The journey of finding the#willowqueen part two

Door: Marijke Bongers, op 11 juli 2020 

July 9th 2020

I shared this today with someone on Linkedin and knew I had to save it because it is a beginning of a statement or a description of what I am doing.

Am I an Artist or a designer, I am not sure about that.

I work on very personal outfits now in a concept or project way. And not working on a collection for others.  I am working with my heritage, the place I live and have a few ideas about body positivity and honouring the change of a women’s body. This is why I am feeling more like an artist now and less as a designer. So it changes with a project.

Kintsugi and the soul of a loved piece of clothes

Today I also came across this lecture of Li Edelkoort that felt so true and logical for me that I wanted to ad it here, the lecture itself was expensive, but the recognition of the feeling made me move on to this journey again. So I guess recognition can work as inspiration and motivation for me. 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 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.  
descriction lecture Li Edelkoort

I knew I had to have a look at my Pinterest board about Willow again so I did.

And I found this image what lead me to another link that I really liked and it felt like a path to walk a bit further on.

link to :

Quote from the story on followinghawks: Willow’s medicine is associated with water and the moon and helps to awaken feminine energy. It also stimulates the energy of healing

I have no idea how I found this blog. I think I was looking at information about the moonfases. But It spoke to me. And I found a lot of comfort reading it.
Quote from the blog of Nicola Humber: 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.

I know learning more about water and the moon seems to be important to me. So that might be a road to take. It makes me wonder about walking in the rain, or in the night? I have so much trouble going out of the house these days, I want to stay in the safe cocoon I have and want to hide myself a bit. So this is one point I work on in the search of the Willow queen (in me) I imagine she is for sure pretty brave and often outside in all kind of weather...


About #bodypositivity again: This morning I made some brave pictures of myself in my too small, for a long time favourite dress, that I bought in Paris at H&M. I don’t know the exact year. I think I know why I was there. It was I think for a commission for Ellen Haeser for an item for a booth she made for Dupont on the Expofill. It was probably between 1999 and 2005, the crazy thing is that I think it was before having children, so if that is the truth it has to be before 1995? Well I find it out later. I want to work a bit on my achieve again, placing some stuff on my website the coming year and that will help me to find out what year I bought this linen dress.


Back to the idea of the #Willowqueen and her travel outfit. I came up with the idea of opening the dress up and ad the extra amount of material I need extra now in a visible way. To honour my growth instead of feeling ashamed and still hoping for something that has proven to be such a big issue in my life. My weight. I can’t even remember not being ashamed of my body. And thinking about this I do remember coming home as a child around the age of eight or ten, feeling out of place and “strange” and walking strait to the closet for cookies and chips, going upstairs to my lovely hiding place, my room. All my happy memories are outside seem to be while I was alone in nature. And all my awkward moments where in company with others especially in school or with my family.

On the zoom meeting last Tuesday for the project the #liberationskirtchallenge we talked about the sadness that comes with going over our clothes in our closets and seeing our old beloved clothes that you planned to wear again. But as the years go by it becomes a dream that is proven to be hard to achieve. So now what to do, are you ready to cut up the pieces and kill the dreams and darlings? To let go and to walk on that unsure path of experiment and discovery. To find out what fits you now. To search for your new you with new dreams, needs and likes. It is for sure a lot more safe to let it be hidden in the bottom drawer (and there are more clothes there hidden far away, not as a treasure, but as a prove of shame and I should haves….) But safe isn't the way to go now. I have to dig a bit in all the why's to find that powerful, funny, rebellious, dreamy child again to be able to be able to see the queen I am looking for.

So I tried on my linen dress, made pictures and during listening to this podcast (link below) I ravelled out my linen dress. The dress I was hoping to fit into so much again. But I will tell you more about that story later.

Another quote from the blog of Nicola Humber


To break free of the ties that have previously bound you.

A refusal to conform to anyone else’s ideas about how you live your life.

To be fully and most magnificently YOU.

What is the word unbound tells me? Do I need another word?



Ravel out=ontrafelen, losrafelen, slijten

Visualisation Meeting your unbound self:

Podcast with visualisation

In the podcast is asked, what does your “unbound self” tells you and here it is. It feels important to remember this so that’s why I share this too:

It is ok to be alone when you feel like you need it, it will bring you the magical moments, just take your time. Don’t be afraid of the sadness, don’t be afraid of the truth. You can handle so much more than you think you can.

In my own words this is what Nicola Humber says about your unbound self:

The unbound self tends to shows us the parts of us that we haven’t acknowledged or expressed

Physically in the world, and you might not like what she is showing you in the beginning, but hang on she changes, she evolves all the time.

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

So I guess that is what I am doing here. I know this post is a bit messy, but my mind is too. And maybe writing this journey down might help me. And I decided that this project would be for me, and to share what I dare too.

Inspiration: Helen Carnac

4 comments on “The journey of finding the#willowqueen part two”

  1. Such beautiful weaving of so many thoughts toward liberation. I love your openness and sharing from safe places. I find it very interesting that so many of us had "the feeling out of place and “strange”" when we were kids. It makes me think about the concept of not "fitting" in clothes, family, school, religion, or culture, in space and time - and then the idea of dress/skin protection. I keep thinking of the flexibility of the Willow - which in our area is the Squaw Bush - their flexibility used to... make baskets... to fit something in, after the flexibility is lost. And oh no! Am I interfering? This is such a thought-stimulation post.

    1. Hi, no I love what you are saying! The "fitting in" is such a good thing to think more about. Because it is highly connected with the feeling that you have if your favourite dress doesn't fit anymore. It feels sad. And I will be brave and also share my pictures of me in my too small dress, they are still on my phone. But it is so interesting to approach this feelings of shame and how we "should" be and find a creative solution. And honour the growth instead of being ashamed of it. I on purpose follow a few "glorious curved" women on instagram just to adjust my feeling about how one "should" look in a certain dress or trousers. That is why I also really like the website of We can actually train ourselves to have a changed view. I have noticed that in myself. I always try to put my waist down to the place where it "should" be. Now my smallest part is just under my bust. So everything you try to hold on to the waist will go up to the smallest part. So if I want to keep something on its place, I should focus on my smallest part or it will be annoying to wear. It also comes back to the ideas of hiding place and cocoons that I used a lot in my artwork (yes, I really need to start adding my stuff I have done to my website, it is just a lot!) So feeling trapped in something and give it the space and form that it needs is pretty liberating. Giving yourself and what you love to do or want in life the space/place it needs and even allow it to grow is another thought that comes to me. I have no problems with discussing the ideas, just if some would say in a very practical way you "should" do this next or "should" make this. Than it feels (again) like a restriction. But even that is an interesting thing to have a few extra thoughts on. Why do we want to protect what ideas are coming up? Why is it a problem if someone shares a good idea with you? It is just a sign of maybe the "Zeitgeist" or the next logical step to take. Why are we so vulnerable and fear to lose our own ideas? Last week I saw one of my interns using my exact words to describe an idea. (My idea) and she didn't mention me. It was in a after corona magazine made by the school. Now I do not know if she didn't said it in the interview or how that little article was written. But I felt a bit.....hurt? like the idea was "stolen" from me. I am sure my lovely intern would not do that on purpose. But it triggered something in me. I am still thinking about it. Did I give too much? I don't think so. I came to the conclusion it is just wanting to be seen and well...ego. If we are all one, it doesn't or shouldn't matter. I can also see it as an appreciation and know that I have inspired her to do her own thing with it.

  2. AND Marijke - you have inspired and are inspiring many of us in the LSP! You have given a huge space and form in which so many more now can "fit"!

  3. Thank you Monique! And yes, we all long to belong and be heard and seen or we have a hard time to figure out who we are and it is a lovely thought if my space and form makes that people feel that they can "fit"

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