Automatische concepten

Aanraakbaar (Touchable) 2013

In Enschede the hospital is rotated 90 degrees, and the main entrance is oriented towards the city centre. This beautiful gesture needs space. The city council has decided to create a new square above the west entrance of the parking garage, on the location of the current crossroads of the Beltstraat and the Boulevard 1945. This change in the city’s infrastructure is the next step in the elimination of the Boulevard 1945 as a cross-city route for motorists. The new square (Koningsplein), will hereby become an antipode to the other square that cut off the Boulevard 1945, the Van Heekplein. The city wants these two squares to be opposites not only in a spatial sense, but in atmosphere too. Artists have been asked to collaborate in making the new square a green and restful place, and create an artwork that functions as a point of orientation for visitors of the city and the hospital. Three teams have been invited to give their view on this assignment. In the entry AANRAAKBAAR, the idea is to design from the perspective of the sensory perception of the place and its direct surroundings. The assignment is seen as a composition of meanings related to local and global changes. Re-developments of the city have demolished many art-deco villa’s in this area, it will be exciting to research the old villa’s, to re-introduce the sensorial qualities of arts and crafts of their time in the design and materialisation of the new square. Another dimension is the global climate change, causing, in combination with more and higher buildings in the city a change towards a two-season environment in the inner city. This will lead to a new type of park to be an oasis in the city. The third aspect to be included in the design process will be the relation between what is underground (parking garage and connection to the Hospital), and what is above: the square as connection between underground and the sky as well as being a central hub in the city. All together this proposal is an integral process working towards a square which is a world in its own right, an oasis in the city. The committee selected one of the other entries in June 2013.

Bandage 2014-

Wounded trees, steel mesh almost completely disappeared into the trees. Man nailed the mesh against the tree, the tree grew around the mesh. Clay is supposed to be healing, it is said that clay sticks to the organism, and literally sucks out what doesn’t belong in it. Inflammations would cure in hours and wounds would close. I don’t know, but I take clay, roll it out, stagger with the slab in my arms to the tree, and I wrap the clay and myself around the tree. When I take the slab of again, I take it back in to the studio, turn it inside out and reconnect the ends: a ring with the inverse imprint of the tree’s scars is carefully made. The rings are fired, some in a field kiln at a lower temperature, most in a regular gas kiln. They have different diameters, various thicknesses, are lower and higher. Those variations result in each ring having its own tone now they are turned in stone fossils of a curing process that continues to take place inside the tree. Together the fossils can be played like an instrument, its sound vaguely reminding of an Indonesian Gamelan. Thanks to Anne Ausloos, Rob Muylaert en Curdin Tones

Bovenloop van een laaglandbeek/Upstream of a lowland creek 2003-2011

In a small village, Heesch, a new neighbourhood (De Hoef-2) was planned in 2003. The goal was set on a sustainable development, not necessarily focused on alternative energy and building methods but by taking the original landscape as point of departure and working towards a community by variation in types of houses. An artist was invited to contribute to raising awareness among the new inhabitants, awareness for the position of the new neighbourhood in the surrounding landscape, for the (cultural) historic features that defined the lay out of their streets, for the water management. The commission was understood as a role: the artist as an audible conscience, creating conditions to understand and researching the continuity of cultural responsibility towards the natural landscape. In 2007 part of the new area is build. Streets were named after creeks that are part of the same watershed. Each house has a river polished rock similar to the sediments of the river Maas below the soil on which the houses are build. In the rock a name of a plant, insect or animal living in the biotope of the upstream part of a lowland creek. The first inhabitants of the new houses could choose the name that they like, they got two rocks, one has to be put under the downspout, the other they will bring to a certain location in a park. The run off water from houses and streets all will feed to this small park zone. The design of the park is inspired by the lay out of local old estates. In a green border between two parts of the new neighbourhood high rise apartment blocks are build for species that have lost nesting opportunities. These 5 meter high constructions are build of left over materials and recycled plastics. Two roundabouts mark the entries to the area, both are treated as compasses build of beautifully coloured local bricks, demonstrating the slight inclination between the northern and the southern access road. A website ( ) was build with all kind of information on the former and present landscape, cultural historic information but also bike routes for a sunny afternoon in the surroundings. In close collaboration with Stan Elings Landscape architecture, Compositie 5 Urban Planning, but also thanks to many conversations with local experts and future inhabitants. Production: Jeroen van Westen, Steenatelier Johan Looije, Smile Plastics, Gemeente Bernheze

Creative Creatures 2014

Creative Creatures is a series of texts written by ‘creative director’ Ton Haak on his engagements with artist and other creative friends. Ton now lives in Matfield Green – Kansas, officially a ghost town, but thanks to people like him with endless energy and full of ideas, the town changes into a real lively art-colony in the prairie which is still wide and open over there: true open range territory. We share a long history and that is what he wrote about, thank you Ton for a beautiful story. Read the story Creative Creatures(pdf).

Draaideur (Revolving door) 2005-2011

Follow up to De Elsenerbeek, commissioned by the DLG regio OostThe new watercourse has to cross a Medieval borderline between two Markes. There is chosen for a clear solution, showing the cultural historical value of this border, and the important (cultural) decision for the development of new nature. The border is formed by a low dike with trees and shrubs growing on top of it. Part of it will be “cut out”, and “rotated”. The cuts will carry words LAND-VER-WEER-BINDING, words that in Dutch combine two by two (depending on where you are in the landscape) into new words with a different meaning. Delivery of the project was in 2011.

Eét je uitzicht 2011-2012 (Eat Your View)

Spring SOW April 21 – Summer HARVEST June 23 – Fall EAT October 13 – Winter AFTER DINNER January 12 Kunstvereniging Diepenheim has a long-standing tradition of art and landscape, which has resulted in many beautiful and noteworthy projects, such as the ‘A1’ project around the A1 freeway, and the recent construction of the Diepenheim Gardens. In collaboration with SKOR and the province Overijssel, the Kunstvereniging added a very special project to their list, in which the landscape in and around Diepenheim takes a central place. ‘Eét je uitzicht’ is a research project into the relations between people, landscape and food, curated by Jeroen van Westen and Karina Hendriks. The research focuses on the consumers’ blindness to the origins of their food, and the role landscape plays in food production. Food can be seen as the intermediary between man and landscape: landscape as an expression of what the body eats, or the body as expression of the eaten landscape. On three days in spring, summer, and fall of 2012, four explorers were sent into a four square kilometer stretch of land near Diepenheim, with the directive “This is food”. The explorers dealt with questions such as: ‘how does this taste?’, ‘what kind of meal would this make?’, and subjects of poetry, music, nature, economy and body. With backgrounds ranging from chef cook or farmer to survivalist soldier or monk, the explorers all searched the landscape for nutrition for the body or mind. Artist/chef Ernst Ruijgrok went received the results of their search and recorded the taste of the landscape in his field kitchen. Every exploration was presented to the public in the form of a lecture, debate or exposition. Through a website and social media the process can still be followed. A small booklet is available through Kunstvereniging Diepenheim For more information please visit

HerKenning Erf 201 (2013)

Commissioned by Gemeente Kampen with support from Provincie Overijssel. Closed competition under the title ‘Kampen De Kloof’. With the arrival of the A50 freeway, the Hanze railway and the bypass, the IJssel delta is expanding. The city has two fronts now: besides the well-known historical view from the IJssel, the city will get a new face in the Kampen Zuid area. The new entry into the city lies within the ring of dikes that has protected the city from the river for centuries. The Medieval Zwartendijk, the Hanze Railway and the A50 together encompass centuries of cultural history. It is time for Kampen to reacquaint themselves with the area, and to make it more appealing to the traveler. It is time for the traveler to recognize the new side of the city. In HerKenning Erf 201 attention is brought to the gain in recognizability of the landscape the bypass brings to Kampen Zuid. A spear point of this plan is that there should not be urban development between the freeway and the Zwartendijk, because this closes the ring of dikes that lies around Kampen. In order to attain the ‘readability’ of the landscape that was requested in the competition, there should be no urban development, so that the Zwartendijk remains visible from both the freeway and the train station Kampen Zuid. The area between the freeway and the Zwartendijk can become a city yard, in line with the tradition of Kamper stadserven. The fragmentation created by freeway ramps and the railway will be fixed by interpreting these heights as levees with a sublimation of sand dunes in between. Throughout the year streams of plants and grasses will roll off this portrait of of the streaming landscapes of the original IJssseldelta: bulbous plants in spring and special grasses from the Hanze region in Summer. In the winter the city yard will appear as a clearly flowing sculpture, a beautiful and recognizable entry to Kampen Zuid. Complete proposal in collaboration with Henk Volkers. For more information, please download HerKenning Erf 201 (6,6 Mb)

Kwelwatertafels (Seepage/up swell tables) 2005-

Follow up to De Elsenerbeek, commissioned by the DLG regio Oost The immediate reason for creating the Elsenerbeek is the up swell of seepage coming from sandy lateral moraines. The special qualities of this kind of water bring forward a one of a kind habitat, but for a long time now the water is mixed with agricultural run off water and simply transported directly to the Regge by straight canals, not getting a chance to let special plants grow or amphibians live. In the new nature development the special water will find space and time to re-create the landscape. Three tables + seats will mark crucial locations along the new watercourse. Tables and seats made of a nearby mined, locally traditionally used natural sandstone. Water will well up in the tables at which people can seat themselves on the blocks carved with names of the areas that contribute water to the Elsenerbeek. Two out of three tables were delivered in June 2011.

Recreatieve knoop (Recreational knot) 2005-2011

Follow up to De Elsenerbeek, commissioned by the DLG regio Oost Icw De Grontmij (civil engineers) Where Rijssen borders to the Elsenerbeek a ‘country’road coming from town crosses the creek. At this site a portrait can be made of the landscape of lateral moraines, seepage up swell and rubble fan, welcoming nature and culture

Sentinel 2013

Sentinel, Anne Ausloos & Jeroen van Westen (proposal) The prairie is essentially horizontal. The rolling hills are endless, a vast sea of grass under a big sky. It is hard to tell distance or to keep bearings. There are few landmarks (mostly cellphone towers). In this naturally horizontal landscape the landmarks, “cultural towers”, are “archipunctural” connections between earth and sky. In their vertical loneliness they don’t radiate power like a castle would, but they look like guards, keepers of the lands, sentinels. This tower on Highway 177 south of Bazaar is shiny, constructed with salt-glazed stone in rich sand-colored ochers (and aren’t the prairie hills in fact old sea bottom–salt, sea, sand?). There is a crack running from top to bottom connecting the inside with the outside. The stones the tower was built with still look like new, the crack painfully shows it is being neglected. A shiny ring at the top reclaims the tower and returns it to the community. A soft light shining from within beckons the passer-by during the night. Take a seat, lean back, look at the tower. Step inside, look in, look out, look up, observe the land, the sky; discover the text in the ring at the top. Listen how voices resound in the tower.


The India House Art Gallery in Pune offered the first opportunity to show the full body of work of INVERSE. Parth Shah, architect in Rajkot, who participated in the research on Gujarat’s stepwells, wrote the following introduction: “To the Dutch, as Jeroen mentions, water is something to be handled seriously & urgently, either to be gotten rid of or to be put to use. It is not a commodity that can be taken for granted and lived with in a leisurely way. For a person with such a cultural mindset to experience a unique Indian search for water deep within the ground – one that patiently seeks to hold water for use later on – must be perplexing indeed. This single thought, to me, marks the beginning of the journey that Jeroen so valiantly embarked upon about six years back. I am indeed happy to see his efforts come to fruition in this compilation of experiences with such painstaking and loving attention to detail. This show is Jeroen’s personal journey to India and, more importantly, a journey that reflects upon his conditioned response to water in the Netherlands, as well as his experiences with water in other parts of the world. We are fortunate that he allows us a glimpse of what the mind and body actually experiences in a space as enigmatic as a stepwell… enclosing and releasing, wonderfully dark and frighteningly bright, cold and warm, reflective and coarse. With his sketches and his writings, aided by the photo collages, audios, videos, and prints, he takes the visitor on a journey that is both enriching and thought provoking.” Read the 3 articles in Indian newspapers (pdf).

Vechtpark 2010-2013

De Vecht in Overijssel wordt -opnieuw- aangepast, dit keer terug naar een meer natuurlijke rivier. Hardenberg grijpt de kans om bewoners en natuur meer kansen te bieden om te leven met de rivier. Het dal wordt binnen het invloedsgebied van de stad een bijzonder park. Het Vechtpark krijgt haar vorm door de halfnatuurlijke rivier. Half natuurlijk is half cultureel, de kunst wordt uitgenodigd mee te ontwerpen aan de rivier, en kunstwerken te ontwerpen die mede gevormd worden door de rivier. De gemeente heeft Jeroen van Westen als intendant aangesteld om de kansen voor beeldende kunst te benoemen en samen met de klankbordgroep en het projectteam kunstenaars te zoeken die bij kunnen dragen aan een bijzonder transformatieproces. In een open uitnodiging hebben geselecteerde kunstenaars een veelheid aan invalshoeken en interesses kenbaar gemaakt. Inmiddels heeft Atelier Veldwerk een prachtige serie Staalkaarten uitgewerkt die leidend zijn bij aanleg en inrichting van het Vechtpark. Atelier de Lyon heeft een analyse gemaakt van de ruimtelijke structuur van het Vechtpark en op basis daarvan de ontwerpopgaves rondom bestaande en nog te bouwen routes helder en beeldend op de agenda gezet. Deelgebied Molengoot is inmiddels ontworpen in samenwerking met de bewoners, en in uitvoering. In het oog springende onderdelen zijn enkele bruggen, de nieuwe sluis en de Koppeltuin die geheel is ontworpen door Carmela Bogman ism met Natuureducatiecentrum De Koppel en AOC De Groene Welle. Downloads: Cultuurbijlage van de structuurvisie Vechtpark (2,4 MB) meer hierover te vinden op Huidige rol: Curatorschap Meer informatie op de website Vechtpark.

Zinnenbeeld 2012 (Sense Image 2012)

In the proposal for the ‘green’ traffic transfer point P+N Holt& Berg, the link between the A1 freeway and national park Sallandse Heuvelrug is realised in two steps. The first step is to bring the hill into Holten, and overcome the barrier of factories and infrastructure between the village centre and national park. One of the objectives of step one is to increase the number of routes on the Holterenk. The second step is to redesign the routes between the A1 and the national park in order to give visitors a sense of ‘arrival’. The direct link between step one and two is a series of large boulders, analogous to the one on the marketplace in Holten, but way bigger. The two exits of the A1 will be marked with these boulders. Five special boulders, each of which speaks to one of our senses specifically, are to be placed at crossroads of the new routes over the Holterenk. From every boulder, two others are visible, inviting the visitor to wander over the Holterenk on their way to the main entrance of the national park. The boulders are designed in collaboration with rock climbers, locals, and local business owners. Together the boulders form a sensory image, a horizontal beacon in the landscape which reforges the bond between the town of Holten and ‘her’ hill. Commissioned by Gemeente Holten-Rijssen, made possible by  province Overijssel. Designed in collaboration with Theo Reitsema, JobArt, Mothership BV Rotterdam. Zinnenbeeld is a continuation of GroenTransferium P+N Holten. Download the booklet Zinnenbeeld (pfd) for details of the design process. Definitive design delivered November 2012. Project canceled June 2013.