English translation blog thanks
to Emilin Lap, lapvertalingen.nl
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the whole story…
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the latest news!
11 + 18 september 2016
de Atelierroute Utrecht 2016,
son 1, son 2 ánd son 3 will
be present! At Wolvenburg,
(former prison), Wolvenplein 27.
21 March 2016
Mission (more than;)
11 February 2016
Yessss! We’re on:
voordekunst.nl until the
21th March 2016
Check out the site:
22 December 2015
Christmas break. Son 3,
finished in plaster. Of course,
we are looking for ways to
immortalize Jozua, too.
In the new year we will reach
our goal through crowdfunding,
www.voordekunst.nl… From the
category new year’s resolutions 😉
How do people in Ghana celebrate
Christmas and New Year’s? A lot
of people go to church. Jozua says
that in Ghana it is rather ‘weird’
to believe ‘nothing’. There are
several religions but the majority
is Christian. That is no problem
in Ghana, and all religions exist
side by side in peace. Thus, in
Ghana some people celebrate the
Jewish New Year and a Christian
can say Allaaaah.
In the Ghanaian churches people
sing and dance abundantly.
The Ghanaian people love
celebrations… and they mean
business. The preparations for
Christmas often start moths
The traditional Christmas eve
dinner is specially boiled rice
with goat or chicken stew or soup.
After diner everybody goes to
the annual sermon in church.
Friends, family members but also
‘strangers’ are invited. Many people
believe that celebrations help
them to strengthen the bond with
A traditional folk ritual during
the Christmas celebrations is
drinking from a cup and spilling
some of the contents on the floor
as a symbolic offering to their
ancestors. The celebrations also
serve to clean all ‘old’ things,
and make sure you enter the new
year in good faith and filled
“Afehyapa”* for all!
Let’s make it a good one 🙂
*Happy New year
(literally: Year meets good)
25 March 2015
I am me and you are you,
let’s see whether we can connect
the dots… The basic shape is the
‘up-side-down egg’, and then what?
This week’s tip: create a large
form. Forget that you are doing a
portrait, look at it as if you’re
designing a building.
No nose, no eyes, no mouth, but
study the shape from all sides.
Observe convex curves and caves?
Everything will be alright.
We aren’t nearly there, but
we’re on our way…
11 March 2015
2nd session. What I love about
Jozua is that he is as interested
in modelling as I am. He works
alongside me! He wants to portray
his grandmother and my focus is
Don’t just look, but feel, too.
Sometimes it helps to close your
eyes, is what the ‘teacher’ says;)
This is what she does, anyway.
Slowly but surely, the portrait
will come alive.
The miracle we can’t ‘mould’
because it just happens. And
that takes time. And we will
take all the time we need,
without any hurry… Heaven!
23 February 2015
Time flies and I flew with it,
fast and furious. All of a sudden,
it’s 2015… My SevenSons project
was halted for a while, but
Sebastiaan and Amin weren’t.
They were part of the Utrecht
Art Route and they had a
prominent position in the
As I write they are in the
community house Podium Oost,
and they’re loving it :).
However, today’s good news
is that I found Son 3!
His name is Jozua and he is
from Ghana. It took a while
but you can’t hurry art…
I am over the moon that I
have found another beautiful
model. To be continued!
18 February 2015
I dropped off some
posters for the ‘sculpturing
and modelling for children’
classes by Marijke de Groot
and myself at primary school
de Notenboom. I gave some art
classes here when I was
studying at BIK (professional
artists in the classroom).
My traineeship was quite
successful, both for the school
and me, so I ended up staying a
(fair) bit longer than planned.
I stopped for a chat with one
of the teachers, Marcel, and
he asked after my SevenSons
project. Well…Not much activity
going on there, lately.
‘You wouldn’t know any suitable
candidate for son 3, would
you?’. ‘Indeed, I do. Jozua!’,
was his quick answer. It had
been a while (late 2013), but
I remembered Jozua from the first
series of classes at de Notenboom.
That time I had asked the
children to translate a feeling
to a shape through sculpturing.
We worked with word cards.
The children chose a word and
used that as a starting
point to model. They could
either do an abstract or
figurative piece. I remembered
a lively hardworking boy who
told me that his uncle was an
artist, too, and that he had
done some paining himself.
I look him up in my digital
archive, and look…isn’t that
great!? I think Jozua went
with the word ‘happy’.
It suits the statue as much
as it suits its maker. I love
how one thing always leads
to another. ‘The genius of
life is movement’ (the German
poet, Julius Hammer).
My SevenSons project is back
on track and it feels so good.
31 December 2013
The digital silence (on this
Too engaged with setting
up my new BIK-training
Completed a commissioned relief
of Anahita, the Persian goddess
of love and fertility, on the last
day of 2013. A lovely way to
close the year.
Eventually, it all comes down
to love… (which comes in
I am confident I will meet
Son no. 3 in the New Year.
Maybe he is lighting some
firecrackers as we speak.
Utrecht is seriously
Not long now before we will
raise our glasses to a creative,
healthy and loving 2014!
June 27, 2013
The icing on the cake, the
SevenSonsProject has made
the papers, I am thrilled!
Now, it’s time for a digital-
free summer. And then?
We search for Son 3.
He is out there somewhere,
I can’t wait to meet him…
June 21, 2013
Final date of the SevenSons
Project on crowd funding sites
Son 2 of the SevenSonsProject,
Amin, is 100 % sponsored by
the first! Thank you, friends
The SevenSonsProject is seriously
taking of… Cultural stockbroker
Pieternel Linssen thought that
the project was perfect for the
Treaty of Utrecht (Utrecht
celebrating 300 years of
peace in 2013) and I couldn’t
Therefore, up to August 31,
Amin and Sebastiaan will be
exhibited on their ‘life size’
stands with digital slideshow,
in the foyer on the second
floor of the new emergency
care center of the Diakonessen-
huis in Utrecht. It wasn’t easy
to get everything done in time
for the celebrations. But in the
end, with the help of Stan
Roncken, developer and builder
of life size stands and bronze
caster Yakov Sala, we pulled it off.
Victoria! Hasta la Paz siempre •
Peace for ever
21 March 2013
The process of making a portrait
is threefold. The first phase is
clay. Followed by plaster. This
phase is my working phase.
Plaster is immensely versatile
because of the hardness of the
material, which is useful, for
instance, for sculpting the hair.
Amin went from clay to plaster
in the winter of 2012/2013.
In the third and last phase
the portrait will go to the
bronze caster. Bronze is a
wonderful material. It allows
deepness and the difference is
literally and metaphorically
tangible, bronze is for eternity.
In the near future, we will try
to get Amin to phase three by
means of www.voordekunst.nl
22 December 2012
Christmas holidays. One last
modelling session in 2012, before
I enter a much needed (digital)
winter break. Time for
contemplation and peace.
A special time, closing one year,
starting over. A decorated
Christmas tree in my living room.
Where did this tradition of the tree
come from? During the month of
December, the Germanic tribes
decorated green branches with
red apples as a sign of fertility.
They celebrated the lengthening
of the days that would start at
the end of December. The fertile
season is brewing! Later on, the
church took this Germanic feast
and made it Christmas, the
celebration of the birth of
Jesus of Nazareth.
Christians and Muslims alike
think of Jesus as the Messiah
who will return to earth at the
end of times. Both believe that
Jesus is the son of Mary
(or Maryam in Islam).
Christians, however, see Jesus
as the Son of God, while Muslims
perceive Isa (Jesus in Islam) as
an important prophet. There is a
Christmas tree in Amin’s house,
he says. A Christmas tree with
decorations, but no peak, but he
doesn’t know why, exactly.
I don’t know exactly why we have
one either. Some people feel that
the peak resembles the North Star;
others claim it looks like an apple
on a stick, like in Germanic times.
Amin doesn’t get any presents for
Christmas but he does buy
fireworks. The use of fireworks
is another Germanic tradition.
They used it to scare of evil
spirits of the year gone by and
welcome new spirits.
Both Amin and Sebastiaan are
so exited. Nothing beats playing
with fireworks (although most
moms beg to differ…)
Fortunately, December 21th
turned into December 22nd.
So much for the End of Times…
Hopefully, we will be on this
wonderful earth for a while
longer, to celebrate our feasts
and live happily ever after!
1 December 2012
Visual arts are without subject.
Therefore, we are not copying
a head, we are ‘letting it go’.
“By letting go it all gets done.”
(Lao-Tse, chinese philosopher)
The basis for all art forms is
freedom. And this takes trust…
We’ll get ‘there’ Amin, so
stand tall and stay cool!
21 November 2012
Wednesday afternoon, one week
after the original date, Amin
comes home with Sebastiaan.
The other Wednesday he had
to compete in the school soccer
tournament, is way more
important, obviously (first
runner up!). First, we eat and
then go on to the workshop.
Amin proves to be a pleasant
and patient model. After making
several rounds and then turning
some more on the plateau on
wheels, which holds the ‘model
chair’ the first sketch, is a fact.
We are off!
But we are nowhere there,
of course. This is just the start
of my (long) search for a little
piece of Amin…
The armature is all clean and ready
for a new adventure. It all started
with a cube. This is my consistent
Tim Bouwhuis legacy. A cube?
Yes, a cube is the foundation for
us to build on. It is a peaceful
base. From this quiet place you
can start to move. To look for
directions, surfaces, connections.
27 October 2012
Visiting Amin. Asking permission
from Amin’s mother for him to join
my project. Amin wants to, now
we need permission. I’m exited.
My son Sebastiaan is with me.
We are lucky, today is Eid al-Adha,
the Feast of the Sacrifice.
What is the Feast of the Sacrifice?
She explains. And I Googled it.
The Feast is a celebration in
remembrance of the prophet
Ibrahim who was prepared to
sacrifice his son upon God’s
command. Fortunately, an angel
stopped him, the knife didn’t cut
and a ram was sacrificed instead.
Eid al-Adha is the Major Festival
and on this day Muslims sit down
together to eat the meat of
sacrificed animals and/or share
it with the poor, neighbours,
family members. Some Muslims
celebrate for three or even four
days.The festival reminds Muslims
that they must be prepared to
sacrifice everything for God,
like Ibrahim who was willing to
sacrifice his son.
When Sebastiaan and I arrive
around two thirty, a few family
members are already in the room.
The table laden with delicious
sweets and cookies. The coffee
and whipped cream they get
me is lovely. A warm welcome.
Amin’s mother and I talk about
our sons and their schools.
Another world, another history,
but similar stories and
experiences. Amin and Sebastiaan
have both switched schools, both
because of their mothers. The
mothers want nothing but the
best for their sons (although the
sons may not always agree on this…).
A little over an hour later,
Sebastiaan and I leave the house,
happy and laughing. Me, thrilled
that Amin is allowed to model
for me. Sebastiaan, happy to be
holding another bag of candy
to take home. Kick-off is
mid-November, I can’t wait!
Utrecht, 24 September 2012
My project ‘SevenSons’
There is no escaping my passion
for sculpting in clay. I have a son
who was ‘born again’ in 2012 only
this time in bronze. He is Dutch
with a touch of the orient; of Java.
The search to find his inner being
and depicting this in clay was not
easy but very fascinating.
Sculpting a child is an enormous
challenge, a journey, their story
still to be told.
What determines the course
of this story? Their facial features?
Their character traits? Their
innocence? Their talents?
Where they are born?
So many differences and yet
so many similarities.
Everyone a different story but
in all probability many having
the same desires and dreams.
The Netherlands (and Utrecht
where I live) is a melting pot
of cultural diversity.
I find that this enriches our
society and the Dutch cuisine
adding new spices, foods and
As everywhere else in the world
this gelling of different cultures
brings along with it misunder-
standing and friction.
Friction also generates warmth.
My aim is to reflect this warmth
in the 7 sculptures of the 7 sons
showing the different roots
originating from different cultures.
My wish is to have the completion
of the 7 sons in 2017 in bronze.
Harmonious blending of cultures
is something we all wish for.
My son Sebastian is son number 1.
In november I want to start with
son number 2: Amin Belyandouz,