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Pauline Nijenhuis


Price: €1910

Measurements: 86 x 89 cm

Explanation on the artwork

Responding to a work of art from the past means putting myself back in the time when the work was made, in the person who made it and what he or she wanted to say. How does the artist arrive at this idea and how do I view it NOW? And now this gobelin is right in front of me. And I may, lucky me, give my reaction, literally and figuratively with my vision in 2022.
I chose, primarily, for a Gobelin tapestry (size 86 x 89 cm) because in my current mixed media work I mainly focus on textiles.

The gobelin shows a romantic rococo scene of two rich white ladies, sitting on a bench in an idyllic mountain landscape by a lake, surrounded with roses and tulips.

What if the ladies on the gobelin were black? Like in the popular American Netflix series Bridgerton where many noblemen and even the British Queen are black.

Many developments are instigating a turning point in our society in terms of tolerance for other cultures and a different view of relationships in history. Think e.g. of the ‘Zwarte Piet’ discussion and – worldwide – of Black Live Matters. Amsterdam mayor Femke Halsema apologized on behalf of Amsterdam for the role of the capital in slavery and King Willem-Alexander decided not to use the Golden Coach for the time being. And it's not just about political or government positions. Research by the Social Cultural Planning Office (SCP) from 2018 indicates that more than a quarter of the Dutch still experience discrimination.

Take art with its critical reflection of the world. It is not for nothing that even in 'our' art world there is more attention and interest for women, gender, skin color and other minority issues.
My Remastered work will be called 'If...?'. Because, suppose our society now looks like it did in the 18th century, with people in prominent roles and a different color than white? By the way: I myself am a white, female artist who is not so young anymore.

Curious to see the process? Below a before and after of the artwork.

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