Opshop can be seen as a view into our collective past and combines the concepts of the opportunity shop and optical art as the basis for this project. The word "opshop" was mentioned to me for the first time in 1976. I understood this to mean a shop dealing in optical art which may have had something to do with language problems I experienced, as a Dutch immigrant, in the mid nineteen seventies.
Opshops and fairs are like storage vessels full of the discarded possessions of society. They also reflect the attitudes and beliefs of previous generations and as such act as reference libraries filled with potential treasure. In 1978 I moved to Christchurch, New Zealand and met Robyne Voyce and her friends and their attitudes were highly influential on my art practice. The 1981 CSA exhibition 'The Girl Can't Help It' with its references to film, popmusic and popular culture was the result . Since the mid and late nineteen eighties Robyne Voyce and I increasingly started to collect furniture, ceramics and objects from the immediate postwar period. This interest led in 1994 to the acquisition of the Crown Lynn New Zealand name, which was the former trade mark of Crown Lynn Potteries Limited. Once known as the "crowning glory of the ceramic industry in New Zealand, offering a touch of elegance and perfection in a range of your choice", until it became yet another casualty of the deregulated nature of industry in this country, during the nineteen eighties.
In 1996 the project "Crown Lynn New Zealand' - A Salvage Operation" a Rudolf Boelee collaboration with graphic designers Brian Shields and Craig Stapley was exhibited at the High Street Project Gallery, Christchurch and City Gallery, Wellington. "Crown Lynn New Zealand" was a breakdown of distinction of pop culture and serious culture, different genres and different art forms and also investigated some of the ideas of "De Stijl", a group of Dutch artists, architects and designers, active in the early part of the 20th century. Some of their ideas may be summarized as: "An insistence of the social role of art, design and architecture and a conviction that art and design have the power to change the future."
Opshop's aims are to present our artworks, that reflect our interest in modernist design. The purpose of this site is to distribute our ideas and some of our history to the widest possible world audience.
Eight years after the Opshop website was first constructed (during 1998), the 2006 and the subsequent 2007 additions and alterations continue this development and broaden the direction of our work.
Eight years after the Opshop website was first constructed (during 1998), the 2006 and the subsequent 2007 additions and alterations continue this development and broaden the direction of our work. Now in 2010 there is a new addition, an electronic flipbook: Blijdorp, a pictorial history of my life and of my family and friends. Please click the link below!
We hope you enjoy looking at and reading about what is on offer and we like to thank Meanwhile for the great design work for this site.