De Rebelse Lusthof [The Rebellious Garden]


jacquard tapestry, textile sculptures and sound

Fruits and weeds, labour and leisure, chatelaines and knotted cloths, baroque and cosmic connections, field workers, literaries, poets, rebels and royals grow together anarchically at Mercedes Azpilicueta’s De Rebelse Lusthof (2022), a garden that may or may not have existed to tell its own story.
Luscious and unruly, the garden draws inspiration from a disappeared one, in Oranjewoud, Friesland, whose original baroque designs have been forever lost. Some names and faces were remembered well, such as nobledames Albertine Agnes of Nassau and Maria Louise van Hessen-Kassel, Frisian writers Nienke van Hichtum and Hylkje Goïnga, and playwright Anna van der Horst. Others on the contrary, were remembered less, such as – one of the few surviving stories – of domestic worker Ina (Jennikjen) Bakker – whose life was taken because of her class and gender.
Azpilicueta tore their histories from their rigid chronology and universalised narratives and interwove them together again allowing kaleidoscopic connections growing like weeds in the Jacquard collage.

De Rebelse Lusthof was commissioned by Arcadia Triennale Paradys, curated by Hans den Hartog Jager and presented at the Fries Museum as part of the exhibition Seeds of Memory curated by Judith Spijksma.


Project and research coordination: Angeliki Tzortzakaki
Research: Laura Kneebone
Tapestry & Sound design: Toni Brell
Display: Katharina Kasinger
Textile sculptures: Darsha Golova
Production assistance: Cecile Hübner
Performance: Antonella Fittipaldi, Toni Steffens, Toni Brell

Many thanks to: Judith Peskens (Textile Lab), Bert Looper (Tresoar), Marlies Stoter and Judith Spijksma (Fries Museum)

Photos: Ruben van Vliet