The 'Mermaid' serie


I started these artworks in 2021 as a kind of altar to woman. Women's value is still measured by how you look. You are measured. The fact that you are being measured at all is to see as a compliment (Say what!?) When is something a flirt, when sexist. There's a thin line. And there's duality. A mermaid is a-sexual and yet seen as one of the most seductive mythical female figures on earth. On my mermaids I embroidered words like 'perfect', 'sweet', 'no'. The spangles give the fabric scales: the look of a chain mail but also screams 'nightclub'. All double messages. They are a little defect.

Mermaid #1 - 2021


Embroidery art/assemblage by Ingeborg Vriends

Size: 65 x 70 x 7 cm.


This small monument to woman represents the duality between wanting te be beautiful/seductictive and being judged for that. 
The vulnerability lies in the technique and choice of materials (textiles) that are seen as feminine. The primal power of the woman (to protect, to give birth, to worry) is in the scales that form a kind of chain mail/armor.

'Bidden in nood'


Voor de tentoonstelling 'Merklappen' in De Kaarsenfabriek werden kunstenaars gekoppeld aan ervaren borduursters. Eigentijdse ontwerpers gaven nieuwe waarden aan deze oude traditie en verbinding van jonge makers met oudere.

Merklappen werden ooit gemaakt om meisjes te laten oefenen met het borduren van letters voor hun uitzet. Soms versierd met een moralistische boodschap of spreuk.


De tekst 'Bidden in nood helpt geen kloot' is een uitspraak van mijn oma. Zij was heel gelovig. Je ziet in de prent mijn kinderen wegzweven, zoals Wendy met haar broertjes in de film Peter Pan. Want als je gelooft kun je alles, zelfs vliegen. Twee soorten van geloven in één werk. 'Geloven' wordt hier doorgegeven van moeder op dochter op dochter en geeft die oude oude traditie nieuwe inhoud. Zoals de ambacht van het borduren ook doorgegeven wordt.


Dit werk is geborduurd door Maria uit Beek en Donk. In haar kamer hing ook prachtig schilderwerk van haar hand. Ze was heel trots op de expositie. Dankzij dit project werd haar vakkunst uit de anonimiteit gehaald en aan een  groter publiek getoond.

Embroidered patch


For this project artists were paired with experienced embroiderers. Contemporary designers gave new values ​​to this old tradition and connection of young makers with older ones. Embroidered patches were once made to let girls practice embroidering letters for their trousseau. Sometimes decorated with a moralistic message or saying.


The text 'Praying in distress doesn't help' is a quote from my grandmother. She was very religious. In the print you see my children floating away, like Wendy with her brothers in the film Peter Pan. Because when you believe you can do anything, even fly. Two kinds of belief in one work. 'Believe' here is passed on from mother to daughter to daughter and gives new meaning to that old old tradition. As the craft of embroidery is also passed on.


This work is embroidered by Maria from Beek en Donk. Her room also had beautiful paintings by her hand. She was very proud of the exhibition. Thanks to this project, her craft was taken out of anonymity and shown to a wider audience.



Elduende - The 'Home altar' serie


Collaborative project with Muz Delarte (woodworker). Elduende means 'gnome wind' or 'wind of inspiration'. 

With the work for 'Home altars' I grab back to an age where everything was still selfmade, a world of spirits and gods, magic and nature. Women have traditionally been the guardian of tradition and rituals. With 'Elduende' i found a stage or form in which we can invent our own rituals and shaping them. With self-invented gods and mythical figures, but taking advantage of the strong visual elements that heat our collective memory for thousands of years.

#81 'Wash me' (Sold) en #82 'Feel me'


Painting, Oil on Canvas

Ingeborg Vriends - van der Steijn

W 100 x H 100 x D 4 cm

Mermaid #2 - 2022


Embroidery art/assemblage by Ingeborg Vriends

Size: 65 x 75 x 10 cm.


Nothing exist without water. All life is originated from water. But our life also originates in water. Without woman there's no life. Mami-Wata (Mother Water) is an ancient African water goddess. Water spirits, mermaids and gods all over the world have their origin in Mami Wata. In the stories she takes travelers into her world to give them spiritual insight. Then she puts them back on the bank. She is a real sea bitch, mother and femme fatale. The double tail symbolizes that contradiction in every woman.

Risoprint Mami-Wata - 2022


Riso print by Ingeborg Vriends

Size: 29,7 x 21 cm.


3 color riso-print in limited edition of 40 pieces, made at Grafisch Atelier Den Bosch, signed and for sale in webshop (€ 25,-)