Friday, May 22, 2015

European Textile Network Conference

I'm just back from the ETN conference in Leiden, Netherlands.  This post gives a highlight or two from each of the eight days I spent there at pre and post conference tours as well as the conference itself on the weekend.
If it's Tuesday, it's the room full of Itchikato Kabuto's kimonos, hand stitched and with shibori dyeing.  Held at the Siebold Huis museum in Leiden, the Netherlands, the site of the 17th ETN conference.
If it's Wednesday it's the Textile Museum in Tilberg.  Here, one of the old machines threaded with linen to weave damask.

Several exhibitions were on view in Tilberg.  This Town-house wall piece was woven by Kiki Van Eijk in 2012.  
 She developed this piece at the Tilberg contemporary weaving Lab.
 If it's Thursday, it is the beautifully restored Riksmuseum in Amsterdam.  Above, one of the ceilings painted by contemporary artist, Richard Wright.
If it's Thursday, I'm still in Amsterdam at the Stedelijk museum, taking in the Oasis of Matisse exhibition.  Above, Acanthus, painted and cut paper on paper mounted on canvas.
If it's Friday, it's the European Textile Network's general assembly meeting.  Above is Beatrijs Sterk, one of the founders of the ETN in 1981 and now stepping down as the Secretary General.  There was some concern that the ETN might not be able to go on without her, but the conferences will continue, the next one being in Boras Sweden in 2017.   The conferences have been held all over Europe in different cities, the 2015 conference (the 17th) was the first organized in Beatrijs' home country of The Netherlands.
If it's Friday, it's the Leiden textile festival.  Many galleries and museums with exhibitions and workshops to tour, all focused on fibre art.  These wall pieces are by celebrated Dutch artist, Barbara Broekman.
 It is important to Brokeman that her work carry the quality of the hand's touch and she works with groups of other people to create her work.  These pieces are embellished with previously embroidered table linens, the embroideries cut out and applied in new ways.
"Textiles are connected to every body, the manual and hand crafted is essential.  Labour goes hand in hand with our inner creativity, the creation is visible and tangible and therefore more understandable by others."  Barbara Broekman
If it's Saturday, it is the conference proper with a program of lectures on wide variety of material art topics.  The conference weekend was held in the Volken Kunde museum  in Leiden.  Above, one of the 1648 Japanese Buddha's in the Buddha room.
If it's Sunday, then there are more lectures all day in the Volken Kunde museum's conference room. Elsewhere in the galleries,  Magnetism, contemporary artist Ahmed Mater's depiction of the pilgrimage to Mecca is a highlight.
 If it's Monday, it's a visit to de Zaanse Schans to see the old homes and few remaining working windmills.  We visited a windmill that ground artist pigments from minerals
Also on Monday, we visited the preserved village of Marken to see the hand embroidered traditional costumes.  Above are examples of black work ribbons.

Then if it's Tuesday again, it's the Rijswick Biennale of textile art in the beautifully renovated and restored Rijswick museum.  19 artists were selected from 300 to participate in the 4th Biennale.
 This linen piece is by Raija Jokinen from Finland.
Tuesday was the last day I spent in Leiden.  I want to thank my dear friends Marjan and Wim for hosting me the entire week.  Wim was my chauffeur, getting me to the variety of events on time and Marjan often accompanied me to the exhibitions.  Her familiarity with the trains and trams made it easy for us to set an independent schedule.   I feel very full right now of all the artwork and ideas...and need more time to reflect on everything.  This post is just a taste.


  1. Gosh, I am in love with that starry ceiling Judy, what an inspiring post all 'round!

  2. It was good you took advantage to see so much while you were here ;-)

  3. Anonymous3:20 am


  4. You really saw a lot of interesting things in Leiden and Tilburg. Thanks for the pics because i could'nt go.
    That ceiling in the Rijks is my favorite......i cant stop looking at it when i visit.

  5. I Need time to reflect on so much stimulation. I am not used to so many people and exhibitions and other stuff. This trip came on the heels of our week in Newfoundland and delivering and opening of The meditation panel exhibition in Southern Ontario. I have to lie down a lot now.

  6. love the Brokeman work, thanks for the introduction to her--and the blackword ribbons--delicious

  7. a fascinating post Judy, thank you so much for sharing your experiences and inspirations, in particular the introduction to Itchiku Kubota. I went straight to the website about him and saw the marvellous Symphony of Light kimono, such wonderfully delicate work and such an inventive use of shibori - magical

  8. I was lucky to visit Leiden once many years ago - to be there with all that art and cloth would totally blow my mind! Thanks for giving us a small taste - hope to see more.

  9. what a rich trip. you must be amazed with the riches.

  10. I am so intrigued with the kimonos and the hand stitching. Is it a design stitched in-like quilting?


  11. Wonderful post. Thank you for including your images and insightful thoughts with us. What a swell trip!

  12. What a wonderful trip~wow, your head must have almost exploded with all of that. Just gorgeous. To see those kimono in person~~dream.


Thank you for taking the time to connect. Much appreciated.xx