Thursday Doors – June 21, 2018

These are the doors of the “De Zwarte Panter” (The Black Panther) art gallery in Antwerp, Belgium. The building, which was closed that day, was an old church converted into an art gallery. I loved the sculpted panther on top of the studded door, which is also quite pretty. Aside from the two studded doors, I also liked the pretty fountain next to the main door, and was amused by the banana painted on the brick wall. I thought it might be a Banksy, but a fellow blogger did some research and found out who did it. Check his comment below. And since this is about Antwerp, I’m throwing in an unrelated photo of a lovely sculpture found in a square in the city center. Those are characters from the novel “A Dog of Flanders”, by English author Marie Louise de la Ramée, about a Flemish boy named Nello and his dog Patrasche, which is set in Antwerp. Not a door, but isn’t it just lovely?  

Thursday Doors, June 7, 2018

The Doors of The Beguinage (Begijnhof) in Bruges

“Beguines” were single or widowed women who lived in community without taking vows or retiring from the world. Many Belgian and Dutch cities set up “beguinages” where these women could live and practice their religion. Today these Beguinages are no longer used by beguines. The Beguinage in Bruges, for example, has been a convent for Benedictine nuns since 1927. The grounds are absolutely beautiful with tall trees and beautiful daffodils all around them. Since we could not visit the houses, I went around photographing doors! All the doors in the beguinage are green, and most are very simple, with a few exceptions shown here.

Beautiful or Creepy?

While in Amsterdam last April, I saw an installation by French artist Christian Boltanski at the Oude Kerk (“old church”), Amsterdam’s oldest building and oldest parish church which also functions as a venue for art events. I confess I was bit divided between admiring the message and somber beauty of the exhibition and feeling a bit creeped out by the dark setting, the whispers, and the “statues” that would ask questions when you walked by them. The first time I passed by one it asked me: “Tell me, what is death like?” Scared the hell out of me! So, what do you think?