The garden of speech, starting in 1995, 2010
embroidery on cotton, after drawings of my father, 120cm x 140cm
The garden of speech 1995 - 2005
My family lives on the isles of Zeeland in the Netherlands. My father, a very silent person, had his own piece of land where he spent all his spare time. Soon after he retired he fell ill.
It turned out he was suffering from a very malicious cancer. In his last days, unable to work in his garden, he used to sit on the couch by the window drawing anything he saw or was thinking of.
His sketchbook filled up with his scrabbles. We had a lot of fun pointing out his interpretations of the neighbour, big animals, his vegetable plot and travel scenes: a new way of conversation was born.
When someone dies, all small things disappear and so do all small memories connected to them. Boltansky wrote: "the big history lies down in books but the small history is very fragile".
Two years after the dead of my father, in 1994, I started to embroider his sketches on sheets and pillows.
The work is still in progress.