Refugees (#1)

December 2015 - January 2016

The art project Refugees (#1) depicted the timeless story of a recurring reality: the refugee theme. Every day, people all over the world are forced to flee their homes for fear of death or persecution. They only take what they can carry, away from poverty, hopelessness and oppression. When they cross international borders they are called refugees. They cross oceans and minefields. Many will never return. They risk their lives and their future.

For many an abstract image from far away. An image we only know from media coverage. Placed in an everyday environment it comes very close. Silhouettes of steel plates of three meters high symbolized these anonymous refugees: children, men, women, contemporary and historical refugees. The iconic silhouettes of Joseph and Mary with the newborn baby Jesus gave the refugees a recognizable face and subtly reminded spectators that it is a recurring theme. The iconic silhouettes gave the artwork an extra charge during the Christmas period. For many a time of reflection and awareness. The aim was to make people aware of the refugee theme and make them think by confronting them with this ever current reality. People are stimulated by a special imagination in which connections are made between the realities of the past, present and future.

Refugees (#1), a temporary landscape art project, could be experienced from December 24 (Christmas Eve) 2015 to January 20, 2016 along the Provincial road N598 in Hoogcruts, municipality of Eijsden - Margraten (NL). Near the Belgian border, in the heart of the Euregion. The artwork was illuminated between sunset and sunrise and was therefore visible from the road day and night.

The art project was made possible through a successful crowdfunding campaign. A total of € 5,311.50 was raised thanks to many donors and sponsors (see list below). The target amount of € 5,000 was required for the payment of material (steel plates), the laser cutting of silhouettes, mounting materials, lighting, transport, etc. The remaining amount of € 311.50 was donated to Stichting WereldWijd (the WorldWide Foundation). A training center in Eckelrade, aimed at people of foreign origin and for people with a great distance from the labor market. WereldWijd provides short perspective training courses. In addition, WereldWijd offers material support when returning to the country of origin. This support helps the returnees to build a new life.


Vluchtelingen (#1) (time-lapse video)




Title: Refugees (#1)
Location: In field next to Hoogcruts 3, Noorbeek (NL). Along provincial road N598, municipality of Eijsden – Margraten (NL). Publicly accessible
Process: December 2015
Temporary experience: December 24 (Christmas Eve) 2015 to 20 January 2016
Material: Laser-cut construction steel plates with a thickness of 5 mm were used for silhouettes. Because of construction / stability made use of 12 steel L-profiles
Dimensions: 7 ‘groups’ of silhouettes from steel plates with varying dimensions. Per group: from 1200x5x2500 mm (wxlxh) to 4500x5x3000 mm (wxlxh) at a distance of 2-4 m of each other (in width and depth). Artwork as a whole: 30x5x3 m (wxlxh). Because of construction / stability made use of 12 steel L-profiles with length 3 m
Initiative: Jonathan Wanders
With special thanks to: donors and sponsors of the crowdfunding campaign, Martijn Smit, Désirée Tonnaer, Wim Notermans with Clemens and Norman (Fruit company Notermans), Gaston Kallen (arable farmer), volunteers during construction and dismantling of the artwork, municipality of Eijsden-Margraten, Stichting WereldWijd
Donors and sponsors: Martijn Smit (Collective Workspace Maastricht), Désirée Tonnaer (artist), Wim Notermans met Clemens en Norman (Fruit company Notermans), Gaston Kallen (arable farmer), Evelyne Wanders-Schreurs, municipality of Eijsden-Margraten, Stichting Ontwikkelingsmaatschappij ENCI-gebied, Demo Productions, Bouwcenter Jan Opreij BV,, Landgoed van Ulvend, Nicolas Mansfield (director Nederlandse Reisopera) en Hanz Timans, Gijs Creemers (Dreamwebs), Vin Munnen, Robert-Michael Joseph, Mary Elizabeth Joseph, Ontwerpstudio Contxt, Annet and Tjeu Seeverens, family van Hall, Iris Dingelstad (ID-projects), Renate Ossenberg-Engels, Grandpa and Grandma Faarts-Harings, Nicole and Lex Keijzers, Kazerij Verschuren, Gilles van de Wouw - Praktijk voor bestuursrecht, RPO Rebema, Studio Dirk Ploos van Amstel, Heleen van Binsbergen, Rooms/SoupSolo, Hanny Wanders-Faarts, Krijnen Tekst en Taal, family Adriaensen and Mrs. Parker School, Hombourgeois, Huub Faarts, Accountancy Zuyd, José Faarts, Theatercollectief Het Geluid, family van den Doel, Mediablenders, Xentropics, family Dik, blik51, family Gösmann, Ikbenarthur, Loft 51, Call Your Coach, family Snellenberg, family de Burlett – Brouwers, Let it Edit, Jacobs Vormgeving, Valentine Wanders and Nelis Naessens, Nol Reverda, Eyserhof, family van der Linden – Schreurs, Ton and Yvonne Wanders, Richard Dols, Maud Rawie, Gerdine Nieuwenhuis, Annette Willems, Lucy Van den Goorbergh, Thérese Cillekens, Maddy Hannessen, Maaike Meijer, Rene Corten, Ad Veenhof, Emma Crebolder, Frans Kamphuis, Michel Ramakers, Wil Groutars, Jac van den Bogaard, Hans Maarsse, Hanneke Mondria, Anne Marie Ariens, Edith van Roosendaal, Marian and Gerrit Konings-van der Bijl, Marleen Corten, Monique Mullenders, Yvonne Mostard, Aart Langen, Peter Kitslaar, Monique Dudok, Andrea Nelissen, Evert Dudok, Agnes van der Ploeg, Alita Hidding, Karlijn van der Graaf, Paul Jansen, Clemens van Hövell, Guus van Binsbergen, 6211 Kunstkwartier, Mark Janssen, Joep Koster, Melissa Willems, A&D accountants and belastingadviseurs, Bart Bellefroid and Anouk Erens, Bart Meulenberg and Ellen Fischer, Jan Mans, Jos Salden, Spinning Wheels, Stijn de Vries, René Graat, Hanneke Koene, Eve Jackson, Jacinta Kreuger, Wil Roelofsen, Fotografie Twan Wiermans, Bep Mergelsberg, Luuk Joosten, Carel Smit, Hans van Hees, M.J.M. Roels, SAGO Onderzoek, Zuid Mobile, Dorieke Schreurs, Schoonheidsinstituut Sakura, Josée Mergelsberg, Marieke Kupper-Senden, Rachel and Victor Thijssen, Maurice and Sally Wouters, HEI15, Felix Havenith, Mira van der Putten, Edmond Ackermans, P.C. Adriaens, B.F. Waltmans, Daan Bloembergen, Xavier, Manon and Ted Gubbels, Bart and Maria Janssen, Boy Bellefroid and Angele De Vreede, Miriam Meens and Gerard Timmers, G.H.M.S. Schoenmakers, J.H. van Houttem, Remy Kroese, Dorena Gulpers, Wouter Smit, familie Frambach-Bastings, Harry Rouschop, Het Schurend Scharniertje, P.M.E.J.J. Spauwen, Esther Schepers, Yolanda Pricken, E.A.J. Rompelberg C.J., Rob Cobben, Mathijs and Ellen Gerrekens, Decorette Franssen, Jean and Lia van Can, Anne and Manu Aardening-Calapez, Elfriede Mergelsberg, Opfokbedrijf Heuvelland, familie Aarts-Schreurs, Lotje Horvers, L. Klaassen, Githa Hoffman and Jo Leunissen, Eric Mackus, Sittah Huntjens, Bureau Dito, Johan Aussems
Photos: Ralph Sluysmans, Edward van Kempen, Diana Scheilen, Gert Lammer, Romy Roelofsen, Veronica Alberts
Video: Edward van Kempen - Spinning Wheels
© Jonathan Wanders