World Fine Art Professionals and their Key-Pieces, 136 - Fenneke Hordijk
On the Sparta stadium car park, I get a red rose from a team of campaigners from the Partij van de Arbeid, the Dutch Labor Party, asking for a vote on this party.
I walk a few meters more and then I arrive at the artist complex where Fenneke Hordijk has her studio. She picks me up at the door and once in her studio, she gives the rose a place near a beautifully drawn portrait of Willem Drees, the PvdA prime minister in the fifties. "I bought the portrait in the flea market. It is drawn by Aart van Dobbenburgh. "
Life and mortality
All around us, on the floor, on tables and on the walls are big drawings. She makes some space on one of those tables. On the corner is a bunch of green-purple tulips in a vase that she received on the Open Art Days of the Artist's Complex, a few weeks earlier. The tulips are wilting. But she enjoys looking at them, even though they have had their best time.
This is related to the theme of her work, which is about life and mortality. Fenneke Hordijk: "The power of life and the downfall. That's why I love these tulips too. Life can be a feast until there is a time that everything breaks apart. My work also touches the imperfect, the broken, the perish of things." Behind me lies a very big drawing, where such a falling apart life comes into shape, we will take a closer look.
In that regard, the skin is important. She makes lots of great drawings on this theme. "With the skin I'm always busy, consciously and unconsciously. You live with your skin, you're protected. What you experience does not have to get out right away, yet your skin will be more wrinkled as you live longer.
She portrayed the skin of Japanese 'comfort girls'. "Those girls / women were used in WW II as a thing. In 1985 / '86 it was on the television and in 2010 a number of those women were photographed. Little pieces of their story came out, the shame was great. Many have never told anything.
The poet Han van Wel made poems with the 'Drawn Skins'. One of the skin drawings was exhibited, along with his poem, in 2012 at a memorial exhibition ‘On the Surface’ following the death of two gallerists of the MK gallery, Emmo Grofsmid and Karmin Kartowikromo.
She has made five of these ‘skins’ in total. On the left wall (for me) hangs a drawing with colorful surfaces that depict what they have experienced. The paper is crumpled and covered with graphite pin. This makes the skin look like a metal plate. She has made a whole series of 1.50 x 3.33 meters. Next to it another drawing on the subject that processed original skin moisture she received from Amber Veel, who is engaged in animal preparation.
Also her drawings of landscapes, a second subject, are wrinkled. "I like to give depth, which makes it three-dimensional." She has made a series of landscapes with the title ‘11’. '11' refers to the date 11: NY, September 11, 2001, Madrid, March 11, 2004, Srebrenica, July 11, 1995, Chile, September 11, 1973. The drawn landscapes do and do not tell, just like the skins. She puts four sheets on the floor that together form a whole. I see a city splashing apart with a lot of color and a lot of dynamics. In acrylic. Airplanes from all sides. It was created in response to 9/11 in New York. Centrally a collapsing mass and around it airplanes. The 9/11 work, like this whole series, is made on expensive paper from Tibet that is washed, dried, edited and wrinkled. We walk past the work. On the wall, left of the skin drawings, hangs a big blue work. It is made of blue jeans and hemp rope. They provide a layeredness. Behind the cloth are cloud skies. "It's about the infinite cycle of clouds. Air and water. "
We turn left. On a low table there is a work she has been working on for over a year. It's about infinity. The reason is the death of a friend who died two years ago. There are thousands of thin dots that concentrate to the left to two solid shapes, one of which is rod-shaped. But that is also shattering apart. “People consist of billions of cells. I wanted to experience what a billion means. With a 0.5 pin I put the dots." The two solid shapes I see on the ground in their physical form. They are iron shapes fished out of the river Schie. The rust has corroded the iron. "My main focus is now: how can I make it exciting? The drawing has no volume. There must be voltage. That must happen within a time of now and two weeks. "
We return to the left wall. A drawing with ants paths in the form of double dashes. "So delicate, so fragile." On the window sill, ‘skin sculptures’ made of sheet iron. "It was in a workplace and I could take it. I took a welding course. I burned across the plates." Overhead paper face masks that do not cover the whole face. It looks like Venetian party masks. "I will always be a paper person. I saw a play about Klytemnestra and the assassination of Agamemnon. Then I made these twisted masks. "
The erased city
Beside the landscapes, the city is also an important subject. There is the series 'The Erased City', big black and white cloths of cities on wrinkled paper. The cities she has erased are in ruins, such as Aleppo and Homs, where she was in 2003. By erasing, she makes the cities visible again. To the right such a city is to be seen. It seems a fivefold favela.
A whole different project is about Siert Bruins, the SS man. She made four images of him with charcoal on wrinkled paper, it was made as a photonegative. You see a man who is on guard with a cruel look. "He wanted to erase his past and by wiping him I brought him back again." Bruins died a year ago.
Psalms, she has made a whole series, 142 pieces, about psalms. "I studied Dutch language and literature, I do a lot with poems. The drawings of the Psalms were made because I loved the poems of Lloyd Haft: ‘The Psalms’ edited by him (2003). "The 40-meter scroll with the Psalm drawings was exhibited at the Vlaardingen Museum on the occasion of the Geuzenmaand. "Those heroes who are not heroes, people who are ‘crazy’ in life, I feel bound to, for example the ‘hlbti people’. It's what you get into life and how you act. "
"In response to the ‘Three Hero’s Songs’ by Gerrit Kouwenaar, I have made a drawing about heroes who are not heroes but who, back from the war, wake up with disgust from what they have done."
De Taaltuin (The Language Garden)
Fenneke Hordijk has been drawing since she was young. But she initially chose to be Dutch language teacher, she was a teacher at the PABO, the teachers training college. "I have taught to hundreds of future teachers and visited many schools." Children should firstly associate language with fun, she thinks. In this regard, she has set up the Taaltuin project, a language playground in which children can jump and play on objects that are linked with language such as the Springletterpaaltjesveld, with different sized heights, there is also a Word snake, a Maths Tree and a Bottom Up Slide.
Soon there will be new hop planks, called Poetry Skots. "They are unique play equipments, connected with language and poetry." There are two good architects connected to The Taaltuin and a Dutch playground company. A wood and metal factory in Germany produces it. All play objects have a European safety assessment. The language playground in Delfshaven was opened in April 2015 by Mayor Aboutaleb. The new Bottom Up Slide has been unveiled this year by Jan Terlouw.
Only when she was around forty years she definitely chose for art. She followed classes at the Willem de Kooning Academy and learned to know artists and teachers. One of them was teacher Otto Egberts who said about her psalm project: ‘That's a monument you make.’ Together with him she has exhibited. "Only then, at that exposition, when people asked me for the story, I could say 'I'm the artist'. I was already more than 50 years.”
Finally, asked for a philosophical conclusion, she says: "I am talking about life and the awareness of mortality. I can work for a long time on one theme, time is closely linked to my work. "
1) A drawn city, 2) A broken city, 3) Drawn skin 1, 4) Drawn skin 2, 5) Drawn city, 6) Drawn land, 7) Language playground, 8) Series 11 NY (detail), 9 ) Fenneke Hordijk studio, 10) infinity, 11) Fenneke Hordijk