Dordrechts Museum

Tapestry Eigen Schuld

6 April 2023 until 25 June 2023


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Making a fist against the Dutch loan system. That is what illustrator Mart Veldhuis had in mind when creating his impressive tapestry Eigen schuld (Own fault).

On the tapestry, he expresses the stress, pressure and other discomforts that come with student debt. The almost five-metre-wide tapestry shows what the life of a student in debt looks like. Now on show at the Dordrecht Museum.

Student debts

Artists often shine a light on the times we live in. Their personal commitment to current social issues becomes visible in their work. With Eigen schuld, Mart Veldhuis (1991) draws attention to a problem that is often in the news: the sky-high debt that students have accumulated in recent years due to the 2015 loan system. This year, that system will be abolished again, but countless young people have been duped by it. Veldhuis' craftily woven tapestry can be 'read' like a comic strip. It is part of a long tradition: over the centuries, tapestries have often depicted stories and addressed current issues.

Important art

Artistic director Femke Hameetman is delighted to show Veldhuis' work to visitors to her museum. 'As a museum, we find it important to let artists speak about current themes. They can make us think about social issues and give a surprising or different perspective on them. Mart's work is a very good example of this.'

Powerful 'State Lions'

Veldhuis' tapestry is full of serious as well as funny details, referring to the student's life in debt - and the hot breath of powerful 'National Lions' constantly breathing down his neck. 'It shows how many balls you have to hold high as a student,' says Veldhuis, who graduated in 2021. 'The tapestry symbolises the life of a student weighed down by an ever-increasing study debt. The total value of my own study debt of €45,879.40 ultimately determines the sale price of the tapestry. The work is the voice of the unlucky generation and with the abolition of the loan system, the tapestry has become a piece of history in time.'

Eigen schuld can be seen at the Dordrechts Museum from 6 April to 25 June and then travels on to De Balie in Amsterdam.

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6 April 2023 until 25 June 2023

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Dordrechts Museum

Museumstraat 40
3311 XP Dordrecht
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078 - 77 08 708

Open today until 17:00

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Day Opening hours
Sat - Sun 11:00 - 17:00
Mon Closed
Tue - Thu 11:00 - 17:00
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