Venus Jasper is a queer visual artist, storyteller, world builder, performative priestess, researcher, educator, writer, and curator, currently based in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

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Witch Stone

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In the late summer and fall of 2021, I explored the cultural landscape of Drenthe or several months via a commission in the village of Diever, Netherlands. A tiny town in the east of the country, enveloped by lush woodlands and host to a wooden replica of Shakespeare's famous theatre.

For the manifestation Village of Shakespeare, I explored the local history of the Saxons, the lore of the Witte Wieven (who appear in the morning or evening fogs), stories of oaktrees and of course the Dolmen (Large Stones!) that can be found in the region.

In a bit of a shakey collaboration that called for an extensive public program for mostly younger audiences and an ephermal sculpture that would turn back to "nature" over time, I created a giant portable stone sculpture, reminiscent of a Dolmen. The rock was made of willow and hemp-fiber, hand stitched with the help of a local scouts group, and detailed with small glass and stone beads.

Above: a cool docu video was made about this process (Dutch).

Several workshops were also offered around this stone. We collected edible and medicinal herbs on a walk together with botanist Karst Meijer. Over several weekends, interactive story-telling hikes were offered in which we LARP-played the story of DEEPSOIL. A highlight was the "silent concert", in which a small group of people sat down and listenened for about an hour to the trees and the wind composing in polyphonic orchestra with the canopies of trees, collectively.

At night, the sculpture's kryptonite green glow could be seen from afar, and at times smokey fumes as well - was a witch brewing something? Where the stone is now, only the woodland critters know!

  • The project of Village of Shakespeare, also featured Giulia Cenci, Jeroen Doorenweerd, Jaap van den Elzen, Elise van der Linden, and Joyce Zwerver.
  • The hempfiber and willow construction technique became a central methodology in the giant walls of EARTHSHRINE (2022)
  • A small article in Dagblad van het Noorden: "Een moderne druïde doet Diever aan" (Dutch)

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Project: Venus Jasper
Project leader: Carin E.M. Reinders
Photography: Kyle Tryhorn
Video: Theodoor Adriaans, Hanneke Klaver
Flags: Karen Huang
Druid sticks: Venus Jasper + Alex Zeta
Local incense sticks: Thirza Krullen & Kruiden
Translations DEEPSOIL: Alice Green Writing


Scouting Schultegroep
Gerdien Halfman
Ruwan Berculo | Villa BlauwHemel
Karst Meijer