In mountain countries such as Nepal and Bolivia natural stones and large pebbles are piled up by pedestrians. This way turrets are being formed and will continuously grow. Occasionally stones fall of, then a passer-by puts them back or builds on the new piles that are arising. One of the uses of these turrets is that they show, even if it has snowed, how people can continue their path. This “joint building” idea intrigues me tremendously and it is one of the main starting points for Take my Knowledge. We will have to build together to continue and find our path.
In the sculpture I build with layers instead of with stones. Each layer got its own meaning, all together they create a firm base.
The first layer refers to earth, processing soil, agriculture. It is related to the University’s foundation.
In the second layer, literacy is expressed. Therefore I used the letters of the name of the first female professor at the University of Wageningen. May many women follow her example.
In addition you will find a number of spiral shapes in this layer. I discovered that basic colors of clay match with skin colors of people. Because the WUR accommodates people with many different cultural backgrounds, I’ve used these clays for the coils. The spiral shape itself is found in cultures in Latin America, Africa and Asia. Often it is used as the symbol of growth, progress and development. So did I.
The third layer is about openness. In order to make changes an open attitude is needed.
The upper part of the dress can be viewed in detail. You will discover structures that could exist in nature, such as cells, seeds, leaves, etcetera. It refers to the knowledge and experience of this talented woman.
In an exhibition a couple of years ago a boy came to me and asked: “Madam, why does this lady have the brains outside of her head?”. I found this such a genius idea that I used a brain-structure for her hat. This way she shows her intelligence. In her hand she displays an object with the same structure that symbolizes a piece of knowledge. Take her knowledge, she offers it to you!