In hetzelfde schuitje
Martina van de Gey 2018
A boy rowing his boat over the Ganges
in the early morning, the pyres are still
burning on the shore, men are washing
clothes and the faithful are bathing in the river.
The oars of the boat dive into the water, reflecting
the dull light of the sun.
A canoe with teenagers in colorful sportswear
appears and thwarts the direction of the boat
on the Ganges. These are students who train
on the canal in Leeuwarden early in the
morning and now seemingly paddle along
the sacred river with the Indian boy.
Leeuwarden and Varanasi separate
exactly 8105 kilometers, India lies in a different
time zone and in the holiest city of the
Hindus on the Ganges there is a completely
foreign culture for us.
Even if the distance between the two places
is large and the cultures could not be more
different, we are all connected with the eternal water
circulation around the globe
and people face the same challenges
of a dramatically changing world: global
warming and rising sea levels threaten our
very existence and we need to solve the problems
globally – we are all in the same boat,
in hetzelfde schuitje.
Foto, Video, Copyright: Martina van de Gey
In hetzelfde schuitje / In the same boat
During a boat trip on the canals through Leeuwarden with
artists from Macedonia, Poland, Slovenia, Zimbabwe and
Germany, we talked about the term “iepen Mienskip”.
Through the conversation, it became clear that we as
human beings are connected by our common needs
and desires and we all face the same challenges and
therefore we are “all in the same boat”, “In hetzelfde schuitje”.
It does matter to us, if our neighbor does not feel well, or if
refugees in the Mediterranean drown on the run, because that
also has consequences for our contemplative life and for
our own well-being.
Inspired by this impression, I began to fold boat-like bodies
of rubber and paint them with thin paint. Boats also play a
central role in the resulting paintings, be it children’s figures,
who look at the floating boats as missed opportunities, or
drawn boats that float in the picture as brittle bodies.
The boat stands as a metaphor for the fragile existence of man and the environment, but also for the conviction of the power of solidarity and mutual acting for a better world.
Martina van de Gey June 13, 2018
My first impressions as an artist, who has never been to Leewarden and does not speak a word Dutch, was that all the people here are very friendly, relaxed and happy.
When you’re out on the streets, cycling, or jogging around the city to get to know them better, you’re greeted from all sides with a friendly “hoi”. This is very nice and makes it easier to arrive in a foreign country. I am fascinated by the idea that one lives in a community and nobody is responsible only for themselves and is not left alone in case of problems, which is an important basic idea of Iepens Mienskip.
Especially clear was the sense of community during a boat trip to which we were invited a few days ago. It was attended by cultural artists from Slovenia, Poland, Germany and Zimbabwe. We sat together in a small room, ate, drank and talked to each other. To be able to drive under the very low bridges, everyone had to lay flat on the ground, which was very funny, but also caused a sense of spatial tightness and anxiety.
It occurred to me that we are all “in the same boat” and have the same needs and desires. We can not be well if our fellow human beings are in a bad state because everything is connected with everything else. When people drown in the Mediterranean on the run, this also has consequences for our contemplative life, we can not be care less and we have to act.
Inspired by this impression, I will use the theme “we are all in the same boat” for my work in Leeuwarden. In my studio, I began to fold boat-like bodies from rubber and paint them with thin paint. Eventually these bodies will be filled with water from the canals in Leeuwarden, because everything ist connected with everything.
As a result for my 3 weeks stay there will be several objects for the floor area in my studio, as well as some drawings of hulls on the wall.
In addition, I have prepared a video documenting of my daily way from the house in the Pelikaanstraat to my studio in the Tweebaksmarkt in an amusing way.