Local artist’s pilgrimage in paint

ARTIST: Ineke van den Hout stands proudly in front of her poppies at her exhibition, 'The Reluctant Pilgrim'.
ARTIST: Ineke van den Hout stands proudly in front of her poppies at her exhibition, 'The Reluctant Pilgrim'.

The walls of the Yarta Purtli gallery are lined with brightly painted canvas’ depicting the inspiring journey of local artist Ineke van den Hout.

Over 65 people turned out for the opening on Saturday, January 20 to see the amazing visual diary of van den Hout’s journey from France to Spain on the Camino de Santiago in her exhibition, ‘The Reluctant Pilgrim’.

Known in English as The Way of Saint James, van den Hout made the famous 790 kilometre pilgrimage on her own terms, adding an extra 90 kilometres on the tail end.

“I was reluctant to race and compete with others. I was reluctant to suffer and be in pain. I was reluctant to compare. I decided that, as it was the year I turned 65, I would take 65 days from the beginning to the end,” the artist explained.

“I worked out quite quickly that the common dormitories with their animal noises, smells and disgusting sights of mince meat feet and bloody blisters, we're not to be part of my daily grind.

“I started to take every Sunday off in the luxury of lovely hotels! I indulged in the wonderful Spanish, Catalan and Basque food and wine – I enjoyed all the good things Spain and the Camino had to offer.”

Van den Hout has been keeping visual diaries to record facts, feelings and impressions from her travels since the late 80’s to compensate for what she calls “an atrocious memory”.

She said her visual diary and art is a representation of one of the most impressive experiences of her life.

“The biggest gift I received was the feeling of being alive – all colours, sounds and smells were amplified, intensified,” van den Hout said.

“The main lesson I learned is that I can do anything I put my mind to, that age is no obstacle and that the Camino is a metaphors for life itself.”

The Reluctant Pilgrim will run until February 17 at the Port Augusta Cultural Centre, Yarta Purtli Gallery.