Vorm aan de Vecht
Nicole Uniquole creates special heritage exhibition combined with design
From Friday 18 March, Buitenplaats Doornburgh will be presenting the exhibition ‘Vorm aan de Vecht’. In the former monastery between Utrecht and Amsterdam, work is on display by various renowned designers, artists and photographers. Curator Nicole Uniquole: “This exhibition reflects on the extraordinary history of this country estate by placing it in a new light.” On display will be work by over 65 designers, photographers, artists and fashion designers such as; Jan Taminiau, Stefan Scholten, Richard Hutten, Wieki Somers, Suzanne Jongmans, Lita Cabellut, Jan Noyons, Job Smeets, Jimmy Nelson, Esmé Hofman, Winnie Teschmacher, Danielle Kwaaitaal, Bert Kuizenga, Carla van de Puttelaar & Iris van Herpen and many others.
The exhibition ‘Vorm aan de Vecht’ displays the heritage of Buitenplaats Doornburgh alongside a selection of contemporary design, art, fashion and photography. Curator Nicole Uniquole compiled the exhibition in a former monastery on the banks of the Vecht River. Uniquole; “The seventeenth century elite built their country houses on the Vecht in order to relax there in the summer. This exhibition presents the heritage of the country house alongside contemporary design. In this way, we tell the story of this special location and, through the art and design shown, a surprising perspective on the future is created.” Several makers are temporarily living in the monastery as artist in residence to create new designs inspired by Buitenplaats Doornburgh.
Rhythm as a leitmotiv
Curator Nicole Uniquole often makes leading exhibitions in special heritage locations. For this exhibition, she selected makers who enhance the power of the location. The thread running through the exhibition is the daily rhythm of the nuns who once inhabited the priory, the regular forms in the architecture and the structures in the design. Uniquole; “The participating makers draw inspiration from the location. Studio Stefan Scholten created an exhibition design based on the monastery’s striking architectural principles. In close connection with the layout and styling by Maarten Spruyt, a Gesamtkunstwerk is created.” Chairman Maya Meijer-Bergmans: “We want to surprise visitors. By combining heritage and contemporary design in this exhibition, visitors discover more about the past and the present.”
Nuns at the Golden Bend
For ‘Vorm aan de Vecht’, historian Reinildis van Ditzhuyzen delved into the history of the estates along the Vecht between Utrecht and Amsterdam. This collection of 17th-century estates on the Vecht is also known as the Golden Bend. Van Ditzhuyzen has a special interest in the sister order the Cannonesses of the Holy Sepulchre. This order lived at Doornburgh from 1957 to 2016. The historian spoke with former residents and charted part of the estate’s history. In the 1960s, the nuns commissioned the construction of the modern monastery, designed by Jan de Jong, a student of architect and monk Dom Hans van der Laan. It is quite unique that the convent as a whole has been preserved, including the characteristic furniture that contributes to the special atmosphere. The nature, architecture and history of this country estate still inspire today’s makers.
Exhibition ‘Vorm aan de Vecht’
Buitenplaats Doornburgh, Maarssen
18 March to 25 September 2022
Photography: Lize Kraan (exhibition), Jelmer de Haas (courtyard), Elsbeth Pilz (sisters)