Rini Hurkmans
objects sculptures installations

Homeland, Part VII, My Father's Place

Homeland, Part VII, My Father's Place

textile, embroidery thread
142 x 122 cm

Textual part of the work:

I have never been here before, but I recognized it immediately. My father told me about it, in fragments, over and over again. Maybe he needed this to get some peace, some stillness.
At that time, he had to leave the place, every new confrontation would have been too much for him.

He could describe the time before it all happened so beautifully. Every piece, every detail of the land. How it looked, smelled, the colours, how the light changed. He could tell about the wind. The stillness and the darkness.
Every little difference felt like something he could trust, it was his home, his safe place, his homeland.
He told me about its surroundings, the mountains, the valleys, the groves and springs, the flatlands, the villages in the neighbourhood. In our mind, we walked through the fields. We lay down and heard the sounds.
Sometimes his words became abstract, sometimes they became a part of a tale but they were never complete. It always stopped somewhere, some time.

He drew maps, again and again, on any piece of paper. All the time they were different, never recognisable but always beautiful. This mapmaking
became an act of faith for him. It expressed his relationship to the land, to its people and its history. But this place was always missing on his maps.

His stories instilled a love for this place; it became a part of my childhood. His place, his memory became a part of me.

Maybe he could have predicted it. Maybe he wanted to be blind to it. He could not have believed it. But he stayed. He stayed too long. It took just a moment, everything was gone, everything was lost, lost for ever. His memory stopped, it blacked out everything.

This is the place. I am sure. Time is running by, traces are gone. But his memory is here. Here it took place. The place will never become the place it was before. This is my father’s place

Homeland, Part VII, My Fathers Place in situ

Installation view of Homeland, Part VII, My Father's Place
with The White Garden, Homeland, Part IX (2005)
and the video installation Blossom (2006)
at the exhibition Family Affairs at Stedelijk Museum Schiedam, 2009.