Reflections on Jane Morris

Dutch artist Margje Bijl (1975) was given a photograph of Jane Morris (1839-1914) and at first glance thought that she was looking at a photograph of herself. The discovery of the striking resemblances between herself and Jane Morris led to the project ‘Reflections on Jane Morris’.

Invitation exhibition ‘Reflections on Jane Morris’ by Margje Bijl
at Gallery ‘de KunstSuper in Rotterdam, 2010

Jane Morris was the wife of English designer William Morris. She was also the muse and lover of the painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Thanks to the love that these two famous artists felt for Jane Morris, there are numerous pictures available of her today. This is the source material that Margje Bijl uses while investigating the similarities between herself and this 19th century beauty.

Janey, leaning forward, 2009

Margje Bijl has created a twilight zone where two women from two different worlds meet. In this twilight zone the visual code language of the Victorian era flows effortlessly into our visual language of today.

Girl with a view, 2010
(private collection)

Margje Bijl allows Jane Morris to possess attributes of present-day women. Morris is not casting her eyes down anymore: she is sitting self-confidently upright. Margje Bijl combines both the characteristics of herself and Jane Morris while creating a portrait. It soon becomes impossible to decide which characteristic belongs to whom. Which posture is twisted? Which hairstyle is dated, which expression natural? Significant time elements are transformed in such a way that the resemblances between these two women bridge the time span stretching over one and a half century.

Hair reclining, 2009

Women Inc. Festival

Women Inc. organised a festival in the Beurs van Berlage on December 1st and 2nd, 2007. In the safe deposit room of the trading centre I created an in situ installation. Some of the objects were exhibited elsewhere such as ‘Savior Shaves Sheep’ (Galerie Matiz, 2008) and ‘Perpetual Beauty (Don Boscokerk, 2007).

‘Savior Shaves Sheep’
natural wax crucifix on razorblade
13 x 5 x 4 cm.

The Last Supper

The group exhibition ‘The Last Supper’ was held in the Don Boscokerk (Alkmaar, 2007). With my in situ piece on the altar I paid homage to those suffering from the beauty myth.

‘Perpetual Beauty’
praying furniture, jellypudding, spoon, nightgown,
150 x 100 x 30 cm.

Black and Water

During 6 weeks in the Summer of 2006 the exhibition ‘Black and Water: Work in Progress’ was created in the professional kitchen of a former retirement home; Gallery RVS. The exhibition was curated by Adjan Hooymaijers and myself, we invited Damian van der Velden, Michiel Pijpe and Ingrid Vente.

chocolate and marzipan on kitchenware
93 x 70 x 82 cm.

Tache de beauté  

The booklaunch of the artist’s book ‘Marg, the Stain Champion’ was held in conjunction with the opening of the solo exhibition ‘Tache de beauté’, on show from February 21st 2004 until April 24th 2004 at Galerie Move (Den Haag).

‘Marg, the Stain Champion’, 2004
(photo Sipco Feenstra, graphic design Jan Kalma,
text Fathel Neema)

‘Uitgelaten’, 2003
Indian ink on duplex carton, 100 x 140 cm

Vels meisje, Haagse maatjes

Drawing in-situ made for the window of the counselors tribune at Raadhuis voor de Kunst (Velsen). Exhibited during the group exhibition ‘Vels meisje, Haagse maatjes’ from September 1st 2003 until October 9th 2003. Curated by Ada Leenheer.

‘Stream of subconsciousness’, 2003
Indian ink on duplex carton, 2.80 m x 4.90 m

Graduation show Royal Academy of Art, The Hague

In 2001 I graduated from Fine Arts department of the Koninklijke Academie van Beeldende Kunst with an installation in the entrance hall. The piece ‘Décubitus’ was included in a group exhibition at the Haagse Kunstkring in 2001 and published by Missio as a card. In 2007 it was published in the catalogue of the exhibition ‘The Last Supper’ in the Don Bosco kerk (Alkmaar).

‘Décubitus’, 2001
detail of the installation
at the Haagse Kunstkring