Oriënt & Engagement

Studio Teaching – Engagement – Publications






Leaves in 1970 in an old Dodge for Güzelyali, Türkey, an idyllic fishing village on the Dardanelles, 20 houses, nine boats, a teahouse and a café. No gas or electricity, a water tap somewhere on the side of the road. Stays there for a year, learns Turkish, crosses Anatolia and drives through Iran and Afghanistan to Lahore, Pakistan and back

It led to a crowd of memories of Turkish baths, Persian tiling, Afghan coffee houses and Moghul gardens.


It also led to closer study of non-European Art and thus the discovery that the revolutionary innovations of Modernism corresponded seamlessly with ancient traditions in other parts of the world.

The conclusion was that it was not opposing traditions but rather seeking connections between diverse cultures that provided an interesting playing field


Pelsterstraat Groningen



The series Manuscripts was commissioned by the Public Library Groningen (25 Gouaches, based on various classical Eurasian styles in the ‘art of the book’).

The subject was the connection of European with Asian traditions in which exotic styles were mixed with European views, a “Style Break”.

Occasionally, unknown styles emerged that could have existed in a particular culture.

However, characteristic forms from exotic cultures were combined with personal insights.



The world’s oldest known epic: the Gilgamesh epic (Mesopotamia, ca 2100 BC) was also a source of inspiration.

Chumbaba – The Scorpio Giants – The Bull of Ishtar


Is editor of the Groninger BBK newspaper and publishes several articles and comics: ‘King Underpants and the Holy War’ and ‘Hopman Haks’. And contributes to a multi-character album: ‘Counterattack’.

Counterattack: An angel in hell


Etchings: Cancer – Taurus

Plein air

Returns regularly to Turkey, but also travels to other countries before and behind the Iron Curtain, flies to India a few times and spends several weeks in Cappadocia, Turkey, drawing the volcanic landscape there.


Kizil Çukur, Göreme & Soganli

Soganli &  Çavusin


Designed corporate identity and posters for the Ethnographic Museum ‘Gerardus vd Leeuw’ in Groningen.



In 1974-75, together with Jan Kuipers and by order of the Ministry of Culture, developed the research project ‘Archus’ on alternative design methods at the interface between architecture and the visual arts. The aim – together with architects – is to bring imagination, ornamentation and beauty back into contemporary architecture.  Initially it runs smoothly but finally runs aground at the Arts Council.



Was invited to work for the Minerva Academy in Groningen in 1976, first as coordinator of the ‘Creative Pedagogical-Didactic Tutorial’, a year later as lecturer in figure drawing, anatomy and painting. As the usual textbooks are too static, a course in anatomy is drawn in 20 episodes (also serves as a general textbook at Minerva for many years).

Becomes coordinator of the sculpture department at the Minerva Academy’s Evening School in 1979.


The artists’ union

Becomes involved in the “Association for professional fine artists” (BBK) in 1972, first as chairman of the ‘Groningen region’ as well as member of the national board.

Is national secretary a year later (chairman Harry Visser) and chairman the following years (1974-’76). In these positions, regularly consults with the Ministers of Culture (Harry van Doorn) and of Social Affairs (Jaap Boersma) on fine arts policy, as well as with MPs and local authorities. Is a member of the country’s Arts Council from 1975-’78.

Remains simultaneously active in the home town of Groningen, including as a member of numerous committees, councils and boards, including the provincial Culture Council and the BKR Committee. Also, via the BBK, financing of a construction for a documentation centre in Groningen (with funds from the Ministry of Social Affairs, for experiments with artistic content in connection with the BKR: the so-called ‘Testing ground BKR’). Subsequently interim director of the construction of the Documentation Centre for Visual Arts Groningen (later Centre for Visual Arts).

The accommodation will be the building ‘De Faun’ in the city centre of Groningen.

Founds the foundation ‘Living and working spaces for artists’ (WWK), in Groningen in 1976 and hunts for studio spaces. Building ‘De Faun’ is offered through Academy Minerva. It is less suitable for studios, but perfect for services such as BKR, Art Lending, exhibitions and Documentation Centre.


The series ‘Manuscripts’ is exhibited in 1979 at the Cultural centre d’Oosterpoort, Groningen; with publication of a catalogue.

Is author of numerous policy notes, the most influential being the ‘Artotheek note’. This led – thanks to the lobby of the then parliamentary editor of the Nieuwsblad van het Noorden in The Hague, Kees Wiese – to an amendment to the Ministry of Culture’s budget in 1976. The result was the ‘TRKU’, a scheme that paved the way for the development of art lending on a national scale.


Click here to open PDF: Manuscripts


Click here to open video: Güzelyali in 1980
The coast, the house upstairs, Ali Dayi’s family on the ground floor.