© Maria Stijger Aramburu

About me: Marijke Bongers

1963, Hardinxveld-Giessendam, The Netherlands

update January 2024, sorry, most of this is old news, we moved to Gorinchem in 2023 and a lot has changed. I will work on an update of the website the coming months.

We are not here to be perfect, we are here to bring it all on, the mess, the challenge, the joy, all of it!

Am I an Artist, a designer, a craftwoman? I am not sure about that. I often call myself a pathfinder. Looking for other ways of living.

I work on very personal biodegradable outfits and installations in a concept or project way.  I am working with my heritage, the place where I live and study what was here before Christianity appeared. I have a few ideas about body positivity and honouring the changes of a women’s body. And obvious, I work with textiles and thread, and plantdyes in a earth friendly way. I don't buy new materials, I work with everything that is already in my house and environment. Like with my not sold collection, my own clothes, with recycled linen of a hotel nearby and dye from the Willow tree or birch. Because I don’t work on a collection in a commercial way any more and my studio is closed for visits and classes, I am feeling more like an artist and less like a designer. So maybe who I am changes with a project or even the time of the day.

I hope to travel again and to do artists in residence programs, in July 2021 I was a month an artist in residence and helping a friend in France. In June 2021 I have done some unexpected playful workshops eco print on camping de Lievelinge and bartered that for a place to stay there. That also felt like a little artist in residence. I stayed on Bollywood, the little street for artists and free spirits. I enjoyed it very much and would like more of that.

The last few months of the year 2020 I helped with a show for Extinction Rebellion Fashion Action on a new brand that lasted only one day (on purpose, we don't need more brands) and now I organise and host a two weekly online textile recycle community project called New Opulence, This is a group of makers that work and inspire each other and share there work and ideas. (on donation base, and free for XR fashion rebels)

Another project by Artagitka was about repair and was hold in Utrecht Hoog Catharijne, that was in September 2021.

For 2022 a large exhibition in a museum and farm on "clothes and compost" in Utrecht at Castellum Hoge Woerd is planned, If all goes well I will make work for it, have a textile lab and two installations outside in the pluktuin Castellum.

Also 2022 I participated on a citizens science project about the exhibition color of the Textielmuseum in Tilburg. I did some testing of recipies and give a workshop on an old dye recipe from an dyebook of the collection.

With Caroline Nijland I work on the rebranding of her brand. African textiles with Dutch crafmanschip. We will participate on the textile heritage market on Mallorca in June 2022. Here is a link: https://www.xtant.io/

If you want to know more about me, here is my cv

Some inspiration

I came across this lecture of Li Edelkoort that felt so true and logical to me that I wanted to ad it here. I see a relation with the Japanese ideas of mottainai, wabi-sabi and kintsugi, all things have a spirit.

Witnessing ever-fluid socio-cultural scenarios in our post-virus landscape , it is clear we have to modify our unsustainable behaviour patterns and choose for the survival of our species – and that of our planet. We will focus on much less and doing better and living slow. An evolution of taste will see the light of day, one that will search for the soul in design, where the object is conceptualized with care and focus; manufactured with human dignity and consumed with joy, becoming a partner for the long term.   This webinar ANIMISM: SPIRITED LIFESTYLES FOR 2022 & BEYOND explores the spiritual side of design and interiors, previewing how everyday objects can become animistic icons of veneration. Introducing a new era of conscious thinking and creative living. Redefining design with soul. Less is more is the message.  

Li Edelkoort  

Another quote is of Nicola Humber and talks about accepting who I am as a woman and a humanbeing. Finally I understand that there is nothing wrong with me, I just didn't fit in the mold that I thought I had to use.

What’s wrong with me?’ you ask.‘ Oh yes, I must be lazy’ is the answer you come up with. Well my friend, no. You are not lazy. You have simply been trying to fit yourself into an old, linear way of doing things. And as a woman, you are actually a magnificent, cyclical being. You were never meant to have consistent energy levels. You are designed to ebb and flow. Like the ocean. To wax and wane. Like the moon. To move from the light to the dark and back again. Like the seasons.  

Nicola Humber

Copyright © 2021 Marijke Bongers