Monique Wolbert created a ‘Solodagium’ in her backyard


A person’s place of reflection can now be visited for all

By Luke Stam

HENGELO – She found out for herself the word, it did not exist yet: Solodagiet. “It’s a kind of little gem where you can sit alone,” says Hengelo artist Monique Wolbert (62). “How did I come up with the name? ‘Solo’ is of course in it: ‘alone’. The word ‘adagio’ is in what I like, a classical piece of music. And ‘dare’ is Italian for ‘to give’. Solodagium means to me: ‘Give everything for yourself alone’. “

The building is located in Wolbert’s backyard on Ruurloseweg in Hengelo, where a lot of artefacts can still be found. The solo day is now open for everyone to meditate e.g. Anyone who wants can spend a moment here for free, on open weekends (such as the upcoming Pentecost weekend), open days or by appointment. “By the way, it’s not forbidden to be in there with two people, you know!” says Wolbert. “It’s okay too.”

Initially, the building was intended as a mini-exhibition space. Wolbert came up with the idea many years ago while brainstorming with some artist friends. “We said to each other: how nice it would be if we could do something where a corridor leads to a bright place where one inimini work can hang. A small museum or gallery for, for example, a painting that would otherwise get very little attention because it would be included in a larger exhibition. ”

‘I would really like it if people started using it, even though it’s so small that I certainly do not expect hordes to come to it’

It’s somewhere exactly what it has become, for there now hangs one small painting on the back wall of Solodium. It could also be a small visual work by Wolbert, a line of poetry or even just a word. Above all, it has become a place of reflection. There is a stool. Candles can burn. There may be a soothing scent or music. “Everyone with the thought of: everything here is done for you,” Wolbert says. “So you can sit here for a while, be here for a while. I would really like it if people started using it, even though it is so small that I certainly do not expect hordes to come. ”

Wolbert himself has spent many hours there over the past year and a half, especially during the shutdown periods. With thousands of small pieces of glass mosaic, she decorated the side walls with figures of her own making. “I would also like the signature that I have in my painting on the wall here,” says the artist, who has not made a drawing in advance. “It’s what we call a hoist directly in the art. You get carried away and you see where it ends. The figures on the left are very down to earth, on the right it rises a little. People who come in say that it “It’s about death and life or about the earth and the sky. Everyone can do it differently.”

Her husband Gerrit Hulshoff (65) played a major role in the creation of Solodagium. Where Wolbert devised the whole, her husband took care of the execution, from the masonry work to the steel construction to the glass gable roof. “It often happens that way,” she says. “I then think of something that Gerrit first says: ‘It can not be done at all.’ But after a while, he still asks, ‘How did you think that?’ Then I tell him how I want the mood and what the starting point is. Then he can give it a practical twist. ”

‘People’s reactions are already like,’ Wow, what a wonderful place to be. ‘

In this case, it was exactly what Wolbert had in mind. She is already making full use of the special space in her backyard. “I go there every day,” she says. “It’s just a really nice building. And in the evening it is also very beautiful. Then I light the candles and the little pieces of mosaic really come to life. People’s reactions are already all like, ‘Wow, what a wonderful place to be.’ I also think it would be nice to have it on Wikipedia, as the first Solodagium in the world. And it’s in Bronckhorst. ”

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