Local Heart, Global Soul

May 25, 2020

Beautiful Twisting Iron…

Monumentendag” is where many churches, Government and historic buildings are open to the public for one or two days of the Monumentendag weekend. Here on the outside of Hollandspoor station, the detail continues, with beautiful wrought iron work, brick, and tiles. I took some of these photos when I arrived and some when I left, some were better from the first batch, some from the other. Stupidly I only had one photo of the very top by the clock.

The sun shining from behind the station made photography at the top difficult but above the clock in the first photo is a stone carved panel of a wheel with wings.  (There is even more detail above that but I couldn’t make it out and didn’t have my extra long telephoto lens with me.) The gem today has to be the stunning iron railing around the front veranda. I love it!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

April 20, 2020

I Love Rust … Who Knew?!

Spotted in a small side street in the centre of the  Hague… this rusty door. I immediately had to stop and take photographs: the patterns, forms, textures and colours intrigue me, make me want to learn to paint faster. I have not too much problem to draw (except that after a break of 25 years I’m rather rusty (an apt phrase in this instance), but at heart so far I have been a printer, In all printing mediums with the exception of silk screen.

I have etched fine lines, used a variety of tools, and turned out printed images on paper. Of course in relation to my printing I have of course also drawn in pencil or in made preparation sketches in ink. I dabbled in Gouache. The leap to water colour and oils was never made, but I’m keen to attempt it but excited and scared in equal measure. I worry about failing, falling out of love with art and not ever getting back into it.

In the meantime I am saving this for my Arty Reference Files, knowing that one day I will paint this, because I love rust!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

April 14, 2020

The Man Who Changed A Nation!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

In this, my last post about the Johan Rudolph Thorbecke memorial statue, I am learning more and more about the man who effectively changed Dutch history.

I knew roughly that Thorbecke introduced democracy to the Netherlands, limiting the power of the King and turned the country into a constitutional monarchy.

I also knew that one of the main thoroughfares in the Hague is named after him: the Thorbeckelaan.

Now I also learn a lot more detail about this amazing man. (Wikipedia, in the above link.)

“Despite initial reluctance, William II appointed Thorbecke as formateur in late October 1849, and his first cabinet took office on 13 November.

In this cabinet, Thorbecke served as minister of the Interior and chaired the Council of Ministers, thus becoming de facto Prime Minister of the Netherlands.

Thorbecke’s first cabinet passed several acts of particular importance, including the Electoral Act and the Province Act in 1850, and the Municipality Act in the following year.

Despite these successes, Thorbecke’s reforms were increasingly subjected to resistance, and he was criticised for his haughtiness and his strained relationship with the King. In 1853, the Catholic Church sought to restore the episcopal hierarchy in the Netherlands. Common people, pastors and conservative notables showed resistance to this in an anti-papal movement known as the “Aprilbeweging”. Thorbecke, who remained passive in the issue in defence of the separation of church and state, was accused of catholic sympathies, and he was forced to resign.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Thorbecke spent nine years as leader of the opposition in the House of Representatives. He pleaded for neutrality in the Crimean War 1854, and opposed the religious nature of the Primary Education Act in 1857.

The collapse of the conservative cabinet in 1862 brought Thorbecke back in power. On 31 January 1862, he started his second term as minister of the Interior and chairman of the Council of Minister.

Thorbecke’s relationship with the King had improved because the focus of his reforms had shifted from politics to economics, and despite the increased disunity among the liberals, his cabinet lasted for four years because of the support of the Catholics.

One of Thorbecke’s first acts in his second term was the abolition of the governmental departments for religious services.

Other notable achievements include the construction of several canals, the Secondary Education Act in May 1863, several acts on healthcare, and the municipal tax reform in 1865.

The cabinet collapsed on 10 February 1866 and Thorbecke resigned after a conflict regarding criminal law in the Dutch East Indies.

Thorbecke returned to being leader of the opposition in the House of Representatives. In 1868, he formed the Van Bosse-Fock cabinet, but did not take part in the cabinet himself. Three years later, after this cabinet had collapsed over foreign policy, the 73-year old Thorbecke did not hesitate to start his third term.
In December 1871 fell ill, and never fully recovered. Thorbecke died at his home in The Hague on 4 June 1872, at the age of 74.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Hated by some (he was not a man of concessions), he is nowadays considered a towering figure in Dutch parliamentary history.
There are three statues of Thorbecke (one in Amsterdam, one in The Hague and one in Zwolle) and a room in the Dutch parliament building is named after him.

I am really pleased that I’ve ended up looking deeper into this astonishing man’s life.

I am amazed at how long and hard this man fought for so many changes to society, not just dealing with opposing political parties, but also the might of the Church and King!

Introducing constitutional monarchy and democracy is certainly accomplishment enough, but adding: separation of Church and State, Economic reforms, passing important Electoral, Province, Municipality Acts, advocated for neutrality in time of war, making canal construction possible, also Secondary Education, Healthcare and Municipal Tax reforms…

… That’s one heck of a Curriculum Vitae!

Now I “get” why Thom Puckey created this monument is in two parts: The marble section represents the actual man; Thorbecke, at his desk, looking at the very Parliament buildings he worked and held office. The marble maybe (I think) represents the past centuries, time, but also something natural that is very long lasting.

The other half of the statue is made of rust-free steel;  man-made, a visionary material from Thorbecke’s perspective. Times (and things) have changed but men and women are still free to discuss and debate the Constitution. Maybe the modern material represents Visionary thoughts, ideas??

Maybe it means these figures represent Future centuries, and that the progress that Thorbecke brought about, is still very much present and relevant in the here-and-now, and hopefully ongoing into future centuries too. For ALL of his work, Johan Rudolph Thorbecke truly deserves a more recognition, and a stunning memorial, for his… …Monumental achievements!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

April 11, 2020

Rust-Free Steel And Marble…

In the centre of the Hague (photographed during the summer of 2019) is a large statue. Located at the intersection of the Lange Voorhout, Hoge Nieuwstraat, and Lange Vijberberg it’s a very large piece, in marble and rust-free steel by Thom Puckey.

I walked around it , taking photographs as I went (not completely easy because there were children sitting at the base (red headwear of one and hair-clips etc of the other, visible at the very bottom of my first photograph) Although I waited quite a while so see if they would leave, they didn’t, so I photographed around them the best I could. Luckily no-one sat around the other sides so at least was one less difficulty.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 11, 2020

Hitched To A Wall…

Whilst out and about during the 2019 ‘Nationale Monumentendag’ (Open days for Historic Places sites) I discovered the s-Gravenhaagsche_Stadsrijschool (Riding School of The Hague). Before I go inside I also find a horsey ‘clue’, a hitching ring. I love the texture of the ring, the colour of the metal and rust, also the colours and textures of the brick wall behind it. These are therefore destined for my ‘arty’ reference files as well as part of my Monumentendag visits.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

March 9, 2020

Beautiful Grate In The Brickwork…

Leaving the The Sociëteit “De Vereeniging” (Private Member’s Club) behind, my next ‘Nationale Monumentendag’ destination is not too far away. On my way however I spy this beautiful ventilation grate in the wall of an old building. The symmetry grabbed my attention, as did the fact that it was round and not just a grated square shape.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

August 14, 2019

Inspiration Going Up In Flames…

The exterior “Garden” ornament area of the Garderen Sand Sculpture Exhibition in 2017 had a variety of items that I liked and wanted to record in my arty reference and inspiration files. The metal sun I particularly like as a more organic style than most that have pointy extra parts that illustrate that it is in fact a sun, instead of a moon or other planet. With a little bit of adjustment this could also be a sunflower. I have a small “thing” about trees and leaves, I love them, love to draw, photograph and observe them. That’s why I was inspired by the round log burner with the tree images on it, although I have to say that a burner that has beautiful images of threes on it is a tad ironic considering that we cut down trees to burn inside it. It’s literally the source of your inspiration going up in flames!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

February 15, 2019

Flowers Wrought In Iron…

There are some delightful wrought iron decorative gates, rails and even an enclosure to safeguard a large tree that divides a road in Zierikzee. Some have gold painted “flowers” as well. I love the extra effort put into beautiful works like these… it’s very much appreciated by this art lover at least. As usual I also find quirky things, like this little tap on the side of one of the houses. Put in to make it easier to water the plants ?(there were none close by). More likely if I know my Dutch family history, it was there to aid the ritual cleaning of windows, doors and steps by Dutch housewives. Doorknobs and brass letterbox surrounds were polished until gleaming and it was a matter of pride and validation of a being a goog housewife to have everything on the inside and outside of your home spotless. The outside cleaning was at least , a once weekly event that entire streets and cities took part in, in days gone by.

(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)

January 30, 2019

Pumping Up The History Of The Gemeente…

Outside the Stadhuis (City Council / Town Hall) in Zierikzee, stands a very old pump. Probably not only in use as a water supply for horses and livestock, but also as a source of clean water for those in the nearby streets too since over the course of human history, indoor plumbing is a relatively recently addition to people’s homes. The plaque tells us that The Family de Jong Foundation restored this in 2013, and I therefore assume it was thereafter gifted to the city. The handle stands in a locked position so if it works or not is unknown but it’s an interesting piece of local history and architectural detail to find on the street.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

October 21, 2017

Who Can Resist Stopping And Getting A Photo?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Sorting out my archive photo files brings many older folders to light.

The Hague doesn’t have the many canals that makes Amsterdam the tourist draw, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have it’s share of beautiful buildings.

Architectural detail is a passion of mine, old buildings, decorative elements, and things of beauty in brick, stone, wood, wrought iron and the like.

I also like that in the Netherlands bikes come in all shapes, sizes and styles: these ones both sport wicker baskets on the front, but the one on the left is twice as big as the one on the right.

In fact I haven’t seen a basket that big before (or since) so I was delighted to have my camera in my backpack.

I also spotted a map shop that looked inviting but we were in town for an appointment so didn’t have time to go inside. I did get a few quick snaps of one of the stunning old maps on a stand outside though. It’s a detail fanatic’s dream. Then there is a door that has decorative grate work incorporated into it and two caved figures into the stone above it, Who can resist stopping and getting a photo? Not me that’s for sure.

(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)

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