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How do residents and visitors experience the landscape between dunes and dikes? How do you make minuscule water life visible? How does a bird connect its nest with the rest of the world? Where exactly does the subterranean border between fresh and salt water lie?

Over the next few years (2014-2018) the Bewaerschole in Burgh-Haamstede will be focusing on its immediate surroundings, that is, the island of Schouwen-Duiveland.

Both national and international artists will be doing artistic research on the island and share their results through exhibitions, publications and by using social media. The common theme for all artists is the balance between fresh and salt.
The island of Schouwen-Duiveland is a rare gem. Protected from the sea by dunes, dams and dikes, and dependent on a thin layer of fresh water just below the surface, it is  threatened by rising sea level and other forces of nature. Due to human intervention the dynamic balance between fresh and salt water has been regulated as much as possible. As a result a delicate system has been created in which people live and work, and in which they are continuously involved in the search for the balance between safety, economy and the natural heritage of the island.

The Bewaerschole has asked a group of fifteen artists to research and visualize this continuously shifting balance from completely different perspectives, with the present as a starting point, but also with an open mind regarding the past and future of the island.

C  O  O  P  E  R  A  T  I  O  N

Bearing in mind the nature of the theme and their specific modus operandi the artists will look to cooperate with the residents and specialists on the island, as well as various social and cultural organizations and institutions, and with governmental organizations – such as Rijkwaterstaat amongst others – which are involved in the maintenance of the natural heritage of the island. Of course agricultural, marine and recreational experts are also involved, as well as educational institutions.

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During the five-year period the Bewaerschole will operate as the ‘Centre for Fresh and Salt Water’, from which all the artistic projects will be coordinated, documented and archived, so the artists’ progress can be viewed by the public. Four times a year, preliminary or final projects will be presented to the public. The artists’ work will also be incorporated into a program of lectures, workshops and publications.

W  E  B  S  I  T  E

During the entire period the Bewaerschole will be running a website ( for everyone who is interested in the progress of artistic projects. The website will also include a lot of background information as well as announcements of public activities.


Weststraat 1 8
The Netherlands


Friday – Sunday
2 P M. –  5 P M .

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5 March-30 April : Willem Besselink will present the invisible subterranean condition of the groundwater underneath the Bewaerschole in a giant display. With thanks to the participation of Deltares and Freshem, electromagnetic soil research.

7 May-25 June : Leontine Lieffering will present the results of her architectural research, using the remains of a caisson as a starting point. Her display/results can be seen both in the Bewaerschole and next to the Watersnoodmuseum in Ouwerkerk.

2 July-3 September :  Wim Geeven is investigating the construction of a landscape. The “herstel landschap” – that is, inundated land that has been reclaimed from the sea – from the 16th century that was once so vulnerable and prone to change is now being closely monitored on the south coast of Schouwen.

10 September- 5 November : Gerco de Ruijter will present a series of stunning fisheye lens photographs taken from 70 m above the Oosterschelde dike, demonstrating by means of virtual reality that the dike is a meridian in a dynamic area.

During these periods projects of other artists are also on display. Please visit the website for information about all activities planned throughout the year, both in the Bewaerschole and at other locations on the island.

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If our program appeals to you and you would like to get involved then you can become a friend, donor or volunteer. Please send an e-mail to This project of artistic research and presentations is made possible by grants from the Mondriaan Fonds, the Community of Schouwen-Duiveland, the Province of Zeeland, the Prins Bernhard Fonds and other friends and donors.

A  R  T  I  S  T  S

Jeroen van Westen and Anne Ausloos literally dig into the culture of Schouwen-Duiveland. In the landscape they investigate the dividing line between fresh and salt and the changes caused by human intervention. In doing so they want to reveal the interaction between nature and culture.

Leontine Lieffering plunges herself in the history of the island and reveals architectural structures hidden on the edge between land and sea.

Aletta de Jong searches for ancient applications of natural materials. By collecting, preparing and processing plants and minerals she recreates old and vulnerable local traditions.

Willem Besselink focuses on the unexpected dynamics of the supply of fresh and salt water. He captures the regularity within these processes in graphics which eventually results in an colorful art installation of fresh and salt.

Ronald de Boer and Valerie Dempsey have investigated the patterns of mud and salt in water systems in the area by means of crystallization and sedimentation. In 2017 Ronald will work with Jonmar van Vlijmen as ‘weed gardener’ to discover what we, as human beings living in a salty environment, can learn from halophytes, that is, plants that use salt to their benefit.

Gerco de Ruijter is traveling with his camera along the coast of Schouwen-Duiveland, taking pictures from 70 m above the Oosterschelde dike. Using the techniques of virtual reality he shows that the coastline is a dynamic area of fresh and salt water.

Egied Simons develops techniques to make seemingly invisible forms of life visible. From tiny creatures in a salty environment to the root structure of traditional salt tolerant crops.

Esther Kokmeijer follows a special guest on the island, the Nordic Tern. On its annual journey from pole to pole and back this bird uses the island as a stopover and sometimes as a breeding ground. She documents her findings in the “Diary of a Pole Traveller”.

Astrid van Nimwegen has studied the reflection of light on fresh and salt water and its influence on our perception of the landscape. In 2017 she will collect the sound of fresh and salt waters and their surroundings, and looks for the possibility to translate them into a music composition so they can be conducted.

Bruno Doedens (SLeM) investigates sand replenishment at the Brouwersdam as ‘Landscape Theatre’, using the replenishment itself as performance, machines, crew and audience as actors and the tango as a metaphor for the dance of man and water. The poetic movie ‘Alles Beweegt’ (Everything Flows), with music by rock band BLØF, will premiere in September 2017 during ‘Film by the Sea’.

Marjolijn Boterenbrood is researching the impact of living with fresh and salt by using her ‘Score Plotter of Fresh and Salt’. On various locations on the island she probes to discover what it means to residents and visitors.

Wim Geeven is investigating how, over the course of history, various layers of the soil of Schouwen-Duiveland have interacted, how in the recent past the salt water was kept at bay, and how it is now slowly being let back in to recreate a lost landscape.