Dutch Duo Residency
Veerle Melis & Liza Prins
During the residency Veerle Melis and Liza Prins explored contemporary issues around labour and production. Finding precedent in the Luddites, 19th Century textile workers who destroyed machinery and sabotaged production processes, the artists considered ways to disrupt contemporary modes of ‘hyper-productivity’.
In order to support the development of their work and research, the artists visited a number of museums and galleries including the Type Archive in Stockwell and the Framework Knniters Museum in Nottingham. They made studio visits, met with other artists and writers in London and hosted workshops and events at Van Gogh House.
This residency was supported by the Embassy of the Netherlands in the UK, with additional funding from the Mondriaan Fund and support from the Netherlands Board of Tourism and Conventions (NBTC).
Veerle and Liza were chosen through an open call process, judged by Ron Dirven, Directeur- conservator at Vincent van Gogh Huis Zundert, Saskia Olde Wolbers, Artist and Livia Wang, Creative Director of Van Gogh House.
During their residency, Veerle and Liza led a research informed workshop for Year 4 pupils at Reay Primary School. The students learnt how to weave, made clothes patches and took part in a philosophical discussion on the idea of work and how it is valued.
The artists hosted a collective reading and mending event at Van Gogh House, which involved darning (and learning to darn) jumpers and discussions of key feminist and luddite texts, considering ways we might disrupt contemporary modes of ‘hyper-productivity’. The event was a reflective afternoon of reading and darning amongst root vegetables.
The final event held as part of Veerle and Liza’s residency was a luddite poetry dinner hosted at Van Gogh House. Guests were invited to eat food the Luddites may have eaten, and to read the poems and songs that were attributed to the movement, as well as any further texts relating to the themes of work and economic precarity.
This residency was supported by the Embassy of the Netherlands in the UK, with additional funding from the Mondriaan Fund and support from the Netherlands Board of Tourism and Conventions.