expositie: de conferentie en meer...


De Conferentie even in het Louwman museum in den Haag:



Here they are, sitting around the table.  Twelve women and men who are mostly contemporaries. Called together because they represent what most of us aspire to.  Because of who they are, their words and action allow us to see a glimpse of what is possible and gives us hope.  Because of them a hopeful image emerges.

They do not necessarily know each other, but a sense of community connects them. Each of  them is concerned about the fate of their fellow human beings who cannot express themselves freely,  do not have access to clean water, education and opportunities.

From the vantage point of the contrast between good and evil, light and darkness, peace and war, love and hate, freedom and dictatorship, solidarity and greed, each one of them appeals to our awakeness and alertness. They not only dream and imagine other ways of living together in harmony and caring for the earth, but are witnesses to this dream by their actions.

That is why these twelve were brought together around the table with thirteen chairs.

The thirteenth chair is empty and the conversation will not start until someone answers the call and sits down with them. Someone with the courage to look them in the eyes and start the conversation with them.  Someone willing to ponder the question in the gaze of Malala, Rosa, Juliano or any of the others, because then something can be put in motion.  This eye contact is the beginning.  At the table, where the thirteenth seat is free for the visitor, perhaps the question arises: ... 'and what will I do?'

In 2007 I got to know Herma Schellingerhoudt (1966).  Since then I have had the pleasure of meeting her on numerous occasions.  Her concern for the world inspired her to create this conference of the twelve people who represent the resistance to what concerns her. She is alarmed by the culture of greed, the thoughtless polution of the oceans, the oppression of women, the lack of rights for minorities.  The people who stand up against these trends, advocate a different vision and resist the establishment are of great inpiration to her. This inpiration led to the selection of the twelve.

Herma and I hope and dream that the women and men sculpted by her will regularly sit around the conference table anywhere in the world. That someone sits down with them and is touched by the stories they represent. That that person will pick up the pen and write down the answer and people will get to work.

Above all, the creator of this conference hopes that the stories of these twelve remarkable human beings will be told and retold in schools everywhere, so that goodness, truth, compassion and  freedom of expression will endure and be strenghtened.

The life times of the people representing the twelve lifesize portraits span more than a century (1910 – 2013). Below are their names in order of creation by Herma Schellingerhoudt


- Jorge Mario Bergoglio: Pope Francis (1936),   Argentina 

  Franciscus of Assisi tells us we should work to build peace. But there is no true peace                      without truth.


- Ai Weiwei (1957), China.  Conceptual Artist and Philosopher

   If you don’t ACT, the danger becomes stronger.


- Malala Yousafzai (1996), Pakistan. Kids rights activist

   One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world.


- Jacques-Yves  Cousteau (1910-1997),  France, Explorer and Discoverer,

   Water and air, the two most essential fluids on which all life depends, have become global garbage cans.


- Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (1918 - 2013), Anti-Apartheid fighter, President, Father of the                 Nation, South Africa,

  The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.


- Aung San Suu Kyi (1945), Myanmar. Politician

  You should never let your fears prevent you from doing what you know is right


- Juliano Mer Khamis (1958-2011), Israël Actor, Director of the freedom theatre Jenin

  It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees.


- Tenzyn Gyato de 14de Dalai Lama (1935), Tibet

  The very purpose of religion is to control yourself, not to criticize others. Rather, we must criticize ourselves. How much am I doing about my anger? About my attachment, about my hatred, about my pride, my jealousy? These are the things we must check in daily life.


- Rosa Parks (1913-2005), United States of America. Seamstress and Human rights activist

I would like to be remembered as a person who wanted to be free…. So other people would be also free.


- Anna Politkovskaja (1958-2006), Moscow, Journalist, Publicist, Human rights activist,

People sometimes pay with their lives for saying aloud what they think. In fact, one can even get killed for giving me information. I am not the only one in danger.          


- Boyan Slat (1994), Netherlands. Student and Inventor Ocean Cleanup

When talking about environmental issues in general, a common response is, well that’s a long way off, that’s for our children to worry about. HELLO, HERE I AM.


- Jamie Oliver (1975), Londen. Chef, “Activist for healthy food”

Homicide is 0,8% of deaths. Diet-related disease over 60%.

But no one fucking talks about it.





Piet van Middelaar (1941), Brummen

Author, Artist



conf louwman3.jpg



conf louwman2.jpg


conf louwman1.jpg

conf louwman.jpg 


The Conference Table

The philosopher Hannah Arendt (1906-1975) described the meaning of politics. Politics is what she calls the world, and she refers to the space between people as that space which allows individuals to meet and talk to each other. That space makes plurality possible, and people can differ. For this she uses the metaphor of the table.

 A table unites people who sit at it and at the same time makes it possible to literally place a disagreement on the table and discuss it. It is a space that makes different viewpoints possible!

Following Arendt’s philosophy, I have created a “Conference Table” with some of the people I admire most in attendance, and a word that describes the essence of who they are to me. And there is a place for you at the Table, too - the Thirteenth Seat!



Jacques Yves Cousteau: Love

Cousteau has been one of my heroes since childhood. The love he has shown to nature has always stayed with me. Through his underwater films he captured the beauty and the greatness, but also the vulnerability, of the oceans. Partly because of him I have become aware of how all of life is dependent on water and air.

It is heartbreaking to know that the air we breathe and the oceans have now become global trash cans.

The love of Cousteau for this world and his urge to share with us this love confronts us all to treat the earth with great care and respect in the way we live our lives. Yet even when we are committed to taking care of the earth, it is very difficult to live without contributing to the pollution.


Rosa Parks: Courage

Being excluded because of your skin color, and therefore having fewer rights and less possibilities than another with the “right” skin color makes me “is iets om uit mijn vel te springen,” a Dutch expression which literally means that it makes me jump out of my skin (makes me angry). Rosa refused to give up her seat on a public bus for a white man. Her action was followed by her arrest, and her courageous action opened the road to making a change to the US Constitution. When describing her action, she said, "I had no idea that history had written me like that, I was just tired of not being allowed to move."

 We may find equivalence a self-evident right, but I believe that we still have a long way to go. Inequality, discrimination, and xenophobia are far from being a thing of the past. I admire Rosa for her courageous action which was a result of her refusal to accept that, because she was a black woman, she should be treated unjustly.


Nelson Mandela: Forgiveness

To be a gentle man is to be able to turn hate into love. For me, Nelson Mandela is someone who has shown us that value. Determined and purposeful, he returned to civic life after 27 years of imprisonment. His mind had not become embittered and his heart was not hardened. After being released from prison, he approached his old enemies with an open mind and heart. I find that extremely inspiring. He has become a moral icon worldwide because he has awakened so much hope for reconciliation and forgiveness in people.

For me, Mandela is an example of someone who, despite the suffering that was inflicted on him, is able to forgive himself and the other. If freedom is inside, it is painful to see that we are “free” people imprisoned in our own systems. Mandela said: "The greatest victory in life is not never to fall, but to get up every time."


Dalai Lama: Compassion

Although he lives outside Tibet as an exile, the Dalai Lama continues to approach the world with remarkable friendliness and peace. For me, he is a real ”thinker:” everything lies within you and how you deal with the world. With him I experience that I am regularly referred back to myself and to the way in which I meet the other person. What do I do with my emotions in a certain situation? I am both responsible for that which is inside me and at the same time I realize that my environment often determines a lot of who I am.

For me, the Dalai Lama is an example of compassion that, with inner peace, embraces the other, and embraces or even addresses the other with some merriment. The Dalai Lama says, “In practicing tolerance, your enemy is your best teacher.


Pope Francis: Humility

Although I do not have a Catholic background, Pope Francis was the first person that I modeled. It  was partly an intuitive and partly a conscious choice. His disarming attitude, his austere lifestyle and critical admonitions to his co-workers to humbly and modestly live touched me. I find it special that he, too, lives in the midst of all of the splendor and grandeur of his office, yet is “'detached,” from it all. He also expressed this detachment in the choice for his name as pope. Doing what you say and saying what you do seems true to who he is. At the same time he holds up a mirror for me and shows me that my feelings of indifference to worldly affairs can overtake me.  He keeps my conscience focused on looking at what is essential - the simplicity of life, staying positive and not closing my eyes or turning away from what is happening in the world.”'Go in peace, do not be afraid and serve,” are words from the conclusion of the world youth days (2013) that inspire me.


Aung San Suu Kyi: Dedication


The fact that Aung San Suu Kyi maintained her integrity during her long house arrest while she  continued to fight steadfastly for the basic rights of the people in Myanmar (Burma) means that I also chose her as one of the twelve. Her imprisonment demanded great personal sacrifices from her, but at the same time she continued to fight for the good cause for her people.

What Aung invokes in me is the power to place the community above the personal. Aung stood up to powerful generals and did not let herself be silenced. This is a form of devotion and loyalty that bears witness to great inner strength. "You must never let fear stop you from doing what you know is right," she says.


Ai Weiwei: Act

Only as an artist, says Ai Weiwei, can I be free of the Chinese regime. By doing things (his favorite word is 'act!') he denounces the abuses and absurdities in China. The emphasis he places on the control exercised by the Chinese regime on the Chinese people and on the “man's facilitation” is expressed in every work he creates Through his art, he tries to show the absurdity by which the government tries to control the people. He says, "If you ask questions about the communist authorities or ask questions about basic human rights, you are not free."

Ai Weiwei shows me the emptiness that can arise from the almost unlimited freedom I enjoy in The Netherlands. He inspires me to search for images that contribute to a more beautiful world.


Juliano Mer Khamis: Heart Journey

Juliano had a Jewish mother and a Palestinian father and with that inheritance comes the division between these peoples. He said of himself that he was both 100% Jew and 100% Palestinian, but he also said that it would split him if he had to choose one over the other. After the death of his mother Arna, he continued the freedom theater that she had set up in Jenin to continue working with the children in the refugee camp. For him, theater and art were the vehicles to enable traumatized children to interact with each other in a non-violent way. Juliano knew that he would be killed for this work and yet he chose to continue with it even though he died trying.

I find it courageous that someone, despite threats, does not let themselves be governed by fear. The passion with which Juliano made theater and told about his work with children, makes it even more distressing that his prediction came true. He typifies his statement: "It is better to die standing than to live on your knees."


Anna Politkovskaya: Conscience

Freedom of speech is a great thing. It isn’t true for everyone that they have the freedom to say or write what they think. Anna did not have this freedom: she was not allowed to write about the political situation in Russia. Her pen was critical, independent and perceptive. Lethal were the few bullets that hit her in the porch of her home in Moscow. Someone said: 'People like Anna are rare. We are angry with them as long as they live, but when they are dead we understand that they are our conscience.”

 Her story touches me twofold: on the one hand because I think it is important that people can speak out without endangering their safety; on the other hand, it touches me because I have found the freedom of expression in our society almost perverse. If everything can be said unrestrained, taking responsibility for your own words and actions completely disappears and that freedom becomes a travesty. For me, Anna is someone who calls me to carefully deal with the freedom to express myself.


Jamie Oliver: indignation

If you throw contaminated petrol in your car, the engine breaks down. We pay a lot of attention and money to the buy the best for our car. When it comes to nutrition, it does not matter anymore whether something is or is not good for our body. Many chemicals are added to our foodstuffs, food and food production are being manipulated on all sides. Sugar or something that looks like sugar is in everything, and most is harmful to our bodies. Apparently we find that our body is not worth a healthy diet.

 Jamie started a campaign to serve healthy food in schools in the UK. Cooks are retrained, children are taught the importance of a good diet and to eat vegetables. Less fat, less sugar, less chemistry is the adage. Jamie says: "Murder is only 0.8% of the causes of death. Diet-related diseases are that for more than 60%. But nobody talks about that!"

Precisely because food is about life and death, and because he denounces poor food choices, it is self-evident to me that Jamie is also sitting at this conference table.


Boyan Slat: Willpower

Our earth is 4.6 billion years old. If we simplify this to 46 years, we would be walking around on this planet for only four hours. The industrial revolution began only a minute ago and in that one minute we have destroyed as many as half of all forests worldwide.

Boyan was 16 years old when he was diving in Greece and discovered that there was more plastic in the water than fish. In fact, his friend mistook some of the plastic for a jellyfish. Boyan wanted to change this terrible pollution problem. For the first time, he calculated how much plastic we dump in the oceans and discovered that we put at least 5 million tons per year in the ocean, 19 times as much as previously thought.

I am under the impression that he has suspended his studies and with a lot of willpower and perseverance tries to implement his intention to free the oceans from the plastic soup. It is shocking to me that, in our indifference, we leave the cleaning of the polluted seas to our children.


Malala Youzafzai: Mission

After Malala was shot in her head in a bus in Pakistan and, she received an operation in England, and miraculously recovered. She has become an icon and has received many international prizes. I chose her because of her very strong opinion about education and her statement that education is a precondition for peace. That she stands up and is helped to stand up for the right of every human child to education is an example for anyone who thinks that education is a matter of course. She speaks sharply and enthusiastically to the powerful of the earth. She believes it and shows it: one child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world.

With her statements about forgiveness, she confronts me with the fact that it is difficult to forgive and let go. At the same time, she inspires me to look at my own culture that holds that education is a given for all children, and to realize the necessity of development in the broadest sense of the word.


The thirteenth place: sharing

The philosopher Hannah Arendt (1906-1975) described the meaning of politics. She says that the wold is political, and by that she means the space between people, the space that allows individuals to meet and talk to each other. That space makes plurality possible, and people can differ. For this she uses the metaphor of the table.

A table unites people who sit at it and at the same time makes it possible to literally place a disagreement on the table and discuss it. It is a space that makes different viewpoints possible!

 The conference table not only includes the twelve people I have chosen to sculpt, but it also has a thirteenth place. From the beginning, this thirteenth place has been an essential and indispensable part of the Conference. To those who sit down and connect with the other members of the Conference, the question is asked: 'What are you doing?'

The thirteenth place is therefore an invitation to unite with those who are already there and to take note of their stories, but also to make your voice heard. Without the voice of the thirteenth place, the Conference is not complete. And then the question is whether you dare to keep your answers for yourself but to or will you write them down and share them. This makes the thirteenth place a place where it may begin ....



With gratitude to those who have helped make The Conference possible:


Peter de Haan: Assist

The table and all attributes are made by me. Working on the Conference opened my vulnerability to myself. To stand, give, receive, trust and be a judgment-free and cooperative man. I hope that the thirteenth place of Conference will be occupied many times and is an inspiration to make more time and space and to understand each other.


Piet van Middelaar: Empathy

The 12 chosen icons were also representatives of hope for me, as I wrote at the Conference for an introduction. In words I tried to say what these twelve have actually done or are doing in their own way. They sharpen my conscience and responsibility for what I eat, how I live, who I vote for, what I write or what I make as a visual artist.


Héctor Ferreiro: Consciousness

I was particularly invited to contribute to this art installation. My contribution is the video collage of archive material from the conference members. I believe that the Conference can motivate and inspire people. No matter how big or small, every moment in life gives us opportunities to help others, thus the human spirit is nourished.


Martin Stor: Connect

I was allowed to film the realization of the images. It yielded an intimate portrait about working method, motivation and of course the pleasure. I am impressed by the mission and gladly contribute to it. The photos are made by me and during the conference I will also provide reports in the form of film and photo. So to the question, 'What are you going to do?' I answer, so this.














Twelve women and men, some of whom are contemporaries sitting around the conference table. 'By whom they are and by what they do and say it speaks good and something of the hopeful comes to light. Because of them it gets a face, as it were. '

Thus in the introduction my choice for these twelve is described by Piet van Middelaar. That they have or have had insight and guts was the essential starting point for me to model them.

The project is now finished and the table is ready to go on a journey. My key word for this conference is therefore: TRAVEL.

My wish is that the Conference will visit many places and many people will join this table to look into their hearts, to talk and to share what they want to do for us and for this beautiful earth that we inhabit.

Love, courage, forgiveness, compassion, humility, devotion, acting, heart-rides, conscience, indignation, willpower, mission, sharing, assisting, empathy, consciousness, connecting and inspiration ... I dream for everyone who takes a seat at the conference table.










Open atelier: beeld Ida Gerhardt in de maak

di 9 jan 2018, 13:01 
Miniatuurontwerp beeld Ida Gerhardt. Foto: PR
Miniatuurontwerp beeld Ida Gerhardt. Foto: PR

ZUTPHEN - Vanaf komende zomer kijkt dichteres Ida Gerhardt, vereeuwigd in brons, uit over de IJssel. Benieuwd hoe het bronzen beeld vorm krijgt? Kom dan een kijkje nemen in het atelier van beeldhouwer Herma Schellingerhoudt. Van 16 januari tot 16 februari opent zij op dinsdagmiddag en donderdagavond de deuren van haar atelier aan de Marsweg 115-1c voor publiek.

Ida Gerhardt (1905-1997) is van grote betekenis voor Zutphen. Haar gedichten hebben de stad kleur gegeven. De gemeente heeft Herma Schellingerhoudt gevraagd om de dichteres duurzaam gestalte te geven op de IJsselkade, daar waar de Berkel in de IJssel stroomt (Noordzijde van de Berkel monding). De omgevingsvergunning voor het plaatsen het beeld gaat binnenkort in procedure.

Beeldhouwer aan het werk
Nadat ze eerst een aantal schetsen heeft gemaakt, start Herma Schellingerhoudt nu met het 'echte' werk: het maken van een bronzen beeld op ware grootte. Ze wil graag laten zien hoe dit proces verloopt. Daarom is iedereen welkom om een kijkje te nemen in haar atelier aan de Marsweg 115-1c. Dat kan tussen 16 januari en 16 februari, op dinsdag van 13.30 tot 16.00 uur en op donderdag van 19.00 tot 21.00 uur. Het gaat dan om de volgende data: 16, 18, 23, 25 en 30 januari en 1, 6, 8, 13 en 15 februari. Aanmelden is niet nodig, u kunt gewoon binnenlopen.



Ida Gerhardt in brons vereeuwigd

Vanaf komende zomer kijkt Ida Gerhardt over de IJssel uit. De dichteres die zo verbonden was en is met Zutphen wordt namelijk in brons vereeuwigd. Ze krijgt een plek op de vernieuwde IJsselkade waar haar geliefde rivier en de Berkel samenkomen. Woensdagmiddag 27 september zetten burgemeester Annemieke Vermeulen en de Zutphense beeldhouwer Herma Schellingerhoudt een handtekening onder de opdracht voor het maken van het beeld.

Ida Gerhardt in de kloostertuinHet idee om een beeld van dichteres Ida Gerhardt op de IJsselkade te plaatsen, is ongeveer een jaar geleden geboren. Bernard ten Doeschate: “Bij mijn aftreden als directievoorzitter van Koninklijke Reesink vroeg voormalig wethouder Yvonne van der Houwen mij of ik een startkapitaaltje beschikbaar wilde stellen voor een project waardoor Ida Gerhardt duurzaam in Zutphen verankerd zou worden. Op dat verzoek gingen mijn vrouw en ik meteen in. Eerder dit jaar hebben we met Yvonne van der Houwen en met Herman Krans van de Stichting Ida Gerhardt Prijs gekozen voor een bronzen beeld. Het is verheugend dat de gemeente inmiddels zo ruimhartig over de brug is gekomen om het project - beter gezegd: Ida Gerhardt - op deze wijze gestalte te geven.”

Foto: Ida Gerhardt in de Kloostertuin. Fotograaf: Ab van der Kloot

Burgemeester Annemieke Vermeulen: “De betekenis van Ida Gerhardt voor onze stad is groot. Ze heeft de stad identiteit en kleur gegeven. Zutphen, Gerhardt en haar gedichten worden sterk met elkaar geassocieerd. Het beeld is een uiting van waardering en een waardevolle toevoeging aan de IJsselkade en Zutphen.”


Herma Schellingerhoudt is gevraagd het beeld van Ida Gerhardt te vervaardigen. Zij is voorgesteld namens de initiatiefnemers. De Zutphense beeldhouwer is onder andere bekend van haar project De Conferentie in Dat Bolwerck. Zij heeft zich vooral toegelegd op het maken van gelijkende beelden in verschillende technieken.

Ondertekening opdracht  

Herma Schellingerhoudt en burgemeester Annemieke Vermeulen ondertekenen de overeenkomst.

Herma Schellingerhoudt

Herma met een eerste schets van het beeld, in miniatuur.


Na de officiële opdrachtverlening op woensdagmiddag 27 september start Schellingerhoudt met het maken van het beeld. Het is mogelijk om haar aan het beeld te zien werken in het atelier op De Mars. Hierover wordt later meer bekend gemaakt.

Naar verwachting is het beeld halverwege volgend jaar gereed. Het beeld wordt op de IJsselkade geplaatst op een moment dat de werkzaamheden daar dit mogelijk maken. Ida Gerhardt krijgt een plek waar de Berkel en IJssel samenkomen, ze is gericht naar de IJssel en kijkt over de rivier uit.



 Maandag 16 april


Het beeld van was gaat naar de bronsgieter. Over een maand of drie is deze klaar om geplaatst te worden.

Foto's van het proces bij de bronsgieter volgen!





In de maand september 2017 woon en werk ik (samen met 11 andere kunstenaars) in basiskamp Entre Nous in Frederiksoord Drenthe.

Naast alle thema's waar de kunstenaars aan werken, probeer ik iedere dag met iemand (bezoeker, spreker, collega etc.) een gesprek aan te gaan van ongeveer 2,5 uur. Tijdens dit gesprek maak ik van mijn gast een portret in klei, een schets. De onderwerpen zijn vanuit de thema's van het basiskamp. In dit geval een persoonlijk gesprek, diepgravend van mens tot mens,  in de schets probeer de essentie te pakken en als residu het beeld en een uitspraak te distilleren over het onderwerp waarover we spreken.

Het is mogelijk om op de bonnefooi langs te komen en te kijken of ik vrij ben, maar een afspraak maken mag ook.

Ik ga uit van een open, filosoferend, onderzoekend gesprek.

Interesse? mail:
         sms/app: 06 53524066 of

Stuur me een vriendschapsverzoek op facebook en stuur een persoonlijk bericht.

Volg ook



Entre Nous

Basiskamp Entre Nous is bedacht door Edwin Stolk (kunstenaar) en wordt gerealiseerd i.s.m. Stichting KiK. Op vrijdag 1 september om 16 uur is de opening. Door met bedrijven en andere organisaties samen te werken ontstaat een tijdelijk laboratorium, een proefkolonie waar de zoektocht naar alternatieven voor onze verzorgingsstaat centraal staat.

In Basiskamp Entre Nous staat u als burger centraal. Door met elkaar in gesprek te gaan zoeken we in debatten, bij workshops, presentaties en lezingen antwoord op de vraag: “Wanneer publieke diensten steeds meer door private partijen worden ingevuld, hoe zorg je er dan voor dat ze toegankelijk blijven voor iedereen? Hoe creëer je met elkaar een samenleving waarin iedereen tot zijn recht kan komen?”

In september is het basiskamp vrij toegankelijk en wonen er (i.p.v. militairen) een maand lang verschillende kunstenaars. Deze vakmensen gaan zich bezighouden met verzorgingsstaat gerelateerde onderwerpen die spelen in Westerveld en exemplarisch zijn voor andere gemeenten.