Workshop and lecture

What My Hands Know

Het Logeermatras / the Guest Mattress


9 feb 2023

Het Logeermatras, instructies voor het maken van onderduikkunst voor thuis (The Guest Mattress, Instructions for Making ‘Hiding Art’ For Your Home)
Workshop and short lecture by Emmeline de Mooij
Language: English/Dutch

To work in a sustainable way when making a ‘guest mattress,’ we draw on the ingenuity of our ancestors. They developed the techniques to make something out of nothing. With some of these techniques, patchwork, appliqué, and quilting, one can make a new whole from scraps of fabric, old clothes and blankets. During this workshop, Emmeline de Mooij will briefly tell participants about the background and motivation of her The Guest Mattress works, and participants will learn sewing techniques to make their own guest mattress for the wall. You will bring your own ‘little bits and pieces’ from home. Think worn-out clothing, a piece of clothing from a deceased relative, old household textiles such as tea towels, napkins, tablecloths, washcloths, etc. Materials and tools are provided. After the workshop, participants receive a booklet with an overview of the techniques.


This event takes place in the group exhibition What My Hands Know, with new and existing work by twelve international and Dutch artists: Stéphanie Baechler, Sara Bjarland, Helen Dowling, Alex Farrar, Janina Frye, Ceel Mogami de Haas, Christine Moldrickx, Emmeline de Mooij, Charlotte Eta Mumm, Benjamin Roth, Evita Vasiljeva and Dieke Venema.

The exhibition focuses on artist practices where materiality, intuition and a process-driven way of working are central. The title refers to our interest in embodied knowledge and to hands as tools and transmitters of information between the inner and the outer world. In an increasingly digital world, our daily reality is often quite disembodied, and physical bodies are often viewed as obstacles rather than as carriers of knowledge. In this exhibition, viewers are invited to reconnect with their senses and to explore the tactile, material, and physical presence of the artworks. The exhibition comprises installation, sculpture and objects the broadest sense of the word: using a multitude of materials like textile, clay, aluminium, moving image, household objects, nail varnish, sound, latex, building materials, medical equipment, food and 3-D scans, the artists work across a range of both more traditional and new techniques like weaving, ceramics, drawing, editing, casting, laser cutting and assemblage. Each artist presents a unique perspective on the creative process, in which intuition, experimentation, transformation and a constant dialogue with materials is the driving force. The selection of works explore a broad range of both personal and current, universal themes, related to the relationship and interactions between the body and its inner/outer surroundings.

What My Hands Know is a project initiated by artists Sara Bjarland and Charlotte Eta Mumm. The exhibition is generously supported by Amsterdamse Fonds voor de Kunst and Iona Stichting. Individual artists also received support from the Constant van Renessefonds, Mondriaan Fonds, State Culture Capital Foundation of Latvia, Amarte Fonds, Stichting Stokroos and the Swedish Cultural Foundation in Finland.