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Birthday Belly Buttons

Photo installation 2020

My last pregnancy left marks around my belly button, which suddenly looked older than the rest of my body. This made me wonder: can you tell someone’s age by looking at his navel? I decided to start photographing navels. The navel is the only trace from birth left on the body. We commemorate our birth every year on our anniversary. So it makes sense to take the birthday as the measurement date. Thus the navels shown here are each progressively one year older than the one before it.


The navel is our first scar in life. Most scars fade over time, some disappear completely. But not the navel, although it might hide from view behind the surrounding abdominal skin. We rarely, if ever, see it again with older people, but here we do. Can you tell from a belly button how old its wearer is? Judge for yourself.


The photos, ranging from 1 to 80, were taken exactly on the day that the owner of the navel reached the corresponding age, i.e. on his or her birthday; in Dutch “Jarige navels”, Birthday Belly Buttons.

That's high!


Installation in the Nicolaïkerk in Appingedam. mixed technique  with ties and crocheted dresses. Hanging element 13 m high, 5 separate elements on the floor, div. measurements.

1819b (4).JPG
1819 (27).JPG
1820 (5).jpg
1819 (23).JPG
1819 (16).JPG

From diaper to shroud


A collaboration with Kitty Boon and Eline Krottje in the nature garden of the town hall of Tynaarlo in Vries. The installation 'From diaper to shroud' is 6 meters high and 60 meters long. It is an ode to the slowly disappearing clothesline in the countryside. The laundry on this washing line represents the course of human life in clothing: from diapers through baby and children's clothing, adult and elderly clothing to the last pregnancy, the shroud. 

The clothesline and laundry are XXL, two and a half times the size of normal, everything exactly to scale. The woman who would fit these clothes is therefore about 4.25 meters tall and the bra fits a bust of 185 cm.

installatie textiel kunst waslijn luier lijkwade anneliet van beelen
1050a 017
1040 15
1042 010
1040 06
1039 045
1042 027

Face of the earth


Mixed technique of iron mesh and old blankets, approx. 260 x 250 x 250 cm.

This installation was made for .

With at least 50 year old blankets, warm and soft, an unpleasant, lonely world has been created.  The woman is alone.  She gets on her hands and knees.  The fish are on dry land and the trees are bare. What happened to the world? Is this the end or just a beginning?

installation used textile women with trees and a fishing net blankets
Aardse vrouw 2.0
aards - Sijtze Veldema
aards gelaat detail
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