a journey

Short video


Essay book, a journey
Selection of photos

a journey is a recollection of my experience of Benedictine hospitality from Limberg to Groningen, through various mediums.

“… so I ask(ed) father Van der Laan, I was here when he died, in ‘91, I asked him if it was possible to, to create an architecture, building in a feminine way.”
(A mobile phone starts to ring, and brother Mark silently quiets it from under his robes while continuing to talk.)
He says “Yes, it would be possible. It would be possible, but I would need a second life to create it.”
So he was conscious of the problem. And, yeah, so (I) think there is a challenge for us to…

To live?

Yes, and also to reflect on what to do with it, the building.
To respect it, but to search a complement.
Conversation with Brother Mark, St. Benedictusberg Abbey

Hospitality is one of the Catholic Church’s most fundamental, and beautiful traditions. In the book of Genesis there is the story of Abraham’s hospitality toward three strangers. One of St. Benedict’s rule for living a Catholic life states; “All guests who present themselves are to be welcomed as Christ, for he himself will say: I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” In the beginning of my journey through ‘religion’ I did not know what to expect. Eventually this journey took me to various places, and made me meet many people. And as I went through my journey I pondered on what this experience meant. For me the journey itself was about being observant, being patient, and having a sincere interest of this new reality that is unfolding before me. Now in retrospect, what I have experienced was the generous spirit of sharing from the Saint Benedictusberg Abbey in Limberg, a province located in the far south of the Netherlands; and later on from Oosterhouw and Wongema, two places in Groningen, almost to the dike on the far north of Holland.

Although not intentional, my visits to Vaals and Groningen together have taken me on an interesting voyage. I have enjoyed the rolling pastures of Benedictusberg and endured the overwhelming wind along the dijk of Hornhuisen. I have experienced the somber ritualistic feasts of the monks and the elaborate hearty cuisine amongst friends. I have appreciated the monumental simplicity and straight forwardness of Dom Hans van der Laan, and was enthralled by the abundance and warmness of Oosterhouw. And from both places I have experienced the spirit of generous hospitality.
excerpt from a journey

Throughout the journey, by means of essays, photography, video and audio I attempted to document the experience that I was going through. In the end I resulted with a number of videos, an essay book and a material study on paper. All of this was different ways of portraying my experience. As for the material study, paper has always fascinated me. On this occasion I was inspired by my experience in the Saint Benedictusberg Abbey, and from the architecture of Dom Hans van der Laan. I experimented with the ambiguous ‘lightness’ of paper; it being translucent and it being lightweight. There is a beauty in the transparency and fragility of paper. Although most of the time it is the arches and towers that are built from steel and stone that last to impress, I believe there is a subtle beauty to appreciate from the transient.

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