Book presentation Galerie Atelier Herenplaats

The book ‘Geen woorden maar beelden, 25 jaar Galerie Atelier Herenplaats, Outsider Art in Nederland’ is also available in English. In almost 300 pages filled with wonderful images and texts, it describes the journey of Herenplaats. It is an art academy for mentally and physically challengend artists, where I enjoy teaching linocutting and etching.

The bookpresentation was held on 29 June 2017 at the Kunsthal in Rotterdam. Watch the crowdfunding clip for more details or visit the studios and exhibitions at Galerie Atelier Herenplaats. Schietbaanstraat 1, 3014 ZT Rotterdam.

The Silent Muse

I am proud to announce that Lone Wolf magazine, features an interview with me in their latest issue #12; ‘Philosopher and Muse’. The editorial ‘The Silent Muse’ is written by Natalia Borecka and photographed by Liselotte Fleur.

Read The Silent Muse in this PDF or find the editorial in chapter 2 of this preview of Lone Wolf issue #12.

Jane Morris, Margje Bijl, Liselotte Fleur, Iris Zuidema, Natalia Borecka

‘…Suddenly, a strange new prospect presented itself. Here was an opportunity to give someone pushed aside by history, the voice she so deserved. Here was a chance to give Jane her moment in the spotlight, not as a muse, but as a flesh and blood woman. And so, Margje set out out to turn a fading myth into a breathing story, using herself as Jane’s surrogate…’

Review of Rossetti’s Obsession, Exhibition

The concept of the current travelling exhibition (now at the William Morris Gallery until 4-1-2015) is perfectly in line with my own exhibition ‘A Memory Palace of Her Own’. Opposite to the room I occupied a few months earlier yet another room is filled with ‘images of Jane as herself’. Photographs, drawings and paintings are juxtaposed with Jane’s embroidery and handwriting. The exhibition offers insight in the relation between Jane as herself and Jane as a muse.

photograph by Margje Bijl, © William Morris GalleryThe exhibition illustrates that Jane Morris was multitalented, more than a pretty face. During the opening speech Jan Marsh surprised the William Morris Gallery by donating, on behalf of Frank Sharp, a book with a cover designed by Jane Morris. Photographer India-Roper Evans took photographs of the exhibition and noticed me while I was admiring the recently acquired Honeysuckle, designed by William Morris and embroideried by Jane and Jenny Morris.

© India Roper-Evans, Margje Bijl©India Roper-Evans, Parsons' photographs of Jane Morris, William Morris Gallery© India Roper-Evans, ROSSETTI'S OBSESSION AT WILLIAM MORRIS GALLERY© India Roper-Evans© India Roper-Evans After the private view of the exhibition Kirsty Walker accompanied me to visit Kelmscott Manor. They currently exhibit the Centenary Exhibition; photographs that were exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery earlier this year. At Jane Morris’ grave I have paid my homage to Jane even though she lives on in my mind… You can read Kirsty’s review of our trip here. Jane Morris' grave, Margje Bijl, photograph by Kirsty Walker, Kelmscott Manor, William Morris' grave

Review of Rossetti’s Obsession, Catalogue

A few days before John Robert Parsons photographed her, Rossetti wrote in a letter to Jane Morris: ‘…The photographer is coming at eleven on Wednesday. So I’ll expect you as early as you can manage…’.

I had always assumed that the photographs had been taken in the course of a single day. However, while reading Jan Marsh’s catalogue for the exhibition ‘Rossetti’s Obsession: Images of Jane Morris’, I became intrigued by the following paragraph: ‘In autumn 1865 the Morrises moved to Queen Square, central London; earlier in the year they had spent a few days at Tudor House, where Rossetti organised a photo shoot, with Jane taking various poses to use as studies for future compositions…’

Eager to find out how to divide the series of photographs into separate shoots, I disregarded the order used in ‘Album of Portraits of Mrs. William Morris (Jane Burden) Posed by Rossetti, 1865’. Instead, I rearranged the photographs in what I myself surmise is the actual sequence in which Parsons took these photographs. I leave it to you to decide how the photographs should be distributed over the several sessions, if at all…

The narrative and voice are from an off-the-cuff recording for my exhibition at the William Morris Gallery. If you want to buy the cd or simply leave a comment please go to the contact page!