anton veenstra

My parents were from the Netherlands and Slovenia. Over many visits to both countries I have been influenced by the portraitsand intense colours of Van Gogh and Karel Appel of the CoBrA group. The latter surprisingly painted bits of wood and made towers with them. In Slovenia pieces of folk lace showed traditional motifs but closeup there were bridges and spans between built up areas like monsters by Francis Bacon. I have always worked several textile media: macrame, patchwork and button collages. Most successful have been the latter, sometimes combined with pieces of woven tapestry. There the traditional nature of tapestry offsets the button work; but the two together are a mocking re-encounter of cloth and button. I use pearlshell to give a special lustre, while the bottle top containing an eye refers to the machismo ever present in Australian society. I was raised in central Queensland where Polynesian culture is prevalent; its use of the cowrie shell, as in African culture, represented the wisdom of an elder. While echoing that shape, my use and significance is diametrically other.   - Anton Veenstra