Rebellious (Tegendraads)

Ballad of Nature, Astrid Polman, photo Mique Menheere

Loooooove this work! I saw it at the contemporary textile art exposition at the Grote Kerk (the big church) at the city of Emmen (Drenthe province). Six textile artists show a selection of their work there. It’s not a very big exhibition but whén you’re in the neighborhood… take a look, there’s great work to see.

Astrid Polman

Astrid Polman (1963) made the lovable work shown above. It’s mostly made in a splendid tone of red, but of course that’s very personal. In her work Astrid expresses her astonishment about nature & man, it’s psyche, body and the miraculous forms of it. Vulnerability & strength and mortality & growth are also themes she works with. She uses wool and silk, embroiders & crochets on drawings made in black and white.

In the work shown on top, I love the combination of yarn colors and the soft wool she uses. As a result, a 3 dimensional effect has developed, which is very nice to look at. But is also functional in the drawing she made, at the end of drawn forms. The combination with the fine black & white drawings makes the work very strong, don’t you think?

These works shown above, together they form a kind of installation, really impressed me, it’s a collection of textile felt objects. Unfortunately the lightning of the art works came from above, creating lot’s of shadows, so it was quite difficult for photography. These are the best shots I could make of this work.

Treasure island 2, Astrid Polman, photo Mique Menheere

This work is the only one made in green. To me it’s an intriguing work, but somehow I think that red supports and strengthens Astrid’s work even better.

Ciska Jonkers

Ciska (1946) works with photos and images from the fifties and sixties that already have a life behind. They show memories and sadness about the impermanence of things. She gives new life to the footage and makes up her own stories. At the exposition you can see three pieces Mona Lisa in a “new look”. Especially the green version of her appealed to me. But then I’m biased, it’s my all time favorite colour :-).

Ciska Jonker, photo Mique Menheere

Hella van t Hof

Embroidery on blurry canvas photos, that’s the work Hella started making around 2012 and she still does today. Doing so, she uses traditional embroidery techniques, like cross stitch. These are quiet images of a world from the past. Her artist statement tells us her work incorporates hidden messages, so we don’t get answers… To me, always searching for information, that’s quite a challenge!

Most of Hella’s exhibited works are made in black & white. One work had some colored thread in it, see the photo below. Funny how the colors of the thread in a black & white work seem much more intense then in works totally made in color.

unknown, Tribal/2016, Tribal/2017, Hella van ‘t Hof, photo Mique Menheere
Tribal, 2017, Hella van t Hof, photo Mique Menheere
Anonymus, 2019, Hella van’ t Hof, photo Mique Menheere

Irma Frijlink

A series of felt objects, stitched by machine, can be seen also at this expo. To make these objects Irma (1951) first “draws” with the sewing machine on industrial felt. Then she cuts away parts, creating a 3 dimensional effect. She deliberately doesn’t use color in her work, so the viewer can give colour to the work itself. Irma’s art relates to her astonishment for strength & vulnerability existing in men & nature. When I stood in front of her work I could feel that theme, also because of the vulnerability of the work itself.

Kwetsbaarheid (Vulnerability), 2018, Irma Frijlink, photo Mique Menheere
Kwetsbaarheid (Vulnerability), detail, Irma Frijlink, photo Mique Menheere

Marijke van Oostrum

Marijke (1959), fine artist, loves the Amsterdamse Bos (Amsterdam forest), and makes work which resembles that forest. She sews small pieces of fabric and stitches lines on it, as a result you get the impression of seeing a forest. Here you see an example.

Genaaide bosschets (sewn sketch of forest), Marijke van Oostrum, photo Mique Menheere

Roel Endendijk

Strictly seen this artist doesn’t work with embroidery, but somehow his work has an “embroidered feeling”. Roel doesn’t stitch but “draws” with threads, as he says himself. The process of drawing depends on gluing, with wollen and cotton threads. By working this way he gives a twist to reality. Somehow the work fascinated me mostly when I was looking from a very short distance at it. Standing further away, the work resembled strongly a photo and it was more difficult to see the textile craftsmanship of it.

photo Mique Menheeere

More info about the artists

Wanna see more art of these artists? Then take a look at their websites:,,,,,

More info about the location

The Grote Kerk (big church) at Emmen is a State Monument and is still in use, it’s a Cross Church and built in 1856.

You can visit the exhibition till September 7, on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 13.00 – 17.00 hours. The entry is free of charge. Maybe it’s nice to know that it’s possible to buy art works there, for all kinds of prices.

For more info:

Join the conversation


  1. Ahhhhh wat een prachtig werk !!!
    Helaas is Emmen voor mij te ver weg !
    (ik weet dat als je het werk “echt” ziet het nóg mooier is dan foto’s … !)

  2. Het hart is prachtig! Volgens mij heeft zij voor Lang Leve Rembrandt een schelp gemaakt? Ook zo mooi. Fijne techniek!

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