The other week, while reading the wonderful Utrecht-based blog, My Personal Style, I came across one of her postings about some wall art that has recently gone up in the city. I knew I had to go see it for myself, so I took a short break and headed over to a part of the city I haven’t visited that much.
Filling three sections of a wall on the corner of Stroosteeg and Springweg, this colourful art is in praise of the rich ceramic history of Utrecht, including Sint Lukas, a ceramic company once located in the early 1900s in roughly the same spot on Strosteeg. The company produced many influential ceramists and their glazed tiles are still highly appreciated.
The ceramic art was created by a number of different ceramists working together, and also includes a poem by Ingmar Heytze, whose great-grandfather was the creative engine of Sint Lukas. There is both traditional text, as well as Braille in the work. The artists are all part of a long line of gifted ceramic artists working in the city.
De stad is oud, de wereld is ouder.
Nu ben je nog een ademende knipoog
naar de sterren: later, hoeveel later weet
je nooit, een schaduw in de aarde.
Muren – vergaderingen van klei
die ergens in een bedding lag totdat
een hand haar pakte, kneedde, bakte,
het moment in een oven bevroor.
Vazen – schatbewaarders van leegte,
stofmijt, bloemen in brak water, twee
handen vol aan as. Geheugenplaatsen
in glazuur: wat is, wat blijft, wat was.
The city is old, the world is older.
Now are you a breathing wink
to the stars: later, how much later
you don’t know, a shadow in the earth.
Walls – meetings of clay
somewhere in one bed lay until
a hand took it, kneaded, baked,
froze the moment in an oven.
Vases – treasurers of emptiness,
dust mites, flowers in brackish water, two
hands full of ashes. Memory locations
in enamel: what is, what remains, what was.
There’s more information at this website (in Dutch), including a video of the artists working together. The video is interesting to watch, even if you don’t speak Dutch, because it allows you to see both where and how they worked.