From the dizzying heights of the Camera Batavia watchtower – located on the Waddendijk dike near the Frisian village of Ternaard – you will observe the view from all directions through the unique perspective of a vortex mirror. It’s a disorienting and new experience that will offers a new, refreshing take on the landscape.
Test versions of the Camera Batavia tower were previously on display at the 2015 and 2016 editions of the annual Oeral festival on the island of Terschelling. The final version of the tower will be erected in Ternaard in 2019. You can experience the mirror image from the tower both on sofas in the exterior space and from the closed interior space (similar to a camera obscura).
Born in the Frisian town of Heerenveen in 1967, Arjen Boerstra currently lives in the village of Den Horn in Groningen province and works in the city of Groningen. He attended art school at Groningen’s Academie voor Beeldende Kunst Minerva, where he earned his degree in 1993. His work features a combination of installations, video, photographs and performance art.
Boerstra on his Camera Batavia project: ‘I decided to reconstruct the attic room from my childhood as a type of memory exercise and also to revisit some of the things that used to fascinate me as a child. I was an inquisitive and creative kid, and it was by rediscovering and observing the world around me that I got to recreate some of those early experiences.
The work should be regarded as an invitation to view the environment or a particular situation from a fresh and different perspective.’
The traditional Dutch polder landscape, rectilinear, with extensive fields, mathematically framed by tight ditches. Land, artificially extracted from nature. Straight dykes that disappear endlessly into a point on the horizon. As if this landscape was specially designed to stand in stark contrast with the capriciously shaped Dutch cloudy skies. The exciting cloudy skies seem to emphasize the linear vanishing perspective of the landscape even more. The capriciousness of organic forms of cloud and nature in contrast with this Dutch artificial landscape inspires Brokke.
The tight dyke, which visually separates sea and land, lies like a fortress in the landscape, a functional defense against the sea. To what extent can we view the sea defense in a more scenic way? Perhaps with a whimsical, ‘lusty’ shape here and there? Can we approach the dike more as a ‘guardian’ instead of a ‘fortress’?
This is how the idea was born to take the term ‘dyke body’ literally. A nice round, lascivious shape, large reclining female nude.
Lying beautifully with her ‘fertile’ forms near the dike. Behind it is the nursery for the seed potato and the land for many other vegetables. As part of the sea defense, it offers security and safety.
The visual work of artist Nienke Brokke always has a narrative element. The study of theater design at the Rietveld Academy has contributed to this.
As a ‘Gesamtkunstwerk’ in theatre, Nienke likes to work with multiple art disciplines that together form a whole. Because of that narrative side, Nienke Brokke designs educational projects in addition to land art and theater sets. She is good at connecting content with an art discipline.
The land art project ‘the Dame’ was her graduation project at the Rietveld Academy in 1997. We are working hard to actually realize the project in the next coming years.
More information: NienkeBrokke
Possible realisation: 2023/2024
Location: municipality Waadhoeke
The Kromme Horne has it all: an abundance of light, vastness, serenity and spectacular panoramas. If you enter this curved pier at the village of Wierum, you will find yourself surrounded by hollows, salt marshes and plates, accompanied by the infinite light. At the end, like a ship on the horizon, you will spot a sculpture. Go on board and wander through the halls, whose windows will lead you to destinations unknown…
A curved 550-metre pier will run along the dike near the village of Wierum in the future. Visitors can walk across the pier, which runs mostly along the old pier and protects it from further decline. As they walk above the water and the slurry and along three panoramic views and dwellings, they experience the beauty of this unique landscape. The sculpture appears like a mirage, a ship with the bow turned toward the north: this is where the light is caught in a room – a room which provides protection from the wind and the sun and which entices you to linger or walk out onto the mud flats.
The Kromme Horne landscape object was created by and for people and in harmony with the natural world. The three ‘roundabouts with exits’ represent the spaces where the tide is caught. The leads to the creation of blowholes which – due to the currents – have had their appearance transformed over the decades. The landscape will be home to salt marshes and rift valleys, with mussel beds to be installed at one and vegetation planted at another, while the presence of the pier will also cause the existing salt marshes to grow again.
In an effort to revitalise their village, several of Wierum’s residents decided in 2016 to explore opportunities for new recreational facilities. Many different ideas were proposed and brainstorming sessions were held, including an exchange of ideas and various drawings. It was clear that a spatial element needed to be added to highlight Wierum’s visual qualities: the salt marshes, the mudflats, the endless dikes, the tranquillity, the tide, the colours, the light, the unique history, and the link to local shipping and hiking routes. The visual artist Ruud Reutelingsperger, a member of the Observatorium artist collective, became involved in the initiative, which ultimately resulted in this project.
Expected realisation date: unknown