Museum Valkenburg presents an overview of the intriguing work of the contemporary artist Judith Krebbekx (Roosendaal, 1967). During an exhibition we always highlight a work online, this time: Gimme shelter.

The painting ‘Gimme shelter’, whose title is taken from the psychedelic song of the Rolling Stones, shows a ‘Hortus Conclusus’. This enclosed garden is a medieval metaphor for the desire for spirituality. Within the fence the good reigns, outside the sinful outer world. In the foreground of this enclosed garden reigns a hand of love, holding two lilies, traditionally symbols of purity and love, as well as transience. Next to it we see another hand, a blessing gesture drawn in line, with an all-seeing eye in it. A drawing of a couple making love swirls through it. This ‘Alchemical Wedding’  is a theme dating back to 1616 and represents the union of the renewed soul (the bride) and the divine spirit (the groom). In addition to the dominant black hand, which separates the canvas, as it were, a drawing of a group of people, still children, has been incorporated. Fleeing violence, hunger and hardship, they seek refuge in safer places, a ‘safe zone’, their own Hortus Conclusus. This group of wandering people is chased by a Mexican trumpet-playing dead man, whose symbolism from the ‘Dia de las Muertas’ reminds us of the fact that everything, and all of us, are perishable. What we can leave behind is only our actions and ideas. The painting is about the search for a base, the desire for safety and protection.

The exhibition of the same name ‘Gimme Shelter’ by Judith Krebbekx can be seen until 15 August, more information:, reservation required: