oil on canvas (linen)
60 × 40 cm
Everything was intense, we could shape the world as we wanted it to be. Wonderful themed festivities in summer and winter, encounters of all kinds, listening to music, socio-political discussions, friendships, love, but also disappointment; it was all there, at that place, during that time.
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The foundation in 1965 and the first years of De Open Jongerensociëteit (‘The Open Youth Society’) Walhalla were exciting as well as instructive. The thought of making the castle ruins of Deurne our home was covered in romance and it brought about a huge amount of enthusiasm. It was followed by a period of hard work and arduous negotiations with the local authorities; you can imagine what the opening ceremony of Walhalla was like, after we had succeeded.
When I made this painting, it had already been more than five years since the original idea of our own youth society had come up. Inevitably, a schism had taken place between ‘those of the foundation’ and ‘those of the renewal’. However, years after its foundation, our motto was still ‘a weekend at home, a night out at Walhalla’, even though we were studying elsewhere, had gone in military service, or were already working at that stage.
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