Handle with Care

from 26 November
Handle with Care

Handle with Care

koop tickets

The Princessehof National Museum of Ceramics in Leeuwarden will present the new exhibition Handle with Care from 26 November 2022 to 20 October 2023. This exhibition revolves around the hand and gestures – expressions of intimacy, compassion, serenity, authority, labour and celebration. The ceramics that will be displayed capture the universal role hands and fingers play in the lives of humans and animals. Curator Dr. Wendy Gers selected 37 works relating to this theme for Handle with Care. They range from archaeological finds to the latest contemporary acquisitions, loans from up-and-coming artists, and treasures from the Princessehof’s depot. Sometimes the known and unknown makers of this eclectic collection of objects from different times and regions have literally left their impressions in the clay.


We invite you to celebrate the opening of the exhibition with us on Saturday November 26. Everyone is welcome, but please reserve your time slot for this day via www.princessehof.nl/tickets

12.00 Speech by Kris Callens, director and
          Dr. Wendy Gers, curator
          Four artists will present their work (Marie-Josée Comello, Bastienne Kramer, Charlotte Eta Mumm & Pablo Ponce)
12.30 Performance Neha Kudchadkar (also at 14.30)
13.30 Tour by Dr. Wendy Gers*, curator (also at 15.30)

*We advise you to sign up for the tour as soon as possible. Go to our ticketpage and select 26 november 'tour van Dr. Wendy Gers'.

Neha Kudchadkar is a visual and performing artist and curator based in Mumbai. She is a graduate of the RCA, London, and the Faculty of Fine Arts, Vadodara. Neha has exhibited in India, Germany, Switzerland, Israel and the UK. She is founder-director of beej, a performing arts collective in Mumbai. She developed a performance for the opening. 
"How does one accept self care and find moments of intimacy with oneself when the mind is numb and stifled with the happenings of the world? A bullet through a sister, the release of rapists, the hacking of the earth, the swallowing of the ocean, drowning of children. Could the greatest act of resistance be to be myself? To nurture, serve, decorate and love my being for being? Using the thumri as a starting point, I claim my ground and be."
-Neha Kudchadkar

Neha Kudchadkar
Neha Kudchadkar

Instruments and gestures

Among the works is Hand Job, a ‘multi-tool’ for the hand created by Neha Kudchadkar, which consists of ten delicate instruments, one for each finger and each with its own function: caress, feed, manipulate and cherish. This is the first time that work by Kudchadkar, an up-and-coming visual and performance artist from Mumbai, India, will be exhibited in the Netherlands. One of the Princessehof’s recent acquisitions, a sculpture by Sharon van Overmeiren (Belgium), will also be premiered in Handle with Care. Dog whisperer and television star Caesar Milan – and his dogs – inspired this work, in which Van Overmeiren explores the boundary between humans and animals. The figure makes a blessing gesture with one hand, and seems to offer something with the other.

Handle with Care includes work by unidentified artists from China, Peru, Suriname, Nigeria, Dagestan, Turkey and the Netherlands. Also on show is work by Rob Birza, Johan Creten, Marie-Josée Comello, Daniël De Bruin, Bing & Grøndahl, Satoru Hoshino, Bastienne Kramer, Neha Kudchadkar, Hanna Mobach, Charlotte Eta Mumm, Pablo Ponce, Rosenthal & co, Akio Takamori, Studio Tjep, Simone van Bakel, Hans van der Ham, Hans van Houwelingen, Couzijn van Leeuwen, Sharon van Overmeiren, Irene Vonck, Pauline Wiertz and Betty Woodman. The lion’s share of the exhibited works are from the Princessehof’s collection, but there are also pieces from the collections of the Fries Museum, the Fries Verzetsmuseum and a loan from Museum Boijmans van Beuningen.

Handy ceramics

Thumbs-up or thumbs-down? Beckoning or dismissing? They’re almost the same hand movements, yet there is a world of difference. This is how hands can make and break us: a hand that caresses can also strike, a hand that invites can just as easily reject. We use our hands to make sketches, add details, and create works of art. Ceramicists sometimes literally leave their impressions in the clay. And a fingertip is sometimes enough to set the largest machines in motion. But the power of our hands also lies in their vulnerability: when communicating, or holding or releasing the people and objects around us.

Hans van Houweling, A posteriori, 2015, Armour hand by the artist with plate from late Ming period (1560-1580). Restored with ki
Hans van Houweling, A posteriori, 2015, Armour hand by the artist with plate from late Ming period (1560-1580). Restored with ki

National Museum of Ceramics

In recent years, the Princessehof National Museum of Ceramics in Leeuwarden has developed into a world leader in the field of contemporary ceramics. Highlights include the major exhibitions Human After All (2020/21) and In Motion (2017). The second floor of the museum is devoted to contemporary art and design, with four to five solo presentations per year, recent examples being work by Jennifer Tee, Babs Haenen, Meekyoung Shin, Morten Løbner Espersen and Yoon Seok-Hyeon. Currently on show are works by Alexandra Engelfriet (until 9 April 2023) and design duo Humade (until 30 October 2022). The museum actively expands its collection, also as a source of inspiration for new generations of designers and artists. In the years ahead, curator Dr. Wendy Gers will be focusing on an exhibition programme and accompanying publications around sustainable ceramics.

Partners: Ottema-Kingma Foundation, Society of Friends Princessehof Museum of Ceramics, and Club Céramique

The Princessehof National Museum of Ceramics is co-funded by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and the Municipality of Leeuwarden

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