I have been in France for about a week now with Monika and her family, as well as another intern who is also from France. The first few days the kids and grandkids were here so the house was full of energy and of course food! We spent some time going over the studio and the garden here at the house. She has a lovely home and studio here in the countryside – jealous… Friday we went to the market in Rennes and did a little walking around the old part of the city. I must say one of the things I am really going to miss about Europe is the markets. We have a good market in Detroit MI but I may need to get my sister to go market hunting with me when I am in Virginia. When traveling I promise myself that I will try all food offered to me, even if it seems like it would turn my stomach or is something I normally don’t partake of. Monika has made me a tomato lover… I know I cannot believe it either but I eat them almost every day now. They are not big meat eaters and with the garden and the before mentioned market it is really easy to eat good produce. Also, to the surprise of all the members of the household I also REALLY enjoyed a strange strange sausage… that was made of tripe. Go figure. Tomatos and intestines YUM. Ha.
Getting back to the non food part of my time in France ….
The first day here I got right to work for Monika. I only have a three week period and there is much to be done so I figured I wouldn’t waste any time. She has a few deadlines coming up so I am helping her with some ring projects while Anne is helping with some cross stitch. Thank whoever for Anne! I know how to cross stitch for my own pleasure but as simple as it may look this work is precise and intense. I could do it… but I know I would take about four times longer than Anne or Monika. Me thinks I shall stick to the jewelers bench for the time being thank you. I wont talk too much about the work because I really want everyone to enjoy the finished product. What I will say is that I find it fun, interesting and very much Monika Brugger. Tomorrow I will ask where she will be showing so that you may all keep up with the activity.
Gardens, Markets, Cats, Metals, Stitches… and spiders.
France I really am enjoying you.
-More to come soon-
You know it is funny that I didn’t think about the fact that this blog doesn’t include my time in Germany at all. So I think I will do a recap post one of these days to share some of my adventures and inspirations gained from the time I spent there.
My venture to Nijmegen was brought on by the Galerie Marzee exhibition as well as my first appointment with artist Monika Brugger. Every year Marzee has a show featuring students who have just gotten their diplomas (from various levels of schools such as Undergraduate and Graduate, etc.) There was one student from Cranbrook, Young he Hong, who I recently caught up with in Amsterdam before the exhibition. During and after Marzee I chatted with many of the students who were included in the show. I was also fortunate enough to spend a good amount of time with the two artists from France, Marion Delarue and Marie Masson. Young he and Marie do not have a web page that I know of but please look at Marion’s pages for more information about her work.
Hello All. I am now in France and will be quite busy with limited access to the internet. Look forward to some long posts in the next few days about Marzee and my time here in Rennes :)
Thursday ended up being a pretty calm day at the apartment in Amsterdam during which I did some cleaning and packing for my next adventure. The next day I left in the morning after a chat with my landlady. Once I arrived in Nijmegen I passed out for a few hours unexpectedly. I don’t normally have that kind of reaction after a simple train trip but I guess it was really needed.
That night when I woke up from my post travel nap everything was closed and very quiet here in the city center of Nijmegen. Being able to roam around at twilight was very nice among the old architecture and cafes. After doing a little research I found out that Nijmegen is considered the ‘oldest city’ in the Netherlands due to the area being very popular among travelers, especially the Romans. So, Saturday I decided to go to the local museum Het Valkhof which ended up being just down the street from where my bed and breakfast is. It was an interesting museum in that it was about 50% Roman artifacts and 50% modern work. I enjoyed a good amount of the Roman pieces, but with the modern art it was pretty normal in that there was some good and some bad when it comes to my taste/opinion.
After the museum I went to the Het Valkhof park and took a look at the remnants of the castle that use to be located there. I admit though it was really strange to be in the middle of an old castle area only to find a giant rabbit sculpture that people go inside of for sight seeing. Other than the castle and rabbit there was also a nice view of a well-known bridge that had been built in the 1930’s that had had a lot of attention in the museum. All of this exploring did not take very long so I continued back down my street and enjoyed the Saturday market that was happening. It was not as extensive as that in Amsterdam but it still had some interesting vendors.
Around three or four I met up with Marie Masson, a student of Monika Brugger’s in France. She was in town for the show at Galerie Marzee as well so we had dinner and got to know one another and talk about work. She had some very nice pieces in the exhibition and it was great to speak with her about her concept and experiences with Monika.
On Monday Carson and I decided to check out Rembrandthuis and Rembrandtplein. The Rembrandthuis was pretty interesting in that it was not so much a Rembrandt museum but a recreation of his living space. It was a true to form Amsterdam house in that it was multiple narrow floors with plenty of steps to be enjoyed. Each floor had a different feel to it. The first floor was reminiscent of a showroom. Involving a sort of gallery space with paintings for view and for sale by Rembrandt and other artists. Also on the first floor was a room for entertaining and sleeping. As you went up the stairs we got to see more of his personal living and workspaces ranging from his bedroom, a printing room, a painting room and a room for his collection of inspirational and referential objects. There were not many paintings or etchings by Rembrandt in the space but that is not to say what was there wasn't good. The prints by Rembrandt as well as other artists were impressive. Being able to compare his style to the other artists was pretty much the highlight of the visit. This allowed viewers to see and appreciate traditional clean crisp etchings in comparison to his more free style approach.
Tuesday was the 'big museum' day for us. We had planned to spend the whole day in the Rijkmuseum at museumplein. Much to our disappointment the Rijkmuseum is being worked on, therefore more than half of the collection was not available for viewing. What we did get to see was of course beautiful and worth a visit but we knew it wasn't everything. Taking time to look at the museum books in the gift shop we got an idea of what we were missing. I must say though, its just another reason to come back to the lovely city of Amsterdam. Rijkmuseum also does not allow photos so I won't be sharing any with you here. Lovely paintings, great sculptures, great etchings, wonderfully crafted metal pieces as well as woodworking.
Since the Rijkmuseum didn't take as long as we had estimated we headed over to the Stedelijk Museum. The Stedelijk is a modern and contemporary art museum also located on Museumplein. Lucky for us... we also missed out on some of its work due to areas being closed off for installation. It had some interesting work and some not so interesting work but I guess that is to be expected since you can't always like everything. I will say one surprise was that they had a section of contemporary jewelry on display. One artist I recognized right away was Andi Gut, the professor I met with in Pforzheim Germany a few weeks ago. Following the jewelry display was a selection of design, mainly chairs. Of course we both spotted the Eams and Bertolli pieces that they had, seeing as they connected to Cranbrook and all.
After we left museumplein we decided to get an argentinian steak since Jelka suggested we try them before leaving the city. I must say, it was worth the money! I am a fan of steak and these were good steaks for sure. Seeing as we had an early dinner we also thankfully missed the rush of the dinner crowd. Funny thing about an early dinner though is... we then had a late dinner at Burger Meester. So much food, but it was all so good.
This morning Carson left pretty early so I went back to sleep for a while before picking up some groceries for today and tomorrow. Spent the day packing and doing travel prep since I leave Amsterdam in two days. Friday I will head to Nijmegen for the Marzee show this weekend. While I am there I will meet with Monika Brugger and then head off to France on the 9th. To say the least I am very excited to see the graduate's show at Marzee and to head off to France for the final stretch of my trip. Tomorrow will be a pretty chill day. I will keep working on this little project I have started and perhaps head out one more time to take in the city.