The 'Mermaid' serie


I started these artworks in 2021 as a kind of altar to woman. Women's value is still measured by how you look. You are measured. The fact that you are being measured at all is to see as a compliment (Say what!?) When is something a flirt, when sexist. There's a thin line. And there's duality. A mermaid is a-sexual and yet seen as one of the most seductive mythical female figures on earth. On my mermaids I embroidered words like 'perfect', 'sweet', 'no'. The spangles give the fabric scales: the look of a chain mail but also screams 'nightclub'. All double messages. They are a little defect.

Mermaid #1 - 2021


Embroidery art/assemblage by Ingeborg Vriends

Size: 65 x 70 x 7 cm.  € 2800


This small monument to woman represents the duality between wanting te be beautiful/seductictive and being judged for that. 
The vulnerability lies in the technique and choice of materials (textiles) that are seen as feminine. The primal power of the woman (to protect, to give birth, to worry) is in the scales that form a kind of chain mail/armor.

Mermaid #2 - 2022


Embroidery art/assemblage by Ingeborg Vriends

Size: 65 x 75 x 10 cm.  € 2900


Nothing exist without water. All life is originated from water. But our life also originates in water. Without woman there's no life. Mami-Wata (Mother Water) is an ancient African water goddess. Water spirits, mermaids and gods all over the world have their origin in Mami Wata. In the stories she takes travelers into her world to give them spiritual insight. Then she puts them back on the bank. She is a real sea bitch, mother and femme fatale. The double tail symbolizes that contradiction in every woman.

Risoprint Mami-Wata - 2022


Riso print by Ingeborg Vriends

Size: 29,7 x 21 cm.  € 25


3 color riso-print in limited edition of 40 pieces, made at Grafisch Atelier Den Bosch, signed and for sale in webshop

Mermaid #4 - 2022


Embroidery art/assemblage by Ingeborg Vriends

Size: 60 x 80 cm. € 1700


All that glitter and gold. How can you keep hearing yourself in a world full of material things and status?

"What do you want?" is her question for you. These mermaids are full of ancient symbolism and an expedition into womanhood, motherhood and meaning. Girls from my generation had to be sweet, beautiful and smart. Doing better than our parents. Everything was possible: a long and happy life for those who worked hard enough. But maybe life isn't makeable at all and the world not at everyone's feet. Maybe that's better too. Can we stop with personal goals and all that hassle. Create more space in people's hearts to worry about someone else and finally see the other.

Desertwolf #1 - 2022


Size 60 x 40 cm.  (Sold)

Embroidery art/assemblage by Ingeborg Vriends


This magical creature is a small desert goddess. "It takes dark to see the light," is what she says.

In our family, bags with sacred ointment from Rome go around that help when the first teeth come through. My aunts got them from the Birgittessen Sisters. Small embroidered pockets that you pin to the inside of a baby romper.

If you no longer know who you are or what you are for, then you must (figuratively) return to the desert, a place where there are no distractions. Nothing to fill your pain or emptiness. An old soul is waiting there for you to plant seeds in your heart. To plant new life into you. I put those seeds in the little bags. Like the Birgittessen Sisters.

Mami Wata #2 - 2023


Size 60 x 40 cm. € 1200

Embroidery art/assemblage by Ingeborg Vriends


This work is about being a mother and an artist. Or writer, artist, poet, musician… How are we doing that? And is it good enough? For myself I know I was much less productive when having little kids. And not so good as I wanted to be. (This subject is taboo among female creators.)
I cut out the mermaid of old tea towels in which I normally strain my soupe. Those tea towels were no longer white. Not even with Aunt Jet's washing skills :) But there's a lot of soup and love in it. So they are perfect for this project.