Update June 13th by Nika Zupančič

3rd June 2018 – Aldtsjerk – village by Leeuwarden – Man

The cultivated garden. Thoughts flying  from « Hortus conclusus » to Botticelli’s flower encyclopedia and, of course, to Voltaire’s « il faut cultiver son propre jardin « .

Room in the attic. Two horses passing my window parralelly stepping into the frame  from morning till night, entering it once from the right side, next time from the left. White horse followed by the black one or inversely, always moving parallely towards window plane, fluidly, like in a slow motion movie. Eating grass for all this muscular force, curving their necks into the ground, and then, at the falling of night, their elegant silhouettes, their necks erected towards sky,  move into their stable.

4th June – road  pictures   – Animal

Bucolic paysages. Sheep with a golden line along their back at 20 o’ clock at night remind me on Millet’s  paintings from Muséed’ Orsayin Paris. « Les pastorales ».

6th June – Museum Belvédère Friesland –Art

Tinus van Doorn – northern Chagall – what a « découvert » !

Great modern painting collection. For my eyes so essential, so close to my perception of painting. I feel grounded again. Everything happens on the surface, all depth is encompassed within tiny floating layer of paint. Like Dutch horizons. As if you would cut off a piece of a painted canvas – like conservators and restorers do in order to analyse the painting’s layers with a microscope – and observe stripes of different colors built one upon another, similar to archeological remains, suggesting passing of time and evoking silent symphony of endlessness. Horizons.

7th June 2018 –  Schiermonnikoog island – Locus

The unimaginable experience. Like I would step into my imaginary painting. Absolute painting.

But I got sunburned in the seemingly gentlest sun I remember. Nature touches and strikes unexpectedly, so the sublime image of the unreachable horizons showed its teeth and let painful marks on my skin showing concretely its dark side by imprinting and penetrating my vision and skin. The old Romantic poets and painters have proved their thesis here in life, on the margin of endlessness. I am struck by beauty, and yet,  I feel hidden brutality of nature again.


Update June 11th by Vince Briffa

“Because of the change of my studio, I started quite late. I have the feeling that I just started well no. I share the studio with Orhan Kamilov from Macedonia. I changed theme, because of what experiences I had”. To be continued………………………

Update June 11th by Diedel Klöver

Diedel Klöver works in the company of Oreel in Hallum. From old bicycles he makes a LION! The lion is in the weapon of Jever, Germany,  (were Diedel comes from) and in the weapon of Leeuwarden, that is what makes a great connection. An other connection he found in the fact that people in Jever and in Friesland go on bikes a lot, because it is flat land. Diedel is using old bicycles to make this LION!

Update 9th of June by Sithabile Mlotshwa

“Through our eyes, we see the world, through our eyes we encapsulate it and through our eyes, we shape how the world becomes”

But this shaping of the world begins in our minds, with what we think, how we perceive what we see and give it form.

My proposal for the residency in Leeuwarden has several elements;

  • Going beyond ‘iepen mienskip’ the “open community” – towards Ubuntu
  • Our relationship to the natural environment
  • And the link if any between Leeuwarden and the world

I find my participation in the Artist in residency of European Cultural Capital project of the Rotary clubs entitled: “Iepen Mienskip or Open Community a great opportunity to critically reflect on what it means to be an Open Community in the current state of our world and what it is to be human, in relation to each other, to our world and most importantly to the protection and preservation of our natural environment.

I’m drawn by the aims of the LW2018 Cultural Capital Project, to address some of the controversial issues facing the Western world; from refugees to climate change, racism to inequality and to tackle them. I’m of the belief that it is not possible to tackle these issues without understanding the root causes. It is with this reason that my project begins with the history of Leeuwarden to its present and questions why in 2018, there is a need for “Iepen Mienskip” what impact this has or can have in the current state of our world. How the city came to be, what role if any, it played or still plays in influencing or shaping the Netherlands, Europe and the rest of the world as well as what links this city has, to the controversial issues facing the Western world.

Through my research, several people have emerged that will play an important part in the realization of the Leeuwarden context of this long term project; Jan Jacob Slauerhoff, William IV, Prince of Orange-Nassau, the root mother, Landgravine Marie Louise of Hesse-Kassel, Ester Naomi Perquin, through her poem she wrote for the Metrical Footstep in Leeuwarden, Sijtie Huisman, Peter de Haan, my guest parents; Annagreet Hoogeland and Gerrit Jan Hoogeland, Bert Finke, Karin Sitalsing from her book, “Boeroes”, my guest brother Vince Briffa, Felix de Rooy, Carl Haarnack, Jan Stobbe and fellow artists am sharing a studio with; Kamila Elżbieta and Jürgen Kling among others.

For the moment, I spend all my time collecting, stories, taking pictures, searching for strong and critical women in the forefront of where the new can be born, because women, to me, are the pillars of society that give birth to it and shape how it becomes. Aside this, I also spend a lot of my time, looking for traces that reflect traditions that matter.

Having lived in Leeuwarden for 1 week, I have come to discover through my encounter with different people I asked to take part in my collection of stories, Ubuntu. As I walk through the streets of Leeuwarden, and the villages surrounding it, I discover remnants from the past, but at the same time, feel that there are missing pieces, needed to make a complete story.

When you google Leeuwarden, this is what comes up: “Leeuwarden is the capital of Friesland. Located in the northwest of the Netherlands, just 1,5 hours drive from Amsterdam. … A city with an old historic city centre that has all the characteristics of a typical Dutch city with canals, bridges, a weigh house and many houses from the 17th century (the Dutch golden age).” When I googled the Dutch Golden Age, more stories came to surface. Because of this, my project, will focus on traditions that matter, where I will make historical tiles that fill in the blanks, or parts I find missing during my gathering of the stories. The project in Leeuwarden will also include paintings and at the center of it, the Slauerhoff bridge that I use as a metaphor in response to the theme: “Iepen Mienskip and the link it has to the current state of our world.

Because of this, I decided to call my project: “In Search of Ubuntu – A Collective History – Dutch Golden Age,” as a reflection of this period, the impact if any it had in shaping the world, socially and economically, as well as to check if there are any parallels to now in inspiring how we address the controversial issues the western world is facing.

Below is the take off point and inspirational poem by Ester Naomi Perquin

Zie ons staan voor deze gevel. We komen aan met wat we weten.
Onze huid is dun maar taai, de geest uit tochtgaten gewaaid,
dit geheugen een museum waarin we zelf de weg niet weten.
Onze oren, buiken, halzen; versleten tegen de Bjd dat we beseffen wat we zijn.

We rapen ons bijeen en raken uitgestald. We zijn onszelf vergeten. We misleiden het verleden door zelf geschiedenis te zijn.
Ons helen is voorlopig, ons bewegen uitgestelde pijn,
vernuftig porselein voor het te pleFer slaat.
Wankeling die breekpunt mist.

We vinden en hervinden ons maar zelfs het vinden komt te laat; We zijn een ding waarbij geen jaartal passend is, omvaFen wat aan scherven ging en lijmen wat niet heelt – wat zijn we
vrolijk hier. Passende restanten van de almacht.
Even verzameld als verdeeld.

Ester Naomi Perquin

Update June 10th by Vince Briffa

The original intention has been to look at Friesland from the eyes of a cow. This thought has been at the back of my mind since before I arrived in Leeuwarden, and has not left me ever since. Due to my interest in landscape and memory, I have started wondering what it is to not only see through the optics of a cow with all its peculiarity, but also to remember such images through a cow’s sensibility. I have also had the fortune to experience Friesland landscape at night. This has deeply influenced the work that I am planning as it is so different to what I am accustomed to, mainly the vastness of the sea rather than that of land. I am therefore working on a series of works that are mainly inspired by nocturnal Friesland, its silent activity and its relationship to the memory of its cattle.

Update June 8th by Edwin Smet

With his project, Wâlden, Edwin Smet wishes to reflect on the book Walden by Thoreau – in which the artist, by himself, retreats in nature – and his current environment Fryslân, the community. He also wants to address the time we  consciously spend and what can be realized in therein. The images and texts he produces will be bundled in a multilingual book, after the residency. www.edwinsmet.eu

Update June 8th bij Kamila Wolszczak


I would like to involve people from Friesland in my residency project to make their own drawings on the map of Friesland by using a tandem bike.

The bike symbolises the pencil on the map and it depends on us how the new abstract shape of the region will look like.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask me.
My phone number: +48 505 668 340

You can find my previous projects online:

Update June 8th by Jürgen Kling

My name is Jürgen Kling. I come from the region of Frankfurt in Germany.

My first impression of Friesland is the experience that landscape  and Frisians have a symbiotic  relationship. Serenity and water are the associating elements.

That´s why  I`m painting water in different styles.                                                                                                   My topics until now are a river bank in Zuiderburen, where my host family is living, a detail of              a ship´s deck in the harbor of Harlingen, reflections of a footbridge on a channels surface, or a       boat trip crossing a bridge in Leeuwarden.

People and water always are in movement and I would like to be a part of it.