Welcome to The Cuckoo Jar, a blog by Nanna Koekoek - illustrator, music- and flea market junkie.
Head over to my website to take a look at my portfolio. And don't hesitate to get in touch!

27 November 2011

Secondhand safari

This Saturday I took a day trip to Bristol. While passing some time before catching the train I spotted these two lovely fellows in a charity shop! Love or hate 'm... I'm not quite sure myself to be honest. The shop assistant said originally there had been six masks and the others had flown out, so I had to decide on the spot (the fact that my train was leaving soon also helped hasten the decision). But they were just too funky to let them sit there. And besides, they were only £2.50 each. I'm completely in the dark about their heritage, but coincidentally the lady who bought two of the others masks was in the shop and she told me they're from Ghana.

I really had a lovely day in Bristol. We went by the contemporary arts centre Arnolfini to catch a musical performance, had tea and cakes with a friend and did some shopping in Stokes Croft, Bristol's '(counter-) cultural quarter'. Think lots of vintage and charity shops, record stores, bars and street art (I now completely understand why street art is so big in Bristol.. there are some grand buildings in that city, but boy there are lots of ugly, derelict ones as well!). I was gutted the bookstore slash gallery Here was closed, and I didn't nearly have enough time to visit all the vintage clothes stores, so I'll have to go back soon! I did score at Plastic Wax Records on Cheltenham Road, where I bought these two compilations of Jamaican music for a tenner:

They're not in mint condition (hence the price), but the music still sounds great:

Lloyd Price - Coconut Woman (off 300% Dynamite!). 3x faster and (thus) 3x better than Harry Belafonte's version of this very tropical calypso song. Download it here.

Prince Buster - Cincinatti Kid (off 300% Dynamite!). Inspired by the 1965 movie, a song about poker. Love the Hammond organ on it! Download it here.

Jerry Jones - Compared To What (off Feel Like Jumping: The Best Of Studio One Women). Raw and soulful reggae tune by this American singer. Download it here.

24 November 2011

Do It Yourzelf!

Tomorrow the semi-permanent exhibition ZELF! opens in Villa Zebra, Rotterdam!! The exhibition consists of six art installations that have been created specifically for 3-6 year olds. One of the installations is a little hospital where kids can create new human beings with the (fabric) body parts I made together with Renée Reijnders and Geeske de Graaff. The way the exhibition space is designed is a work of art in itself, so you should really go and take a look! You can either go to the opening at 10.00 and have coffee and cake, or at 17.00 if you fancy a drink and a snack.

23 November 2011

Bear necessities

My hair has never been this long. I desperately need a haircut. Because now that it's getting colder outside it's getting all frizzy and out of control. I look like a lion! So last night I was complaining to my boyfriend about this and to make my argument more convincing I let my hair down (in all its frizzy glory) and made some scratching movements with my 'paws' while saying wroaw wroaw. It reminded him of the animation I made him for Valentines day this year. And it still cracked him up! This pleases me immensely because the animation is so crappy. It's really just the bare necessity (pardon the pun) of an animation: moving images. But it did the trick. And apparently still does, even after so many months.

 ("You're so sweet, I could eat you alive!")

18 November 2011

The big and bold and beautiful

It's here and I'm in it! Together 365 other artists, photographers, fashion-, product- and graphic designers, illustrators and architects... De Grote Rotterdamse Kunstkalender 2012. It's a big and bold and beautiful thing: A3 sized and nearly 3 kilo's

∧ My page! 

I'm happy and proud be featured alongside good  friends: Gees Voorhees

and people I went to school with: like David Elshout

and Pim Palsgraaf

and other people whose work I admire: like Koen Taselaar

and Rufus Ketting aka Homey Universalis ∨ 

 and true heroes: Co Westerik

Just to name a few! So €27.50 will get you 366 pieces of art, which I call a pretty good deal. Order it online here.

9 November 2011

Happening Haarzuilens

My friend Renée and I were working together at here place in Utrecht today, when we needed an extended break around lunch time. As we had some wheels to our disposal Renée decided this was a good opportunity to take me to the nearby village of Haarzuilens.

It's a pretty little village; it consists of nothing more than a castle, a few neighboring houses, a couple of restaurants (I'm sure they all serve pancakes), a common ground and a bus stop. The houses all have wooden doors and shutters, which are painted in the colors of castle: red and white. 

Nothing ever happens in Haarzuilens, it's a sleepy town. Expect on Wednesday afternoon! When the local charity shop Emmaus opens its doors at 1 pm promptly!! The only parking lot in the village fills up quickly with scavengers from all over the region and queues form in front of the several buildings (yes there are separate buildings for the 2nd hand furniture, clothing and books, records, lamps and kitchenware!). As Renée said: "It's an event". There is even a little coffee shop and a Vietnamese guy who sells spring rolls, soups, and excellent fries from his van (I know they were excellent because I had some. With frietsaus - a creamier version of mayonnaise). 

I wondered why there's this huge charity shop in a tiny, fairly posh village. So I did some research and turns out the shop came to existence in Haarzuilens after the founder of the Emmaus charity, the Frenchman Abbé Pierre, had incidentally met the duchess of Van Zuylen Van Nijevelt. She offered him the use of part of the castle grounds. And so the charity for the homeless and the poor started operating from one of the pigsties in 1966. Up until this day people live on the grounds and the community runs the shop. 

If you ever fancy going, here's the address: Eikstraat 14, 3455 SJ, Haarzuilens. Open every Wednesday 13.00-16.00 and every last Saturday of the month 11.00-13.00. Who knows what you will find...

I was so tempted to buy this dispenser, but it was so dirty I was afraid to touch it. I didn't dare open it to see what the inside was like. The outside didn't look promising (the picture doesn't do the smudge justice at all!!).

Another item I left with pain in my heart. But it just had too many scratches.

 Kitchenalia a plentyful.

No idea what this was. It looked like a Sinterklaas sleeping bag
Or may be it was an all-in-one suit?? 

I scored some awesome cookie moulds for baking speculaas, a Dutch cookie with lots of spices that traditionally is eaten during the Sinterklaas festivities early December (I promise to blog about this Sinterklaas character later!)

And I got myself some bright mint green lace ups! How cool are these?! ∨

5 November 2011

I fixed Michael Jackson's nose

Yesss, I have finished sewing and mending the 'body parts' for the exhibition at Villa Zebra! One of my last tasks was to fix Michael Jackson's nose... 

It turned out to be a bit of a MJ-themed day, since I also came across a cover of his Baby Be Mine by Quadron - a blue-eyed R&B duo from Denmark. Their super groovy song Slippin' is on high rotation here at the moment.

Quadron - Baby Be Mine. Download it here

Quadron - Slippin'. Download it here.