World Fine Art Professionals and their Key-Pieces, 201 - Ank Bredewold

World Fine Art Professionals and their Key-Pieces, 201 - Ank Bredewold

Some time ago, Ank Bredewold had an exhibition in the MLB gallery entitled "All roads lead to Rome". It is the story of her foot trip from Lucca to Rome in 20 panels with textile and oil paint.

The encounters with the people on the way, the landscape, the moments of intense rest, sometimes the uncertainty, but also the confidence that it will turn out fine and the pride in herself. Bredewold does not strive to reflect reality but above all the atmosphere and the experience, often with details such as the inflorescence of a plant, water drops on a stone, the color of fungi, threatening air, burning sun. I spoke with Ank Bredewold in the gallery.

Bertus Aafjes

The walk took place in autumn 2015, she says. The occasion was the well-known book by Bertus Aafjes 'A foot trip to Rome'. "I read it at the Teachers Academy. The pinnacle of romance. I never thought I would really walk it myself. Ten years ago I went hiking with a friend, in the Netherlands. At some point we decided to walk to Rome. When we arrived, we did not dare, afraid to get lost. We decided to walk another pilgrim route: to Santiago de Compostela. "

But Rome continued to lure. She decided to go alone, a good three weeks. It turned out to be fantastic. "I slept in pilgrim shelters, often monasteries, sometimes in people's homes. I had a guide with addresses." In the morning she called to an address 25 kilometers away. 'Is there room at your place tonight?'. She walked through beautiful old villages, especially in Tuscany. In the larger cities - also centuries old - it was sometimes crowded with tourists.

On the way she looked carefully at nature, people and places. "I felt it and I remembered it. I took a few snapshots and wrote sentences in a diary, but did not make any drawings." She did not yet have the idea to incorporate it into her art. Only later when she was busy making textile work with a friend, she noticed that it was about her journey. "My friend was looking for patches, I cut and embroidered. At a given moment she said 'You are making the way to Rome'. Then I saw it too. From that moment on I started to focus more on what I felt and experienced. It's about the experience. "

Being astonished about nature

The series 'All roads lead to Rome' consists of 20 tapestries. An inspiration was the 'Tapis de Bayeux', an embroidery of 70 meters long and 50 cm high, which depicts the history of the battle of Hastings in 1066. The story of her tapestries is important and the titles of the works tell the story. 'There you go, the flat land keeps dripping' is the title of the first tapestry. Tapestry 3: 'The country moves you on, the hills let you set footsteps, the clouds lift you', Tapestry 20 at the end point, St. Peter's Square:' The guard is ready, you do not stop, you are there '. When asked about a key work she calls Tapestry 6, 'The spirit of God floats here, above the waters, above the fields'.

"I have worked out a fragment of that tapestry in paintings with mainly paint, also some patches, but much less as in the tapestries of the series. In those paintings I tell about creation, not just God's creation, but more like the Aborigines do. How would the fire have arisen, what is light exactly, why does a tree grow, how do the leaves grow on a tree? "

Nature and wonder about nature, that is clearly Ank Bredewold's theme. "I am surprised how everything works. It turns out that I often make the link with nature." She does it emotionally. She has always been curious and wanted to know a lot. She went to study at the Teacher Training, the Academy for Visual Education, to teach, and specialized in Textile Work Forms. Many years later she obtained a Master's degree in Arts Education. Before she taught, she worked for ten years with a number of people at STOV (Foundation for Textile Education and Design) in the Lange Leidsedwarsstraat. "That was a gallery / information center that I and a couple of others set up and where courses and lectures were given.” During the last 28 years she was a teacher in visual arts at an Amsterdam primary school, the first eight years in West, and then in Southeast for 20 years.


"My main goal was to let the children amaze themselves at the world around them and let them explore how the world works. I gave absolutely no craft lessons. I worked in an experimental way with various materials: wood, clay, clippings, branches, wires and paper for drawings." She was concerned about connecting with other subjects such as language, arithmetic, history and geography and with other art disciplines. "I combined visual work with theater, for example. It takes a while before you can do that. "

With her education she could also teach in high school, but she preferred elementary school. "Primary school attracted me more than high school. Young children are still so uninhibited, want to discover the world, but can also enjoy their imagination." Several children later chose the artistic side. "One is a graphic designer, one writer." She is still active at the school in Southeast when she is asked for projects. 

Now that she is retired - "very against my will" - she finally has the time to be a full-time artist. "I thought it was a victory to call myself an artist. Now I am  a real one. I let it others be first. "


1) There you go, the flat land remains dripping, 2) Farther on strong again over the streets of a city, firm, straight ahead, 3) When you are on the hill you dream, a Shepherd rests, sheep on a lady's lap, 4) Then you must cross, the ferryman takes you to the other side, 5) A stranger, what do you say, 6) There you walk with everything on your back, only the sun is there, 7) A fast current, wading, the wind pushes you, big stones, 8) dream, 9) Spirit, 10) On the way 1. That doesn't exist at all, 11 ) On the way 4, Dive quickly underwater, 12) On the way 6, Attacked by a two-headed snake, 13) Ank Bredewold - 13, On the way 8. The colors of camellia and oleander, 14) Ank Bredewold



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