Beek, Hannelieke van de - VM - H. v.d. Beek
Hannelieke van de Beek: And They Tell You Just to Be
‘No one can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth. Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying, “What will we eat?” or “What will we drink?” or “What will we wear?” For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.
Matthew 6:24-34 (NRS)
Further comments by the artist, Hannelieke van de Beek
The recessed middle portion of this work contains the essence of the story: consider the flowers in the field, don’t worry about what you will eat, stand on your bare feet. I have embroidered the text ‘And they tell you just to be’ on it.
On the surface, the border is everything that distracts us: money, clothes, things, worrying. In the border are clippings from newspapers and folders with texts like: 'People increasingly derive their identity less from their background and more from their lifestyle. One knows contemporary people by their leisure activities and patterns of consumption’ and ‘A fast lifestyle, a well-paying job, a car with chauffeur, but a life not lived.’
In the lower rim there are pictures of myself, as a four-year-old praying in my highchair: ‘Lord, bless this food, amen.’ I have curls after having slept all night with curlers in my hair. I do not want these curls. It is my mother’s wish. Already I am being taught to judge by appearances. To the left and the right I am sitting at a dressing table combing my hair to remove the curls.
We may be who we are. For me, that is what this Bible passage is about. Not our status, but our core as human being and child of God is important, whether we are daunted, depressed, indisposed or overly active. Just be, in this moment. Be there for others, for a moment, attentively, with a pan of soup. While the greatest treasure that I may receive is that others are there for me.
The size of this work is: 120 x 120 cm; material: wood, lead, hand-made paper, sand (build your house on a rock, not on sand!), photographs, coins, nails, gauze, fragments of pottery, labels of clothes, newspaper clippings and pieces from folders….
The artwork was published in: Leen La Rivière (ed.): Millenniumverhalen, beroemde voorbeelden van Jezus Christus. Verteld in oude taal, de taal van nu, als beeldtaal en doorverteld voor de toekomst, Continental Art Centre - Rotterdam.
Hannelieke van de Beek is a Dutch artist who graduated in 1982 from the Koninklijke Academie voor Beeldende Kunsten in The Hague with a specialization in textile arts.
ArtWay Visual Meditation April 25, 2010