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.

Update June 8th by Martina van de Gey

My first impressions as an artist, who has never been to Leewarden and does not speak a word Dutch, was that all the people here are very friendly, relaxed and happy.

When you’re out on the streets, cycling, or jogging around the city to get to know them better, you’re greeted from all sides with a friendly “hoi”. This is very nice and makes it easier to arrive in a foreign country. I am fascinated by the idea that one lives in a community and nobody is responsible only for themselves and is not left alone in case of problems, which is an important basic idea of ​​Iepens Mienskip.

Especially clear was the sense of community during a boat trip to which we were invited a few days ago. It was attended by cultural artists from Slovenia, Poland, Germany and Zimbabwe. We sat together in a small room, ate, drank and talked to each other. To be able to drive under the very low bridges, everyone had to lay flat on the ground, which was very funny, but also caused a sense of spatial tightness and anxiety.
It occurred to me that we are all “in the same boat” and have the same needs and desires. We can not be well if our fellow human beings are in a bad state because everything is connected with everything else. When people drown in the Mediterranean on the run, this also has consequences for our contemplative life, we can not be care less and we have to act.

Inspired by this impression, I will use the theme “we are all in the same boat” for my work in Leeuwarden.  In my studio, I began to fold boat-like bodies from rubber and paint them with thin paint. Eventually these bodies will be filled with water from the canals in Leeuwarden, because everything ist connected with everything.

As a result for my 3 weeks stay there will be several objects for the floor area in my studio, as well as some drawings of hulls on the wall.

In addition, I have prepared a video documenting of my daily way from the house in the Pelikaanstraat to my studio in the Tweebaksmarkt in an amusing way.


Update June 8th by Friederike Willich

What a wonderful chance for an „Artist in Residence“ to stay on a sheep farm and have a studio space in Leeuwarden.
Each day is full of adventures and experiences of “Iepen Mienskip“ at its best. I am exploring the city with my sketchbook in my hands and ride home to my dear host family by bike through Frisian villages and meadows.