July 8, 2012

Walking across temporary carpets

Last Sunday I watched the procession walk through the streets of Klimmen carefully walking past the temporary carpets I documented earlier that morning (see blogpost 'Making it happen'). The priest carrying the monstrance is the only one who is supposed to walk on them.

In books you can travel far and sometimes you don't know what you've found until you're in the middle of a kind of research about it. When I came across pictures of the Gods Walk on Bali in my rice-bible, I was totally surprised. A priest walking across a pathway made with (un)cooked, yellow or white rice, wow!
When I read about it I was in the middle of promoting Dance in a ricecarpet, sending DVD's, hoping to make a little tour. No such luck (programs were already made for that theater-year, no money, to expensive to keep the stage empty for three days while I made the ricecarpet, etcetera, etcetera), but somehow I got invited to show 'Dance in a ricecarpet' once more at an art route in Etten-Leur.
While making this carpet I realized that I was working in an old tradition, without ever seeing this tradition. I read a lot about traditions using rice, about Dewi Sri and the use of symbols and patterns between my return from Indonesia and making this last 'Dance in ricecarpet'. I started to use my blog more and more as a way and method to learn about traditions, patterns and temporary art. When I found an old blackandwhite photo of a flower-carpet made in Asselt for a procession 'De Grote Bronk', I knew I had to learn more about this tradition (see blogpost 'Water lilies & table linen'". A tradition found in Bali, Brazil, Peru, Poland, Germany, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, The Netherlands and I'm sure in many more places.

"Corpus Christi is a Christian observance that honors the Holy Eucharist. It is also known as the Feast of the Most Holy Body of Christ, as well as the Day of Wreaths. In commemoration of the Last Supper on the day before Jesus' crucifixion, many Christians around the world receive Communion on this day. In some countries the Sacramental bread (or host) is paraded throughout the streets. Priests carry the bread in a monstrance, which ia a type of vessel in which the consecrated host is exposed. In Spain and other places the processions can be elaborate, featuring saints and characters from the Bible, following a path decorated with wreaths and flowers. Corpus Christi is a festival that has been celebrated by many Christians, particularly the Catholic Church in honor of the Eucharist since 1246. The name 'Corpus Christi' is a Latin phrase that refers to the body of Christ."
-From timeanddate.com

I would like to do a project combining making ricecarpets with collecting information and photos about Dutch traditions in which temporary carpets are made.
Last year I went to the Dutch Open Air Museum in Arnhem, where they have a big archive full of old books, photos and much more about all kind of Dutch traditions, like folkfestivities and folkcostumes. I had an appointment to get more information about sand- and flowercarpets. They didn't have any information about 'De Grote Bronk', but a great collection of pictures of sand-carpets and sandcarpetmakers (see blogpost 'New Dutch traditions').
Lieske Leunissen, who makes great pictures of De Grote Bronk in Klimmen every year (see www.lieskeleunissen.nl), informed me about the procession and the making of the sand- and flower-carpets.
Few months back a wrote a project proposal about my plans. My project didn't get selected, but I knew that I had to continue my research. Never know where it may lead me. So I reserved a room in the only pension in Klimmen. Now I can't wait to see the next 'Grote Bronk' or find some nice old footage of flower- and sand-carpets.

I'll try to share some of my found footage soon here on De reis naar Batik. Enjoy the pictures of 'De Grote Bronk' taking on 1 July in Klimmen (Limburg, The Netherlands)!

"It's about the sense of community not religion"
- quote from 'Ziel en Zaligheid' episode 'Bovenaardse ervaren' about the Grote Broonk in Sint Geertruid

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