Joanna Bouma reports back on the very successful SENSE 2022 Summer Social:
I always enjoy the SENSE Summer Socials. It’s a great excuse to go to a new place in the Netherlands and explore something new. It’s also a great opportunity to meet and mingle with other members, some of whom you already know, some of whom you only know through the Forum, and others who you don’t know at all.
This time was no different. I had never been to the Arnhem Museum before. In fact – shame on me – I had never been to Arnhem before. Today we only got a small glimpse of the town on the way in and out, but it was enough to make a good impression. Even more special, we had to walk UPHILL – yes UPHILL! – from where we parked the car to the museum. So the Netherlands is apparently not all as ironed flat as many people think! (OK, so in The Hague where I live, I have to cycle uphill as well if I go to the beach, but that’s not because of hilly terrain, but because, living below sea level, I have to get over that man-made sea dyke to reach the beach.)
Once at the Museum we were welcomed with coffee/tea and cake, and the meeting and mingling with the other SENSE members could begin. It was lovely to see many familiar faces and meet some new people. The organizers had arranged for a guided tour of the Museum and the poor tour guides almost had to use brute force to get our attention off the cake and make us stop talking, divide up into two groups, and follow them around the Museum. I was glad they did, as it was interesting hearing some background information on the history of the Museum and the very diverse collections of modern and contemporary art.
The fun was yet to start though – a workshop in which we were to make our very own art using the remains of fabric, felt and wool. In my group, our guide suggested drawing on the beautiful landscapes we had seen in the real art to make our own amazing dream landscapes and she enthusiastically gathered together some different types of fabric to show us how we could do this. A wonderful idea. Just a little complicated for some of us (read: me). I spotted some remnants of the long fringes of a carpet and a rounded grey patch of felt. Aha, an idea. A little trim here, a little trim there, a bit of glue, a little loosening of the strands on the fringe and hey presto, within ten minutes I had my artwork. A beautiful dreamy landscape it was not. It was the opposite of land, it was ocean. I had made a fluffy grey jellyfish. Not quite what the guide suggested, but hey, art is all about personal interpretation. Isn’t it?
After such an intensive effort, it was good to again sit down and chat with the others over a lovely long relaxing lunch. That was the end of the official part of the programme. We could spend the rest of the afternoon chatting, visiting the rest of the museum, walking around its sculpture garden, or doing whatever we wanted.
Yet again, this year’s Summer Social was a pleasant, sociable and useful outing. You certainly don’t have to talk about work if you don’t want to, but I find it useful just hearing about who does what. I always enjoy connecting with other people working in the same profession and hearing their experiences. And spending social time with each other and seeing something new is always a pleasure.
Thank you to the organizers who put this enjoyable day together.
SENSE members can also see other photos on our Forum, here.
Tea and cake. The carrot cake was very popular!
Catching up with each other again after a long time.
‘Just take a little fabric and make some art.’ The guide makes it sound so easy!
Hard at work during the creative workshop.
(Photos on this page by Hans van Bemmelen)