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#Thanks for being an artist, Janeke Wienk

Thanks for being an artist educator Janeke Wienk. We spend a whole week together in October to read Primo Levi's book 'if this is a man'.

We had one whole week together as a group, which she called ‘field’, to read the book ‘if this is a man’ by Primo Levi. At the start she explained the idea of the ‘field’ and the importance of everyones place in it. She asked commitment to be present and on time and to not allow ‘holes’ in our ‘field’. I felt Janeke takes herself with her in her teaching, she shows herself, her strengths and vunerabilities and sees the learning as a shared effort of exploration. She also made an effort to create a nice atmosphere in the classroom with tea, biscuits, vases with flowers and music.

It took me some time to get in tot the slow, meandering, relaxed way of learning in this week. My productive mind was looking for outcomes and purpose. I am aware this week was purposely places in our curated course that aims to produce ‘artist educators’. So lets trust that!

We spoke about the writing of H. Arendt to embrace your uniqueness, to be challenged to develop your a ‘grown-up’ attitude and posture in the world. Which she calls ‘comming into the world’. We also spoke about subjectification, a word, Janeke discribed as the proces of becoming a human being. She is researching about what it is, Being human, which is kind of a stuggle on a daily basis, and how art can help. And how to apply this in (art)education.

We practised the Art-Based-learning methode. This is an innovative method developed by lecturer Jeroen Lutters. ABL approaches art as a source of knowledge, discussion partner and 'possible world'.

This is the result of me close reading an artwork, using the art-based-learing methode.

‘Blauwen, wolkig, eigenlijk meer veegen, de richting en de beweging van de penseel zichtbaar. Cirkels. Witte stippen met een beetje geel. Planeten. Gedecoreerde kerstballen. Tekens, kan ik ze lezen? Textuur, vlakken. Opzet en toeval. Aarzelend, trefzeker. In een vacuüm, bijvoorbeeld de eindeloze ruimte van het heelal. En dan, precies op de bovenkant van de ballen huisjes, forten, vlakken, zich keurig houden aan de wetten van de zwaartekracht. Plat en ruimtelijk door elkaar. Gelen, roden en soms groen. Een glansje, is dat goud? Een vreemd kader, alsof het ergens moet ophouden, een pass-partout moet hebben, maar dan wel zonder scherpe randjes. In de hoeken weinig verflagen. In het midden heel veel. Diepere, mysterieuze kleuren en lagen. Verticale gele lijnen, in verschillende diktes. Wat vind ik blauwen en groenen tocht mooi, helemaal met en door elkaar. Wil je mij een verhaal vertellen? Is het een dreaming map zoals de australische aboriginals maken? Een kaart met dromen, waterputten en af te leggen afstanden?’

Step 3 is to be invited to enter this possible world. If I do I feel like I am in a universe, boundless, but in this artwork, bound. Floating in it but with a home to come home to. I have no idea about my size and impact. I do not know if there are others around. The colors are warm and comforting to me.


I made this work after reading the book. Life in the camp was extremely harsh. Slowly the prisoners lost more and more of their belongings and life striped them from material goods. A bowl and spoon were esencial to be able to eat. In the book the importance of buttons is mentioned as a means to hold your clothes together and be protected from the icy cold.

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