The Dress

Just around the corner where I live is an art gallery and atelier focussing on paper as the material to work with. I am the proud owner of a Tyvek cutting made by a dear friend, the artist Hannah Oud-Biemold who currently has a work exhibited at the ‘Paleis het Loo’ royal palace in Apeldoorn. Thirdly I am currently working on the first novel in the trilogy ‘Lachrymae’ about three female sitters for 19th century painters, all very Victorian.

These three facts in combination triggered me when I accidentily gazed at the shopwindow of the ‘Whispering Wall’ gallery in the Weimarstraat, the one I mentioned. In that shopwindow is a full size Victorian dress made of paper. Actually made of snippits and left overs from wallpaper. The dress is made by an artist I didn’t know at the time. A phone call later made me aware that it is Annelies Morris, an artist who lives in my neighbourhood who made the dress.

paper dressPaper cutting dress by Annelies Morris at the Whispering Wall in The Hague.

I love the dress. It has the distinctive shape of Victorian dresses and the use of the snippits and cutting for the skirt give the impression of layers of petticoats and nicely patterned textiles. It could have been a wedding dress but that somehow is not my first thought while looking at it. The black birds on the dress add drama and give is a touch of an Edgar Allan Poe mystery. The hat is connected with that and resembles something of a top hat in shape but more feminine.

It’s nice to find a piece of co-incedental art (I understood it was something that was made as a free art project) that is both realistic in shape and form but challenging in material and use of that material. It has a poetic quality, something that could be the basis of a sonnet or love poem and makes me guess what type of woman would wear a dress like this. In 1880 or so. And a bit further in my thoughts I wonder how my sitters and actrices who populate my stories would look in creations like this.

For anyone with a desire (or craving) to see this wonderful creation:

Whispering Wall
Weimarstraat 56
2562 GZ  The Hague

The gallery / shop is open from Wednesday to Saturday from 12PM to 6PM.



Some time ago a Dutch publisher got an idea. Why not make books that fit in matchboxes? Tiny little handmade books of interesting authors and beautifully illustrated. Squeezed into the tine space of the little matchbox. A perfect little gift for book lovers.

He went to Facebook and started a page.

I found the page, became a fan and did nothing.

And then all of a sudden last week Emmanuel van Leeuwe, the guy I mentioned earlier, send me a Facebook message. I was selected to receive a free Matchboox book. And I got excited. After echanging my address I waited for the mailman to deliver the little miracle and within a few days it was there.

And what a surprise it is. A book from Sylvia Witteman (the cooking books writer) beautifully illustrated by Nanne Meulendijk. Stashed in a matchbox with a great little cover. About what to eat when Obama comes along for dinner. Minestrone is a charm, a beautiful little treasure a little book to read and let read. To show to friends who without exception are puzzled first but become enthusiastic later.

So now I am totally in love with these Matchboox. This is not a commercial but I can safely say that I will Matchboox as presents for people I really like. A carefully selected beautiful for my long distance love who stole my heart and who needs a matchbox to keep it safe and close by. Another one for my daughter, I know she’ll love it.

As a writer an visual artist (film and photo) I feel the desire to make a Matchboox book. To get it published. It is the best format for a poem and so I wonder if that would one day become true. My own Matchboox with my own book. Handmade, beautifully crafted and personal. A gift to cherish.

More info? Check and join the Facebook page.

Alice © 2012