Secret Garden

KABK-IAFD «Secret Garden»

By Joshua Holetz, Louise Spisser, Deandra Jauw, Youbin Kang, Victor de Groot

The women albums at that time have some interesting qualities. First, these albums are made in very intimate contexts: the albums remain in the house of the holder and very little people (mostly family members, close relatives or friends) are asked to make something for it. Even though the women albums of the nineteenth century are not as private objects as the albums of the seventeenth century, they are definitely more personal. They are indeed very refined objects, gathering real pieces of art like embroideries and other craftworks that highlight the skills of the maker. As a result, it is a very precious object in the eyes of the owner.

For this project, we have chosen some key visual elements that kept appearing in women albums of that time. The most obvious one is «flowers». At that time, it wasn’t a common thing to associate women with flower, so researchers assume that their appearance may be more related to the idea of nature as inspiration when learning how to draw or linked to the Romantic era, when returning back to nature also meant embracing the ephemerality of life. The two other themes coming forwards that we decided to highlight are textures, from the use of hair or embroideries and cut outs from the very refined punched pages.