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The Rotterdam artist Yvonne Beelen makes mini-vaginas from mini-doll toys Ministeck. People all over Europe join her. They send photos of their crafted flamoes. Her 83-year-old father Harry is then given the fine task of copying them.

ROTTERDAM Why on earth are you crafting five by five centimeter mosaic vulvas? Beelen knows how to tell that. The homemade works of art should be hung in a place where you enjoy spending time with friends and family. And if it is true what this forty-something believes, then that house, café or sports club will be protected from danger from now on. “Places where we like to be together are threatened by Covid-19, because we are not allowed to meet. That gets to me. With Talis women (that’s what she calls the plastic vaginates, ed.) We protect those places.”

The female genitalia is more common in Yvonne Beelen’s work. For example, for the Museum Night in 2004 in the Natural History Museum Rotterdam, she came up with the activity “Come Kutje Kleien”. It resulted in long rows of interested people. She knows she’s dealing with “a bit of a loaded topic.” “Which is crazy, because half the world has a vagina and we are all born of it.”

“You cannot make a true-to-life vulva with a minister. It is more abstract and that is how it removes the poene link ”, Yvonne Beelen, artist

The current “vagina project” builds on her corona-fallen plan to study so-called sheela-na-gigs in England. “These are medieval stone ornaments of female figures showing their vulva, exaggerated and often spread out. They have been found in England, Ireland, Scotland, France and Spain. They often hung or hang above the entrance door of churches, sometimes also of castles. “

Drive out evil

From a scientific angle there are several theories about the why of these sheela-na-gigs. The artist himself is most charmed by the explanation in which the flamoes are attributed a magical power. “They would drive out evil and thus protect the church community. We can now use that kind of force … “

“This is not a topic for my generation, but I just want to help my daughter”, Harrie Beelen

Hence, she asked people to get started. “I do that more often. Interactive creation. “” A free Ministeck package Talis woman can be requested through her website The boxes differ in content; one gets three different colors from Beelen, another gets seven shades. Nearly a hundred have now been requested and sent within the Netherlands, but also abroad.

The choice for Ministeck, the toy in which plastic mosaic stones are clamped to a plate and all kinds of colorful images are created, has several reasons. The material is playful and gives a graphic effect. “No matter how free-spirited I consider myself, as a child of this time I have to deal with vulvas or vaginas quickly evoking a sexual, often even pornographic association. With Ministeck you cannot make a true-to-life vulva. It’s more abstract and removes the porn link. “

Harrie and Yvonne Beelen together form the duo behind the project Talisvrouwen. “Women and men participate. From young to old. “” © Bart Hoogveld

Another main reason is that the Beelentjes have been buying up all the Ministeck boxes they come across at flea markets and thrift stores for almost fifteen years. “My house is full of it, his attic in Limburg too. When people make a vagina of my package, they send me a photo of it at the location where they hang it. My father then imitates their Talis wife at home. He is head of reproduction.

” And so it can happen that one afternoon Beelen senior is fiddling with a vulva from Greece. Or England. The 83-year-old immediately says it is “not the subject of my generation.” That he nevertheless copies the works has only one reason. He loves his daughter. “I just want to help her.” “She doesn’t know yet what the Rotterdamse wants to do with the mosaic pussies. “Maybe make a wall like Jamie McCartney’s The Great Wall of Vagina ?!” “


Incidentally, Harrie Beelen took a selfie with one of the Talis women at the Vincentius thrift shop in Roermond. “I’ve been a volunteer there for 28 years. That place is very dear to me. “” After the photo, the Ministeck flamoes went home again.

Daughter springs up. “It shouldn’t have been! The intention is to confirm them where you like to be. That is why, for example, a vulva Ministeck has been attached to Tate Modern in London. The maker misses the museum visit during this pandemic and wants to protect the place. Then there may also be a Talis woman hanging at the door of the cycle. “

Harrie Beelen (83) is at home in Roermond ready to make a number of ‘vulva Ministeck works’ for his daughter, the Rotterdam artist Yvonne Beelen. © Private photo

Author: Angelique Mulder
Source: Algemeen Dagblad
Date: 3 februari 2021
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