Ada Van Hoorebeke

Rose Family Factory (2020 – 2023)

Ada Van Hoorebeke’s Rose Family Factory (2020-2023) turns leaves into dye and berries into jam. The installation resembles a batik studio merged with a jam factory. Textiles are dyed with leaves from plants belonging to the rose family (Rosaceae). The berries – blackberries, strawberries and raspberries – are used to make jam.

The installation contains all the materials and tools needed to start production: dried leaves from berry bushes, dye baths made from wheelbarrows, food vessels, jam, cooking pots and batik tools. A repeat pattern can be seen in the arrangement of dyed textiles and test swatches: an enlarged flower-shaped symbol derived from a small metal wax stamp. The flower shape is inspired by both Bruges and Javanese textile patterns, produced in the home environment. Van Hoorebeke therefore draws inspiration from various traditions and customs within cottage industries.

Rose Family Factory is a cross-fertilisation of knowledge from various ‘glocal’ traditions whose numerous pollinators we have long since forgotten. Heritage arises where knowledge from different contexts merges into something new. The source is never unambiguous and the application is even less so. Rose Family Factory is a fictional company brought into the museum as an installation. The artist’s thinking and production processes, which are based on circular systems and techniques from various contexts, are actively shared with the visitor. The focus is on bringing together ideas and keeping knowledge and traditions in motion. In Rose Family Factory, the changing process itself is put on a pedestal.

Rose Family Factory was acquired by the Flemish Community in 2021 and has been part of the Mu.ZEE collection ever since. The installation is on view until 1 October 2023, as part of the collection presentation.

During this exhibition period, we invite visitors to collect fresh blackberry leaves and bring their home-made jam to the museum. Please label the jars with the maker’s name and the type of fruit used. The locally picked blackberry leaves will be used to make the dye for a performative activation on 10 June, 15-16h.

During a batik workshop on 3 and 4 August 2023, all the jam jars will receive an RFF label and a cloth cover in batik. Owners can recollect their decorated jam jars from 2 October onwards.

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