Werf Waarheen – SLOCHTEREN, Groningen
Community art project for the children of Slochteren
A joint project of visual artist Milou van Ham and Observatorium. How to create a place at a canal where children can play safely? How to find a flexible lettering system that is not attached to a construction but directly influences the light and the looks of it?
Slochteren is a small famous town in the North of the Netherlands. The Dutch immediately think of the giant natural gas field discovered in 1959, ensuring the position of the Netherlands as a major energy exporting country. It is also quite unique as a small village having commisoned three public artworks in recent times. Visual artist Milou van Ham from Rotterdam was invited to do a commiunity art project with the children of the three schools. To her opinion it would be fruitful if her work which concentrates on play with meaning and visual appearence of words would be combined with the architectural and interactive work of Observatorium. Together they they saw the potential of the wide and long canals in and around the town that once served as the main transport system for peat. During a workhop with almost all children of Slochteren the enthousiasm grew, lots of designs for rafts were made and the destinations of the raft trips were envisoned: to grandma, to Barcelona, to Pluto and beyond. What does a children's wharf look like? First of all, it is too small for adults. It has to have it's own site at the canal in the center of the village and it should be accessable and safe for children. How are words and architecture intertwined? In all wooden planks a grid of holes was drilled. The children were instructed to write words by hammering wooden sticks. The less words, the more light inside the wharf. How can it be succesful public art? First of all by choosing the right context, the beautiful but underused waterways of the town, than through designing as much as seating as possible and getting as much co-creation as possible. And one should never underestimate the beauty and the appeal of craft. From day one it depends on a routine of maintenance and care, which is not the easiest part of community art. But sofar so good. Werf Waarheen in gebruik genomen, een bericht van de Dorpsvereninging Slochteren. Met de ingebruikname van het derde kunstwerk in de Slochterhaven is het kunstproject 'Het (Beeldend) Gezicht van Slochteren' afgerond.
location: Slochteren, Groningen