A Tale of A Tub

A Tale of A Tub’s educational initiatives employ art and artistic thinking in an accessible way as an invitation for dialogue and connection. In conversation with our educational partners, we develop experiential programs for each target audience or school group, with each exhibition offering a new focus. In addition, we offer partners the opportunity to propose specific themes or learning objectives, which A Tale of A Tub translates into inspiring workshops together with (international and local) artists and practitioners.
Our current partners include: SBO Lucas, IMC On Tour, IMC Weekendschool, Harbour International School, Cultuurtraject, Rotterdampas, Natuurlijk Spangen, Willem de Kooning Academie, Rotterdam, and Piet Zwart Institute, Rotterdam.
We have previously worked with: Liza Wolters, Hilde Onis, Yoeri Guepin, De Onkruidenier, Aldo E. Ramos, Rachel Schuit, Pavel van Houten and Semâ Bekirović.
Are you interested in a sustainable collaboration between your school or organisation and A Tale of A Tub? Please contact educatie@a-tub.org.

Songs of Flax

Year-long 2024

Marie Ilse Bourlanges and Liza Prins have a plot of land on the edge of Flevopark in Amsterdam, where they have been cultivating flax since 2021. While becoming intimately interwoven with the production of linen—with its inherent rhythms and cyclicality—they have become interested in work-songs as tools for social organization and for connecting humans with more than humans. Taking as a starting point the essay ‘Rhythms of Labor’ (Pickering, Robertson & Korczynski, 2013) that investigates singing within the British textile industry, they have been developing a research project and tangible body of work that examines and translates work-songs and their functions. Traditionally, work-songs functioned in three distinctive ways: singing supported the rhythm of manual labor, it alleviated the draining reality of hard work and created a sense of collectivity; often, local gossip was introduced into songs, and workers in the early textile industry found community through singing and working together. Often work-songs aided in consciousness-raising practices and became protest songs along the way.

In this workshop series, we explore the potential of singing at work once again while transforming flax plants into linen fibers. Marie Ilse and Liza will bring their flax harvest from 2023 and specific tools to lead you through the process of rippling, breaking, scutching, and heckling, which traditionally occurred on winter nights after the harvest season had ended.

Chapter 1: A Rippling Melody, 21.01.2024, 2 – 5pm
Chapter 2: Breaking Refrains, 17.03.2024, 2 – 5pm
Chapter 3: Over the Heckle, 14.04.2024, 2 – 5pm

The Smallest Gesture

Spring 2023–ongoing

A school garden and workshop series for preschoolers at SBO Lucas

In spring 2023, A Tale of A Tub, in collaboration with artist Yoeri Guépin, started refurbishing the already existing school garden at SBO Lucas, Primary School for Special Education. In several lessons, and with extra care by Lisanne Janssen and the caretaker, the garden has been transformed into a small lush oasis over the past few months. Following this pleasant and fruitful cooperation, a desire arose from the school and A Tale of A Tub to expand this project further. After the renovation of the SBO Lucas in summer 2023, the possibility for cooking classes also emerged. With the help of BoTu Open Call from the Municipality of Rotterdam, it has been made possible to enter into a sustainable multi-year cooperation in which we will double the area of the garden, increase the range of edible plants and offer additional lessons throughout the school year, which will be developed in cooperation with local artists. The themes dealt with are in line with the children’s world of experience, the seasons and also the exhibitions of A Tale of A Tub. There is room to work across subjects and schools, together with the local community around SBO Lucas and its preschool children. In addition to the garden, A Tale of A Tub also invites pupils to experience exhibitions during tailor-made workshops.


Educational Toolshop: Spinning the Spindle towards Pluritopia

Winter 2023

Developed for Cultuurtraject Rotterdam

The educational workshop See Me by education curator and artist Andrea Koll and designer an educator Lisanne Janssen, together with art mediators Margot Annuschek, Darly Benneker, Maud Berden and three hundred students, explored the different ways we can share stories and connect with each other. During conversations with Aldo E. Ramos, the artist behind the exhibition Spinning the Spindle towards Pluritopia, they designed a two-part educational workshop where children were invited to get in touch with their own bodily knowledge and with each other’s stories.

Educational Toolshop: Grassroots x Seeds for (ex)change

Autumn 2022

Developed in collaboration with Willem de Kooning Academie and Hogeschool Rotterdam under Pavel van Houten

Under the guidance of artist and educator Pavel van Houten, students from the Geography teacher training program and the Visual arts teacher training program from Rotterdam developed educational tools for A Tale of a Tub in mixed groups. They were inspired by the exhibition Grassroots x Seeds for (ex)change by De Onkruidenier. In collaboration with Onkruidenier’s Rosanne van Wijk, A Tale of a Tub’s director and curator Julia Geerlings and education curator Lisanne Janssen, students were personally guided in their research and implementation for several months.



Developed in Partnership with IMC on Tour and Rachel Schuit

During this workshop, artist and theatre maker Rachel Schuit, together with students from IMC On Tour Schiedam, investigated where things in our immediate living environment come from. What materials are they made of? How do we make them? And how long does that take? By collaboratively weaving a basket with the local plant bulrush, children came into closer contact with nature and the manufacturing processes of the products with which we surround ourselves.

Transfer Resort: CLOTHING AS CORRESPONDENCE: Mantel care for Mother Ship Earth

21.01.2023, 2:30–4:30pm

A workshop by Lenn Cox & local resident Wiedjai Dihal

Lenn observes from her Collective Wandering field research that we can learn a lot from and with communities and collectives that develop and maintain alternative welfare and mutual care and support systems. In doing so, Lenn uses her clothes as correspondence, carrying the exchanges and stories she collects with her as a topic of conversation.

During this workshop, participants engaged with the concepts that connect with Lenn Cox’s research, local resident Wiedjai Dihal, the neighbourhood and the exhibition Where shall we plant the placenta?, which compares motherhood with ecology and connects them from mutual notions of nurturing and caring.

Slippery Waves of Seeming

09.05. – 30.06.2023

A workshop series by LIZA WOLTERS and HILDE ONIS in collaboration with Cultuurtraject

In 2023, A Tale of A Tub invited artists Hilde Onis and Liza Wolters to create a workshop based on their collaborative project Orchestrating Coincidence. Their growing installation in our basement, Slippery waves of seeming, invited children to think about lost and disoriented objects washed ashore. The children were invited to think about what it means to be of use, to have a sense of purpose, to change and transform value. The workshop was launched from a direct reference to the work of Sarah Ahmed, in which she reflects on use, form, functionality and residency. She does this in her book What’s the use?, through the allegory of a mailbox in which birds have nested, rendering it out of use. Upon entering A Tale of A Tub, learners were introduced to a displayed and illuminated collection of various, indeterminate, objects. The exact purpose of some of the objects was not clear. After analysing all the materials/objects on display, students created stories around the objects and elaborated on these stories by changing the object’s use with clay. The final stories were displayed in a room of A Tale of A Tub, and were visible to visitors throughout the exhibition. Due to the nature of the workshop, the exhibition itself also remained in transformation and continued to grow as a presentation.

Lovestone: Natural Laundry Detergent and Creative Writing Workshop


Workshop to preschoolers in the school garden of SBO Lucas by ELENA BRAIDA

Hedera-helix, European ivy or common ivy is a species of flowering plant of the ivy genus in the family Araliaceae, native to most of Europe and western Asia. As a result of its hardy nature and its ability to grow easily without human help, ivy gained popularity as an ornamental plant. Yet, as an introduced species it has become naturalised outside its original range and grows uncontrolled in numerous wild and cultivated areas.

Ivy is rich in saponin. This element is a natural detergent and foaming agent. It is a surfactant that is effective in removing grease, dirt and soot from clothes and textiles. To extract saponin from the plant, you need to make a decoction. During the Lovestone workshop, we gathered and walked around the school garden and surroundings of A Tale of A Tub to identify the ivy’s habitat, look at it and collect the leaves of common ivy to prepare a decoction. Together, we went through the steps required to extract the saponin from the plant and together developed and wrote down a recipe.