A Mosaic of Lost Ones – The exhibition in Hoftuin

The exhibition was displayed in the Hoftuin in Amsterdam. Our work was shown from September 28 until October 26, 2023. We have also published a book titled ‘A Mosaic of Lost Ones’ with text in Dutch and English, available for purchase on our website.

We’ve received numerous positive responses. The stories and pictures have inspired others to reflect on what they have retained from their lost loved ones. It has been heartwarming to witness how our work has come to life in the experiences of the audience.

Visitors shared their own stories

On a Sunday in October, I invited my Swedish friends to join me in visiting the exhibition. Especially for the occasion, Agneta wore her mother’s dress for the first time. It was a fashionable model for elderly women from the turn of the millennium. Although it was more than twenty years old, it still looked as good as new. However, what emotions did this evoke? Agneta shared that she felt a bit awkward and serious. I was moved by the dress and how brave she was standing there. It brought back memories of the clothes I bought for my own mother when she was so ill that she could only lie down.

Gratitude to the participants

This work has come into being thanks to everyone who stood in front of the camera with us, exploring how memories manifest in the skin. For months, Chaja van Kollem and I welcomed people into my living room, transformed into a studio. Participants came to us because they wanted to share their stories. The sessions were lengthy, and as photography and conversation intertwined, the emotions surfaced. I want to express my admiration and gratitude to all the courageous individuals who dared to show their moving vulnerability.

A wonderful location

When I think about it, there could not have been a better place for our exhibition than here. The garden provided everything our project needed – a beautiful, peaceful space for contemplation and serious discussions.

However, I did have some sleepless nights, before I came up with a solution for the outdoor presentation. My sleep returned the moment the concrete blocks and steel constructions in my imagination gave way to something more manageable. Now, the installation became tactile, flexible, and lively as the human scale was introduced. Meanwhile, a seemingly random placement of the works on the lawn (carefully organized by Chaja) invited people to come closer and engage. Soon, the winding paths in the grass showed that people indeed came close to look and read.

Finally, I want to extend many thanks to Mireille van Gils from Humanitas, who invited us to exhibit together with the Wind Phone, and to the Diaconie, who thought it was a good idea. Thanks to Ymer Marinus for creative ideas and design, and, of course, to all our supporters who contributed to the project, AfK, and Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds.

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