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Winnie van der Rijn

<< Call & Response Artists

thread sewn on soluble substrate; dissolved

Winnie van der Rijn

thread sewn on soluble substrate; dissolved

Hanging by a Thread / Coming Apart at the Seams

Thread sewn on soluble substrate, dissolved

This alternate American flag was made by stitching on a soluble substrate. Winnie van der Rijn created it during the pandemic lockdown and protests last summer and then dissolved it on her front porch with the help of her children. It was activism on the front porch. The activation was a cathartic release, a ritual cleansing. What remains is a husk, evidence of a former self, a ghost of the past with hope for the future and the possibility to move forward.

This project got her thinking about how to raise politically engaged children and her role as a parent in raising activists. She’s boiled it down to the following: “Listen, support, question, support, listen, enable, accompany, listen, engage, include, listen, share, listen.”

Winnie van der Rijn, Hanging by a Thread / Coming Apart at the Seams, 2020. Image courtesy of the artist


Purchase this artwork and others from the Call & Response exhibition online at MCD’s Artists Marketplace.



Winnie van der Rijn is a multi-disciplinary artist of opportunity– collecting materials, experimenting with techniques & pursuing her curiosities. Her art practice includes textiles, sculpture, collage & collaboration (which she considers its own art form). She plays well with others. Winnie actively exhibits her work throughout the United States.

A lifelong learner, Winnie graduated from UC Berkeley in 1989 with a BA in Sociology. She has studied printmaking, sculpture, metalsmithing & Marxist theory. She is wildly curious about how things are made. Winnie, a seventh-generation Californian, is currently based in New York City. She and her husband are redefining what it means to be an empty nester.

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