Local Heart, Global Soul

May 28, 2017

The Whirling Storm And Surge Of The Horse Market…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

In reply to a reader’s comment (Thank You and a shout out to fellow blogger Piglet of “Piglet in Portugal” fame), I mentioned that some of the Sand Sculpture pieces had white coloured sand pieces in them that didn’t match the rest of the piece.

These white bits attest to later repairs done to the piece and I was told that the most damage of all is done by members of the general public who ignore the “Please don’t touch” signs and poke the sand until it breaks.

A few weeks before I visited last year though, an unseasonal weather front passed over much of the Netherlands bringing short, sharp severe storms that deluged areas with hail, caused localised flooding, felled trees, dislodged a few roofs, produced a large amount of thunder and lightning, played havoc with fruit crops, and did a large amount of damage in a short amount of time.

This storm did not leave the  Garderen Sand Sculptures untouched, but with great credit to the builders: there was far less damage than I would have expected after seeing the after effects from around the country on the six o’clock News.

I have no way of knowing if the damage in the next piece is from the public or the storm, either way, it has of course been repaired.

It’s a great pity though that the damage is around the mouth of one of the men, it almost gives a “clown” effect, a shame especially because this is one of my top favorite pieces here.

The title of this piece is called ” The Utrecht horse markt” and the rest of the information board text translates as: “With a keen eye for detail and emotion, Rien describes the behaviour of horse and horse traders. The assessing eyes of a possible buyer …who looks at the gait of the horse to see if the muscles and proportions are all right and important too, … does he like the character of the horse. A bit in doubt, fiddling, hoisting up his trousers, smoking another cigar and …deciding to buy!”

I love that this piece is amazingly understated, there is a limit to what has been carved away from the background wall, and yet it has an unmistakable energy,  it captivated me from the first moment and the essence of the movement is all there.

I feel like I would close my eyes and immediately be in a horse market, the air full of swirling dust as the multitude of hooves churned up the dirt floor, the serenity of some animals and the startled eyes of others, the noise of the many traders as transactions and price bartering takes place. It’s the kind of scene that is described in novels or movies. It’s safe to say that this sand sculpture piece whipped up a storm in my imagination.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Wikipedia / Dutch Artist / Rien Poortvliet
Garderen Sand Sculpture Festival

May 27, 2017

If You Want To Captivate A Child…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

My biggest apologies to readers who received a blank post here this morning, for the last 24 hours I haven’t been able to log into WordPress because it says there are Server problems.

Serves me right for keeping the finished text and photos on my computer rather than uploading them to the Schedule earlier. Apologies.. Normal transmission has now been resumed 🙂

Garderen’s Sand Sculpture festival of 2016 featured the life and work of Rien Poortvliet as it’s theme. I find it a paradox considering Rien’s views on animal hunting that in his book ” De ark van Noach” (Noah’s Ark) that he appears to value animals.

Then again, it says nothing about what he actually thinks about hunting these magnificent wild beasts, so maybe I need to not dig too hard or I will be yet again in conflict with his views.

The information board text translates as:

The wonder of the creation” ” In his book “Noah’s ark”  Rien is amazed about the diversity and colours of all the animals and birds on earth. From extremely large to extremely small, some with strange things on their heads, they are strangely adorned but always functional.”

The sand exhibits show kangaroos, monkeys, elephants, lions, and a gorilla as main pieces but there are smaller images etched into the backgrounds of these too. Looking from one angle you might not see them at first, but as you move around and the light brings out the shadows, these bits come to life in front of your eyes. Families with children spent the most time in front of these: historical scenes, portraits and the like are one thing, but if you want to captivate a child then an image of an animal seems to do it every time.

(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 / Dutch Artist / Rien Poortvliet
Garderen Sand Sculpture Festival

May 26, 2017

A Conflict Of Views, A Gap Too Vast To Bridge…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The next post is about Rien Poortvliet’s childhood. The information board translates as:
Pol comes to visit“, “Pol was a shetland pony belonging to friend Henk, who lived about 3.5 km from the Poortvliets. 

Henk and Pol used to visit on Sundays after church. The animals: Peer, Mr Pastoor and the other dogs love it!

Whilst  Henk and the Poortvliet family drink coffee, the ponys run around in the garden encircling the house followed by a bunch of happy enthusiastic dogs!”

The second half of this theme in the Garderen Sand Sculpture festival is a related piece.

According to the information board: “Het Brieschend Paard:  “Het Brieschend paard moet eind’lijk sneven, Hoe snel het draav’ in ‘t oorlogsveld” Psalm 33 verse 17 “.

” Psalm 33 verse 17 , (King James Bible) An horse is a vain thing for safety: neither shall he deliver any by his great strength. / (New Living Translation) Don’t count on your warhorse to give you victory–for all its strength, it cannot save you.”
For a young Rien  the vicar could not come up with a better song,  and he carried the song with him for years until 1978 when he published a book with the same title. (Het Brieschend Paard).

This beautiful book about horses show how humans handle these beautiful animals throughout history.”
I find myself conflicted here,  art work is one thing, and I can not doubt the benefit that horses throughout history have given to mankind, but I have always been concerned about the extent of their use.

Use for work is one thing, there is a definite difference between a horse that helps pull a plough to till a field, given a reasonable workload and once it’s work is done, is washed, brushed, fed, watered and given clean dry beading for the night and horses or mules who are plied with weights they can barely carry and effectively worked to death.

Ever since as a teenager I saw a race horse with a broken leg shot, I have been completely and utterly against the use of horses, dogs and any other animals in sport: from the race track to Olympic equestrian, when something goes wrong it is always the poor beast the pays the ultimate price. Too often people took thee glorious beasts into situations of war, had them haul cannon in hellish conditions and in many other times in history were more abusive than generous to our fellow creatures. As with Rien ideas on hunting I can not reconcile my ideas with his and no amount of persuading would ever bring me even close to his views.

(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 / Dutch Artist / Rien Poortvliet
Garderen Sand Sculpture Festival

May 25, 2017

A Cult Of TV Personalities Has Been Around Forever…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The next of Garderen’s Sand Sculptures is all about Rien Poortvliet as “TV Personality”.

The text translates as: “Op de buis met Willem Duys” (On the tube (TV) with Willem Duys).
Rien was not only a gifted artist, although he preferred to call himself “an expert draughtsman”, he was also a famous dutch personality.

He was regularly on TV , for instance, on the jury of “Zo vader so zoon” (Like father like son) and in a television interview with Willem Duys in “Voor de vuist weg” (Off the cuff).

The sand sculpture shows them seated on the back of a small pony drawn dray with Rien sitting in the front and Willem Duys holding the microphone sitting behind him.

There is an interesting quirk of perspective here too, the right leg of Willem Duys is visible when the piece is viewed from the front, but as you pass the piece but it starts to look like it disappears.

This seems to be due to the fact that his arm sort of looks like it must be leaning on a chair rest or something, when in fact this is his leg when viewed from the other angle.

I’m being rather picky when pointing out this kind of thing, these pieces have to be seen from all angles and getting this right is so much harder than it looks.

I was a bit young for the original TV programme so do not know if this is in any way a reference to the programme as it was sent out, or if it was just an interesting way for the Sand festival people to show it.

Luckily I see no reference to reins, so probably this was a prop shot and they did the interview standing still.

The sand, in it’s monochrome colour scheme makes a nice, but unintentional reference to the fact that the original interview probably went out when TV was still in black and white.

TV technology has changed beyond belief, the culture of famous personalities appears to be a timeless one that only grows and grows.

(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

May 24, 2017

A Family Of Portraits, Through The Sands Of Time…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The main theme of the 2016 Sand Sculpture exhibition in Garderen is the life and work of Dutch illustrator Rien Poortvliet.

So far we have seen sand sculptures representing many of his works, in this post we see sculptures of Rien and his family.

There are various information boards accompanying these images, I have translated them and indicated them in italics.  “Rien and Corrie” Rien Poortvliet and Corrie Bouman were High School sweethearts, they married and had two sons.

Rien spoke highly of his wife in his books, she lovingly supported him in following his passion for work, looked after him, understood him, and regularly turned a blind eye to the “remains” that turned up in his studio, the stench, flies and ticks from a wild boars head or dead hare.”

The beginnings of Rien’s career…
A talented and creative child, Rien loved to draw, doodle, play with cutting out and pasting thing and other creative play. After the MULO* he worked in the advertising company of Unilever and Lintas.

Among his work were many  advertising champagnes for companies, for example: ** Blue Band margarine and Unox rookworst.” (Kiwi’s note: Rookworst is a smoked sausage, a particular Dutch favourite). “Alongside Rien’s advertising work, he illustrated books  “Pim, Frits and Ida” amongst others by Godfried Bomans “Saskia and Jeroen”by Jaap ter Haar.

At the end of the 60’s he tried to establish himself as an independent illustrator and ventured to publish a book himself . “Hunting  drawings” was his first book, but many successes were to follow.
(Kiwi’s notes: * “MULO” is the old fashioned term for the diploma achieved at the end of High School. **Apologies too from me for assuming in an earlier post that these companies were sponsors of the Sand Sculpture exhibition, when they were in fact work places early in his career.)

“Family”. “Rien had three brothers: Harm, Karel, Pit and two sons: Harm and Tok. Rien’s mother, nephews, nieces, his wife Corrie, and various friends all featured regularly in Rien’s books, because they were reliable models when he needed figures for illustration.”
“Tok Poortvliet with his first fox (shoot).” “Riens passion for nature for nature and hunting was passed on to his son Tok, his beautiful paintings showing how proud he was of his son is published in “Van de hak op de tak”

I’ve mentioned in earlier posts that hunting animals for sport is really not something I support, but this family were of the 60’s and 70’s era and times and attitudes change. Of course it is also unrealistic to think that hunting is no longer a rural sport: like it or not, in the countryside it’s still a favourite pass-time.

Looking at these sculptures from an artistic point of view also shows me that the artists that do work here are really skilled in what they do. I took photographs of any of these sculptures from various different angles to illustrate how well each of the pieces works, no matter from which angle they are viewed. These family portraits may be one that are bulldozed at the end of the season, but they are no less works of art then if they had been paintings in a frame.

(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)

May 23, 2017

Noah Is The New On Site Foreman…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The theme of the next of Garderen’s Sand Sculpture exhibits was one that especially appealed to children: Noah’s Ark.

This piece is massive, towering over visitors and consists of one and a half sides of a mountain of sand, plus a substantial sculpture of Noah.

Kids and adults alike adored the “inside view” that the side edge showed: elephants, giraffe, monkeys being just a few of the animals on show.

The larger front side dealt with the construction of the Arc: Noah “stood” out front checking over the plans, additional scrolls at his feet, whilst workmen cut planks and worked on the construction.

The level of detail throughout is brilliant: an elephant acts as a crane getting planks to the top of the ark, workmen cut up trees, raise planks with ropes.

There are hieroglyphs  of the work set over the door, pulleys and scaffolding make efficient work. Two tiny figures sit on the roof of the Ark with their feet over the side… the details go on and on…

(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)

Garderen Sand Sculpture Festival

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

May 21, 2017

A Golden Coach… Sort of.

Returning from my “commercial break” the next exhibit in the Garderen Sand Sculpture festival is all about the official opening of the Dutch parliament, an annual event that takes place the third Thursday in September. The royal family travels in a gilded coach from the Palace Nordeinde to the old parliament hall. The information board tells us:
In 1977 (Dutch artist) Rien took part in the parade next to the Golden Coach with Prince’s Day. He opened the door of the golden carriage at the Ridderzaal to help Queen Juliana, Prince Bernhard, Princess Beatrix and Prince Claus out of the carriage. He was already fascinated by this ceremony and the knowledge that he was going to do this caused him a lot of sleepless night!” This sand sculpture comes in two parts: the first being the intricate coach and the horses that pull it.

(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

May 20, 2017

Time Out For A Short Commercial Break…

Apparently everyone these days needs to take a commercial break every now and then. In the case of the 2016 Sand Sculpture festival in Garderen, a nod to their sponsors in Thanks for their support, was done in the best way they know how: in sand. BlueBand Margarine and Sporthuis Centrum are two of the festivals sponsors, so these large exhibits are a large Thank You for them.  The rest of the “usual” theme will be resumed after this short commercial break.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Garderen Sand Sculpture Festival

May 19, 2017

Mr Sand Man, Bring Me A Dream… (The Sleepy Sort)

The next exhibit in the Garderen Sand Sculpture festival is all about the “Klaas Vaak“. (The Sandman). The Dutch information text translates as: “Klaas Vaak brings sleep, he sifts the sand after which it is covered in a special room with cobwebs to which a skilled gnome choir is singing songs. That’s how the sand becomes magical, it is now ready to use 356 time per year to close your tired eyes.”

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Garderen Sand Sculpture Festival

« Previous PageNext Page »

Blog at WordPress.com.