Spark Birds & the Loneliness of Species
14.05.2023 — 03.12.2023
Hedge House

From 17 May - 3 December 2023, the new exhibition Spark Birds & the Loneliness of Species will be on view at the Hedge House. In Spark Birds & the Loneliness of Species we look through the lens of artists at how birds can teach us something about who we are.

Martin Brandsma – This is the boundary 06.09.2023 — 03.12.2023
Coach House

This is the boundary is an exhibition project by Martin Brandsma (1972, Wolvega) about collaboration, behaviour and boundaries on and around Kasteel Wijlre estate. This is the boundary consists of an exhibition in the Coach House, in which new and existing work by the artist is presented, and a series of interventions in places around the estate and in the Zuid-Limburg region. Brandsma's exhibition follows Daniel Godínez Nívon's Windbloom in the Coach House, and runs parallel to Spark Birds & the Loneliness of Species in the Hedge House, which examine related themes through humankind's relationship with birds.

Central to the exhibition is a presentation of Brandsma's work-in-progress on the bird to which the artist has devoted a large part of his time over the past twelve years: the great grey shrike. Partly active as a behavioural biologist, Brandsma studied this mysterious songbird (with its idiosyncratic bird of prey traits) extensively in its natural habitat in the heath and peat areas along the border of Friesland and Drenthe. Under the title Identities - Personalities (on display on the top floor of the Coach House), the artist made, among other things, a series of standardised portraits of the birds, now counting more than 200 drawings, on which he charted the minute individual differences in plumage. The exhibition also includes the last great grey shrike that was active in Zuid-Limburg, and was found dead on the Brunssummerheide in 2022. Meanwhile, the relationship between Brandsma and the birds has intensified to such an extent that he has come to see them as collaborative partners in his art practice.

In recent years, Brandsma's collaboration with the birds has further deepened. For example, the artist started to make a kind of sticks/rods which he calls 'I', and places them in the natural environment of the great grey shrike - which the birds use as a lookout post, among other things. In addition, Brandsma has placed his stick sculptures in public spaces such as art museums in recent years - where they (sometimes uninvited) relate to the art on display. In these diverse environments, the artist explores the boundaries of what we consider normal, and how we try to control our behaviour, our morals and hierarchical relationships through regulations. Visitors to This is the boundary are invited to explore the area: Brandsma's stick sculptures have been placed in various places around the estate, where these artworks continuously produce different meanings.

Kasteel Wijlre estate is grateful for the financial support of our partners: Province of Limburg, Municipality of Gulpen-Wittem, Elisabeth Strouven Fund, Mondriaan Fund, Stokroos Foundation and Staatsbosbeheer

Winter closure
04.12.2023 — 05.03.2024
Castle, Hedge House, Coach House, Garden, Salon

Due to the annual winter closure, Kasteel Wijlre estate will be closed from 4 December, 2023 until 5 March, 2024.