Kari Huhtamo Art Foundation seminar
environmental sculpture - Lucien den Arend -
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During the eighties I was asked by the town of Barendrecht to do various proposals for environmental projects. The Pieter Janszoon Saenredam project was selected to be executed in the the new suburb Molenwijk. A reservoir was needed to collect the surplus water, which Holland has plenty of; if it doesn't come from the sky, it will come from the bottom up.
Saenredam was of the most meticulous painters of his time - belonging to the apollonian type of artists. It is his mathematical approach, which can be compared with many contemporary abstract geometrical artists, which prompted me to name this project after him.
I projected a 30 by 30 meter island in an 80 by 50 meter reservoir. The east side of the island follows the historical subdivision of the parcels of land in the polder. So the south side is actually shorter. On the island I planted 16 by 16 rows of white willows in a grid following the contours of the island. Two drainage ditches subdivide the island in four quadrants. The willows are pollarded every three years.