Today: vernissage ‘op & af’ ( http: ) at 2pm in Vollezele. Yesterday: final installation of the little chapel for the miners in the old willow and, opposite it, the bench for contemplation, reading, or listening to the Asturian minerssong Santa Barbara bendita.

photo Jean WallemacqsbarbeJeanW_DSF7769L

Early in the morning it was the real ‘vernissage’, as I had to put the last layer of varnish on the boards with texts from miners from the region.





uitnodiging, invitation



Invitation to the artwalk in Vollezele from 15.08 – 03.09. 2017. My little contribution to this walk made me think a lot about the tough work in the mines. I invite you all to tell what you know about this job in the past and today. You can add it in a reaction on the blog or send it to me:

Uitnodiging voor de kunstwandeling in Vollezele van 15.08 – 03.09.2017. Mijn kleine bijdrage aan deze wandeling heeft me veel doen nadenken over het zware werk in de mijnen, vroeger en nu. Ik nodig iedereen die daar iets over te vertellen heeft uit, om dat toe te voegen aan deze blog in een reactie, of het mij per email toe te sturen:

Invitation pour un parcours d’artistes à Vollezele du 15.08 – 03.09.2017. Ma petite contribution à ce parcours m’a fait penser beaucoup sur la vie des mineurs et leurs conditions de travail, dans le passé et aujourd’hui.  Si vous avez des choses à raconter à ce sujet, je vous invite de me les envoyer, soit comme réaction sur ce blog, soit par email à mon adresse:

texts inEnglish

textes en français

teksten in NL



women in mining

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Yesterday I discovered 2 new websites: ‘Women in mining’ and ‘International women in mining’ ( I am a bit confused, because they seem to promote the mining sector as a career opportunity for women. IWIM also organises a photo contest and in the jury we find mainly male representative of big mining companies, like De Beers and others…

Interview with Wilhemina Manaso
Mine Manager, BHP Billiton in South Africa shares her experiences and advice for women embarking on a career in the Mining industry…
“There are a lot of barriers caused by my gender; as a woman, if you’re doing well in a male-dominated industry they think you’re having an affair with one of the senior managers. Every time I was promoted, they would say, ‘how come you promoted her? Is she having a relationship with you?’”
Mining is an industry which has always been male-dominated, regardless of geographical location. There have been positive steps which have helped to integrate women into the industry, but females continue to be under-represented and Mining is still largely a man’s domain. The study ‘Mining for talents’, published early in 2013 and conducted by Women in Mining (UK) and Price-Waterhouse Coopers, stated that the mining industry has the lowest number of women on company boards of any industry group worldwide. South Africa is one country which is leading the rest in terms of employing women in the mining and minerals sectors.



plastic field


Plastic is still all around everywhere. Funny, when we arrive this morning on the place where I am supposed to make an artwork for a collective project this summer, the field has turned into a plastic field. Was Christo here before me, with Daniel Buren may be? Or is it an agricultural method to speed up the growing of the maize?

Anyway, seeing all this plastic motivates me to re-open artPLASTIEKfabrique and pick up the needles to knit some plastic away….

As I choose an old tree to place the plastic knitting in, the first thing to do when we get there and measure the shape. With a little help of my man, it is an easy thing to do, and nice to too.

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Our first visit was in November 2016, when we walked the route with the organisers of the project and all the participating artists. During the walk, I was telling a colleague about the little chapel in nearby Tollembeek, dedicated to Barbara, protectrice of the miners.  I spotted it a week ago and when I saw it, the Asturian miners song : ‘Santa Barbara bendita, trai, la la la la lai la la’, began to sing in my head. The funny coincidence is that, while telling this, I see in a tree the shape of a little chapel. That is where the idea of a Barbara chapel in this tree is born and a long story on this blog has started …

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When we come back to measure in April 2017,  it is a bit of a shock to see that part of the natural structure of the chapel is missing and that ‘the foundation’ is gone… Some restoration will be needed. We’ll see how…

Besides of the knitting I have the intention to add some research to the project. Research about Barbara, but also about the song, the life of miners and miners families, in Belgium, but also worldwide. In the past and today….

Here is a version of the song by the choir Coro Minero de Turon :

sprouts 2

Three tricot-trotteuses went back to the canal on Friday 22 juin in order to discuss and execute some re-arrangements. First time in the morning and then, after discussion, we went back again in the afternoon. It was a tough day, very windy and with a heavy rain at the end. But the whole thing looked better in our eyes. Other changes will come with time as toxic trash keeps growing…



The biggest job so far was accomplished by Tricot trottoir last thirsday 14.06.  We finally went to the place we once were invited to en put the ‘toxic sprouts’. It was a bit tricky down there, but it is certainly a place where all kinds of dirty things can mushroom easily. We hope our work will be understood and respected and that the boats passing by will appreciate it. Within short time we will be back to modify it a little as a few parts need correction.

As soon as the film is ready, you will find the link to it here. As for now we join some pictures.

The action was concluded with a (recorded) declaration & a few beers.



The toxic sprouts we put on the bridge over the canal in Clabecq almost 2 weeks  ago now are still in place. Many people notice it, although it looks quit small from far. It confirms our idea that a work does not have to be big to have an impact and that it is worth to keep it small. With our handmade slow art we find ourselves at the opposite of the big, bigger, biggest (sponsored) art projects initiated by city marketeers a.o.  On the other hand in our approach many hands can make our projects grow and so the sprouts can mushroom on many places.

This summer I want to walk alongside the canal from Clabecq to Charleroi and work with what I find on my way. Talking to people I meet I will seek collaboration and share the decision making about interventions of this kind in the common space.


toxic sprouts

ArtPLASTIEKfabrique & tricot trottoir will continue the production of the toxic ‘choux de poubelles’ during the year 2012. As soon as the weather is better we will assemble them and place them alongside the canal Bruxelles-Charleroi, at certain places where plastic pollution is high. At this moment several groups are involved in the sprout production, but we are still looking for local partnerships and collaborations for the installation of the stuff. The toxic sprout can be assembled and placed as if they were parasites growing around the poles of a bridge or anything like that, or they can as a creeper overgrow a big pile of plastic trash, fished from the canal. The picture above shows a first test in that direction, with some sprouts attached on an abandoned household object.