Monastery souvenirs – Daria Biryukova
Brabant Monastic Life
In order to preserve the iconic monasteries for society, it is important to show the meaning of the monasteries again and again. Therefore, C-mone and Kunstloc Brabant developed the design assignment ‘Brabant Monastery Icons’ and invited designers and artists on behalf of the province of Noord-Brabant to design a product to tell the stories of monasteries in a different way.
Portable souvenirs and postcards
Each designer set to work with a design for three monastery locations that lie along the Kloosterpad. They were inspired by symbols, clothes, colours, objects and customs to pass on the ideals of the respective monastic orders. Visitors can collect the designed products during the walk along the Kloosterpad, a walk along 15 monasteries in North-East Brabant that will be opened during the anniversary year at the end of April 2021. All 15 collection items form wearable souvenirs of this walk. Because the souvenirs can be worn visibly, the walkers can recognise each other and show how many stages of the Kloosterpad they have walked. Each souvenir comes with a postcard that the hikers can send to loved ones. Both the souvenirs and the postcards are for sale at various monastery locations. The proceeds from these collector’s items will go to the monasteries as a contribution to their continued existence.
Daria Biryukova is a design alchemist with a fascination for experimentation, material research and recycling. With her Studio Mixtura, she is constantly looking for sustainable and aesthetic design solutions for products and production processes that do not burden the environment. She draws inspiration for this from traditional craft techniques and works closely with the industry.
For the monastery souvenir for Marienhage, Daria Biryukova paid a lot of attention to the use of sustainable materials by using recycled clay and natural powders of stone. Daria took the image of Jesus Reckless – who floats above the city from a great height – as the starting point for the cloister souvenir; a lightweight sustainable brooch that you can pin to your clothes or hat.
Monastery Nazareth, Oirschot
Daria Biryukova was inspired by the moral compass, which is based on five questions of life. With the moral compass, the sisters want to pass on important values for our time as well. Daria placed a seed in the heart of the souvenir. This heritage is a seed, a seed for the fertile earth. Give it attention and it will grow.
Kafarnaüm Pilgrim’s Lodge, Vessem
Daria Biryukova made a brooch from recycled clay and natural stone powders, depicting a labyrinth with a pilgrim in the middle. A Roman labyrinth in the shape of a square indicates only one path. The circumambulations consist of four quadrants that are walked through in succession. You find your way to the centre by yourself. The monastery souvenir is a lightweight, durable brooch that you can pin to your clothing or hat, or carry as a talisman in your inner pocket when travelling.
Souvenir photos: Noregt Creative Media, Henk van Mierlo