“Mythen” exibition by Othilia Verdurmen


Last Friday I travelled to Deventer to see the “Mythen” (“Myth”) by Othilia Verdurmen. She is a visual artist whose work, in her own words,  “takes place at the interface of visual art and theatre”. Her works are often large, colourful and are shown with a light plan and a sound scape, making for a full sound and vision experience that takes the visitor along in the world she has created. The pictures on Featured Mag are usually in black and white, but for this exhibit, I’ve made an exeption.

First, I walked up a mountain to the Bergkerk (“Mountain Church”).

Yup, I’m in the right place!

Once inside, I first watched three short documentaries in which Othilia herself talks about her work: about what fascinates her, her work process, how she gets started, the themes she uses, how she selects her materials and how all of this ends up a complete work of art. In short:  she reads a lot, looks at a lot of different materials (also at building supply stores!) and at some point just starts making something, out of which the rest follows.

This is an extreme close up from her work “Penelope and Odysseus”: she used copper mesh (like I said, building supply store) to embroider one of the many suitors of Penelope. She explained the fact that she didn’t embroider all 100 of them by saying that it took her three days to embroider this one already, something anyone who’s ever embroidered, can understand.

This is a close up from one of her other works, “The Secret of the Ocean”. Looking at it from one side, it just looked like a shell, but from this side it’s a face(mask). The light shone on the materials gives this work the impression of being bioluminescent.

Another close up, which shows how she mixes materials like fabric, plastic and beads, and also shows how detailled and labor intensive her art is.

In the back: The Secret of the Ocean. In front: The Phoenix.

An overview of two of her works in the space. While it does not do the works justice, it does give an idea about the scale: yes, that is an actual church organ in the back. The Phoenix (actually, there’s two: a dead one in front and a living one in the back) is of course my favorite work. The creation of this piece took a long time due to an actual fire in her workshop, that destroyed the first, almost complete version of this work. She used the bird that “died” in the fire for this incarnation of this work, it’s the blue bird in the front.

I find it difficult to write more about this exhibit, as these are very clearly works that need to be experienced: the magnitude, the intricate details, the combination of materials, the light changes, the sound. I’d recommend anyone who is close(ish) to Deventer to just travel over and go see it. The exhibit is up until the 24 June 2018.2018.

Website Othilia Verdurmen (in English)

Note: Like all my posts in the “Get out of the house!” series, this activity was booked and paid for by me, after which I got stoked and decided to write about it all by myself. #nospon


Next week it’s time again for this month’s round up post! See you on Wednesday!

2 Responses
  • Samantha
    May 24, 2018

    This sounds like a very interesting exhibit!

    • LP
      May 24, 2018

      It really is! There’s also a lot of information on her website about her inspirations and way of working, and also some clips where you can see her art in “motion”. 🙂