Art Month Ameland – The Copper Plate Wreck

It’s been busy times! On October 27, we packed up “A Mosaic of Lost Ones” in Amsterdam after four successful weeks. A few days later, I headed to Ameland to participate in Art month Ameland. The exhibition in Sier aan Zee is on display until November 30. Last weekend, we visited the island and enjoyed an interesting combination of nature, physical activity, and art.

Sier aan Zee

Sier aan Zee is located at the western tip of the island, a bit hidden behind the dunes. There, I exhibit together with Zus van Zand. What is there to see? Several large photos of historical copper plates that are presented for public for the first time. The series was originally created for the Dutch Cultural Heritage Agency, Archaeology Department.

A Disaster and a Found Treasure

Behind this work lies a story of loss and a found treasure. This narrative is closely connected to the Wadden Islands and the highly globalized economy of today. At the same time, the found treasure gives information about the early years of capitalism. In January 2019, 342 sea containers went overboard during a storm, resulting in an environmental disaster that still impacts the residents of Ameland and their surroundings.

A Shipwreck with Copper Cargo

During salvage operations after the disaster, a shipwreck was unexpectedly discovered. Not much was left of the ship, but the cargo of copper was retrieved from the sea. Research indicates that the ship sank around 1540. Presumably, the copper was on the way to Antwerp to be minted into coins. (Copper coins were used around this time of growth to pay day laborers; before that, silver or gold were the common means of payment.)

The photos you see in Sier aan Zee are the result of my assignment to capture the beauty of the plates. The copper bears fascinating traces of the time in the sea. But working with this unique material, I was also captivated by the magic of history. Do you want to see the photos better? Check this page!

The locations where art is exhibited during Art month are widely spread over the island, that way visitors are invited to go cycling.

An Honorable Assignment

Creating art from unique cultural heritage is a great honor. With my work, I have tried to bear the responsibility and evoke imagination where historical facts fall silent. Many thanks to the Cultural Heritage Agency for granting the assignment and lending the works during Art month Ameland.

I would say, hurry to Ameland and enjoy the beautiful island and all that art! It’s a unique experience that combines the beauty of nature, physical activity, and art.

The endless beaches on Ameland are empty, everyone is watching art in November here.

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