Gerda and daughters
Gerda's carpet at home
Gerda's carpet of life
Spring 1979, Frits is a young teacher at the Wolfert van Borselenschool in Rotterdam. Gerda graduates for her finals at this school.
On a last graduation trip in the Ardennen, Frits and Gerda fall in love and come together like two stream; playful and investigating new grounds.
Summer 1979, Frits is diagnosed with cancer and doesn’t see a future with Gerda. He does not want to burden her. Both went on their separate ways.
Spring 2003, an open day at the Wolfert Borsele School, remember me? asks Gerda. “But of course,” he replies. Again the spark. This time the stream of love is even stronger, eventhough many hurdles have to be overcome. But love is strong and overcomes.
The river flows for 10 years, with waterfalls, wild waves but Frits and Gerda can always relax in Lotschental, Switzerland, either together or with Gerda’s daughters: Lise Lotte.
October 2012, they are ready for autumn to refuel in their beloved Swiss mountains. The week took a diffeent turn when it became clear that Frits remained exhausted and got all kinds of complaints. What they were fearing became true, Frits was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in an advanced stage. Nevertheless, they remained positive and kept in control over choices and treatments. Frits passed away after 5 months.
A river cannot come to a stop, merely a rock was shifted. Frit’s flowing water came at a rest in Switzerland where he was buried. The water of a river do not you come and there is a stone shifted.
One day Frits and Gerda will be back together.
We (Lise, Lotte and Gerda) are very happy with the rug. It looks beautiful and all clothes can be recognised together with the many treasured memories. Frits loved and remained true to recurring certainties. The same holds for his choice in clothing like the jeans, his characteristic light blue shirt and soft woollen sweaters. And then there is his red vest that he’d wear to symbolise the Swiss flag.
The symbolism of the entire project is also striking, Frits, as counsellor at his school was very active in offering chances to (often minority) students; students who earn a chance but are often hampered by conditions such as individual, social, but as well culture-related problems. That his clothes are now transformed into a carpet by Moroccan women, in a project that symbolises new opportunities for both the women as well as for us, he would find a beautiful concept.