Boschkempers hugs the parade audience with ‘My favorite’


‘The intention is for the people next to them to think back on their own hug’

By Henri Walterbos

LIGHT FORE – Outside a strong bright sun, inside the tent also shines. Beams of light shine because of welders. Construction is underway on several floors with scaffolding. The youngest at the table, waiting for the frankfurters to be heated in the pot. Almost noon. Bart Reukers, chairman of the parade group de Boschkempers, and designer Karin Boschker also joined the table. They got through the corona period well as a parade group. Bart on this: “We organized different things and I think we were able to retain 95% of the people. You can tell that people are looking forward to working on a real car again. Last week we celebrated a nice party with all of us to cultivate togetherness again.” It is the Saturday of the construction weekend. “We try to make as many meters as possible on Saturday and Sunday, stick paper and weld. We hope that the car is completely in the newspaper a week before the parade, and then we have time to work out the details.”

The contours of the objects on the car reveal something big, a design by Karin. “Karin has been a member of the group for years. She knows exactly how things go here. She saw the design for a number of years and now took the leap by creating the design for us this year,’ says Bart. Karin smiles and smiles. “For years, Jobbe Reukers did it. He went to ‘Shaked’. I was able to learn the trade from him. I like to draw and be creative. This is my first real parade car. Last year I helped design the art object and the year before, in 2019, I did the coloring with my sister. That way I was able to do a good test run, but this is the real thing.” The car with which the group participates in this year’s parade was given the title ‘My favourite’. Karin about her idea: “There are six hugs, and the idea is actually that people along the side should think back on their own hugs. Everyone has received one or more hugs that were very dear to him or her. It doesn’t matter how ugly or bruised it was at one point. It’s probably still somewhere in the attic, has it given you so much peace of mind. That’s the approach. The idea arose in September 2020 when I saw that our puppy was also so attached to his hug, and I suddenly thought back to my own hug. I was then already asked to make the design. I still had some precious stuffed animals lying around and went to the thrift stores in the area to bring stuffed animals. Then you place them in a certain way, you are looking for a composition. At one point I thought: this is going to hm. The drawing was approved and then a model had to be built. I had never done that. It really is a profession in itself. By early 2021, it was clear that the parade would not take place. It was a perfect opportunity for me to spend a year and a half building that model.” Bart adds: “The drawing was presented and discussed in an online session with about twenty people. It was in the middle of the corona era.”

twentieth car
“There is also a bruised bear on the car, which is missing one arm, from which filler comes out”, Karin shows. “It is estimated that about 205,000 dahlias will appear.” In line with the numbers normally processed. Boschkempers does not use a particular theme or approach to a design. “It is very different. It just depends on what appeals to the group”, says Bart. “This is the twentieth car we have built this year, if you count the two items from the past two years. We have had thirteen different designers over the years. We do what appeals most to the group.”
“In terms of the type of design, it’s always a bit exciting or a bit rough,” says Karin. “And always immediately recognisable. With us, it’s always ‘what you see is what you get’. The election is always viewed in a way that the public also views it.”

Young group
Striking in the tent is that there are mainly young people at work. Bart: “We have a mixture of young and old. We also have people in their 70s, but the construction is now done by about fifteen boys aged 20-25. They have helped here since they were 13/14. We gave them a lot of free rein in the early years. They were allowed to stick flowers, stick paper. The old guard sometimes said: ‘You shouldn’t, it’s not going fast enough.’ We just wanted to give them the chance, give them confidence. Then you work on the future. It worked very well with this group.”

Facebook: Boschkempers

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