Wednesday , October 4 2023

Els Mommers exhibited in French Art Textile Expo

The Daily Herald Weekender writes that resident artist, Els Mommers-Bruijnzeels, participated and exhibited her work in the 5th annual edition of the International Art Textile Expo in Beaujolais, held this April in Ville de France sur Salon, France (
She attended the international textile art expo as part of the “Fifteen by Fifteen” group of international artists. This is a group of fibre art enthusiasts, which collaborate in motivating each other to create themed artwork every two months. In Salon, the group presented 36 quilts, appropriately scaled 15 by 15 inches. Mommers, given permission and space, succeeded to have her work featured extensively alongside prominent figures in this art medium. She talked about this unique opportunity in a recent interview held in her fibre-art studio on Troy Hill (http://kunamola.
Born in European Netherlands, she earned a Master’s degree in textile art and an education degree from Amsterdam Witte Lelie Higher Vocational Education School. She moved to Saba in 1987 and spent 10 years as art teacher at Saba Comprehensive School before starting her own business. The El Momo Folk Art Boutique Shop which she started brought a unique art flavour to the local Saban business scene and together with her husband Gied, the Mommers also established and ran the eco-friendly El Momo Cottages until 2009. In her retirement, she took a “Creative Quilt-making City and Guild course.” After pursuing it for two years, the 15 course participants established the artists’ Internet support group in 2011 to motivate each other in their creative pursuits. They chose the 15-inch size of their works as a signature standard amongst themselves ( Mommers speculated that the canvas size may change as the group grows. The group is made up of artists from Oman, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Taiwan, Australia, New Zeeland, and of course Saba, Caribbean Netherlands. This year a member approached the International Expo organizers to inquire if the group could participate with a joint exhibit. They were welcomed among two groups of artists and were given surprisingly ample space. Mommers and a colleague volunteered to represent the group in person and curate the exhibit. Once there, she realized the large allotted space afforded exhibiting more of the artwork, and with permission, she displayed much of the artwork she brought herself. “I never expected my work would receive so much space. It was worth carrying everything with me,” says Mommers.
She is happy to have been able to represent Saba and The Netherlands so prominently among artists from 19 countries. She assured the expo did not have any commercial incentive. While she received quite a few offers, she says she is too attached to her artwork to part with it. The turnout and visibility was impressive, she says. More than 6,000 visitors attended, at times arriving in multiple tour-busses. The experience dispelled the presumption that fibre art is a minor art form in France. The opportunity was to experience international trends in fibre art across countries and to be influenced by it.


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