The information about each of the two artists was only given in Dutch. Translated, it reads: “Rolina Nell”. “Rolina Nell was born and bred in the North East Polder. After finishing Academy Minerva in Groningen she moved to Rotterdam. Since 2013 she has lived and worked as an artist on a farm close to Rutten.

Back in the North East Polder, she becomes interested in the women who in the 40’s and 50’s came here with their husbands. Like her Grandma who together with her Grandpa arrived in the polder from Wassenaar.

In search of pictures from that period much to her surprise she found photographs of women in traditional dresses in front of the new farm and on the market. From various provinces customs and habits and therefore also traditional clothing was introduced to the North East Polder.

The former Zuiderzee island of Schokland had two traditional types of dress / clothing costume: Catholic and Protestant. These costumes are also revived in her work. Traditional costume as an expression of culture and identity becoming part of history. 

For her, pointing to a type of self searching. Identity is a key word in her work and intuition and imagination play an important role. Additionally she has a special interest in the clothing, fabric and patterns.

In this exhibition this is given shape in a series of new paintings and drawings. Paintings in grey,black and white (in the medium of) egg-tempora, drawings in charcoal and pencil of women in traditional costumes, paintings and drawings with a tangible history and mysterious identity based on photographs from the long gone past which she paints and draws into modernity with ease.”

Lastly another sign, one that I could not see belonged to which of the artists, …or both or perhaps neither. It’s message was short and simple, and translated reads: “Spotted, Striped Checkered and “Verbloemed” (Disguised)”. ( Kiwi’s note: “verbloemed” means to make something look nicer than it is). The idea of  this  last message would possibly fit into the works of both artists, so who knows. The Church has also turned out to be something other than I expected when I first walked in the door.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Wikipedia (partial English translation of Dutch Wiki site)/  Schokland /Flevaland / The Netherlands.

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