DEURNE – Since 2014, Sjaak Langenberg & Rosé de Beer have been 'embedded' artists at The Rijtven, a community of people dealing with intellectual and physical challenges, which operates under the auspices of ORO care organisation. There, Langenberg & De Beer discovered that residents requiring 24-hour care can make an important contribution to society – they can teach those around them to contemplate the pace at which things are done and what attention is paid to them. By taking the pace of the residents as a guideline, a remarkable version of the slow movement has come into being at The Rijtven. In order to support their vision, Langenberg & De Beer develop new provisions and activities from their base in studio PUUR. The close collaboration with care organisation ORO, and the extreme involvement of this artist duo with different aspects – such as the overall vision concerning the terrain, communications, interior design and activities – is unique. They are involved both as makers and advisors, as well as in commissioning other artists and designers, and their approach contrasts starkly with the culture of 'endless meetings' and is thus educational for both employees and management. This is how, within two weeks, they were able to transform a garden shed that was serving as a smokers' hut, into a meditative chapel.
Mindfulness, yoga and meditational manufacturing process
Together with residents, Langenberg & De Beer recorded CDs with mediational exercises and music. A sly wink to the mindfulness hype, but above all, a way to underline that you can learn a lot about yourself through your contact with the residents.
Designer Sanne Ree Barthels knotted hammocks together with care employees who, in the course of this meditative manufacturing process, talked about their work. How can you take care of yourself whilst caring for others? What do the clients teach you?
Barthels made drawings based on the conversations, and she also designed a special cart for two employees who initiated a yoga workshop.
A short film about The Rijtven made by Langenberg & De Beer together with Twan Mickers, was shown during the exhibition 'Meditation' in the MRK in Uden.
Bottom-up house style and play landscape
Inspired by the products that were being made by residents during daily activities, Langenberg & De Beer developed a house style from the inside out, which led, among other things, to a website for the Rijtven integrating their vision, as well as a noticeboard on the grounds which also serves as an insect hotel. The noticeboards were produced by Wilco Kwerreveld van Schors & Scheef. Kwerreveld, who is a sculptor by profession, and who also designed a play-landscape for The Rijtven in which, rather than the playthings, a different vision concerning what constitutes play is central.
Snoezel-therapy and lounging
For a long term investigation into multi-functional Snoezel-Lounge spaces, Langenberg & De Beer commissioned various artists and designers. The designers Martijn Koomen and Anke van Looveren developed a snoezel-therapy space that was also used as an exchange library. They also investigated how the weather can influence the design of an interior space – how it can be utilised to activate the snoezel space. Artist duo Rizomorf made a 'nature film' that was detached from reality on the grounds of The Rijtven, and they furnished a Snoezel-cinema, the interior of which was completed with felted sound objects made from the wool of the oldest sheep at inhabiting grounds of The Rijtven.
Karin van Dam made a Snoezel-installation and involved one of the clients in the interior design of the installation by blowing up his detailed drawings up to fill the walls.
© Sjaak Langenberg & Rosé de Beer
Blog Made Public: 'Studio PUUR: Sjaak Langenberg & Rosé de Beer embedded in the Rijtven'