Form on the Vecht brings art and design to Doornburgh Estate

From Friday March 18th to September 25th Doorburgh Estate presents the exhibition “Form on the Vecht”. The former convent between Utrecht and Amsterdam exhibits works by numerous renowned designers, artists, and photographers. Curator Nicole Uniquole: ‘This exhibition reflects the remarkable history of this estate by shedding a new light on it.’ On show are works by over 65 designers, photographers, artists and fashion designers like Jan Taminiau, Stefan Scholten, Richard Hutten, Wieki Somers, Suzanne Jongmans, Lita Cabellut, Jan Noyons, Job Smeets, Jimmy Nelson, Esmé Hofman, Winnie Teschmacher, Danielle Kwaaitaal, Bert Kuizenga, Carla van de Puttelaar & Iris van Herpen, and many others. Curator Uniquole creates an exceptional heritage exhibition, combined with design

Contemporary Designers
The exhibition “Form on the Vecht” shows the heritage of the Doornburgh estate in addition to a selection of contemporary design, art, fashion, and photography. Curator Nicole Uniquole created the exhibition in this former convent, situated along the river the Vecht. Uniquole; ‘The seventeenth century elite built country estates along the Vecht for their summer retreats. This exhibition presents the heritage of the estate, next to contemporary design. This is how we tell the story of this extraordinary location and through the art and design on display, a surprising new perspective on the future is created.’ Various makers find temporary accommodation at the convent as an artist in residence, creating new works inspired by the Doornburgh Estate.

Rhythm as the Common Thread
Curator Nicole Uniquole regularly creates exceptional exhibitions at special heritage locations. For this exhibition she selected makers that play on the strength of the location by reinforcing it. The common thread throughout the exhibition is: the daily rhythm of the sister who once lived in the priory, the regular shapes in the architectures and the design structures. Uniquole: ‘The participating makers draw inspiration from this place. Studio Stefan Scholten created the exhibition design that is based on the striking architectural premises of the convent. In close collaboration with the interior and styling by Maarten Spruyt a Gesamtkunstwerk is created.” President of the Doornburgh Estate art committee Maya Meijer-Bergmans: ‘We aim to surprise our visitors. By combining heritage with contemporary design in this exhibition, visitors will discover more about past and present.

Nuns from the Golden Bent
For “Form on the Vecht” historian Reinildis van Ditzhuyzen explored the history of the country estates along the Vecht between Utrecht and Amsterdam. This collection of 17th century country estates along the Vecht are also called the Golden Bent. Van Ditzhuyzen in particularly focuses on the sister order of the Canonesses of the Holy Sepulchre. This order resided at Doornburgh from 1957 to 2016. The historian spoke with former residents and mapped out a part of the history of the estate. During the sixties the sisters commissioned the build of the modern convent, designed by Jan de Jong, pupil of architect and monk Dom Hans van der Laan. It is fairly unique that the convent has remained intact in its entirety, including the characteristic furniture that adds to the extraordinary ambiance. The nature, architecture, and history of this country estate still inspires the makers of today.

Since the nineties Nicole Uniquole has been internationally active as a curator, concept developer and exhibition creator, connecting different worlds in inimitable fashion. By now world renowned through her Masterly exhibitions, combining contemporary design with the works of old masters. In all her projects Nicole Uniquole seeks out the most appealing contemporary designers and photographers that reinforce the strength of the heritage.

Doornburgh Estate
Since 2018 the Doornburgh Estate Foundation curates the convent with a program that sits on the cutting edge between art and science, through exhibitions, workshops and lectures. Since 2020 it also offers makers and thinkers a periodic artist in residence at the convent, to work en be inspired the history, nature, and architecture of the estate.

Estate Doornburgh, located on the Vecht near Utrecht, is owned by MeyerBergman Erfgoed Groep since 2016, known for the Westergasfabriek and Paleis Soestdijk, among others. The aim of the Group is to give Doornburgh a new purpose, while preserving its monumental values. Doornburgh has been transformed into a center where art and science meet.  Doornburgh as a laboratory for artists and a studio for scientists. And will be a stage where professionals, talent, leaders and the public are given the opportunity to research, present and experience beauty, new insights and social deepening. Maya Meyer took the initiative for this exhibition and asked Nicole Uniquole to develop the concept. It will be an ode to the nuns.

 Maya Meijer-Bergmans, co-founder MeyerBergman Heritage Group:
“Why is this the perfect place to formulate ideas about the future? Before we bought the property, we had a long talk with the sisters. In the end, the priory on this country estate was inhabited by only three sisters. The idea for Doornburgh is inspired by their open attitude, devotion and idea of ​​reflection. Don’t live in the delusion of the day, and be aware of what you can do for someone else. As far as I’m concerned, Doornburgh is the perfect place where we can work on a ‘bright future’ based on a rich history with different disciplines.”

The exhibition “Vorm aan de Vecht” will take place from 18 March until 25 September 2022 at Buitenplaats Doornburgh.

Written by Nanda Jagusiak-Monteiro