Silent Messengers (June 2019)

Studio Maarten Kolk & Guus Kusters

Photo by Roel van Tour

Silent Messengers is an installation made up of fifty kites that visually question Terschelling’s rapidly growing goose population.  To get this work of art up in the air, the help of audiences is needed to keep the kites in position and to steer them.

Under the influence of the softer climate, the high quality of the grass, tolerance policy and the lack of natural enemies, more and more geese (of several species) are losing their urge to migrate. We consider the goose migration as a magical phenomenon. One of those things like day and night and ebb and flow that have existed for years and which seems untouchable to mankind. And yet the goose migration under human influence begins to crumble.   In comparison with the rest of the Netherlands Terschelling has very few geese, but because it is an island, the problems here are exaggerated. That is why Terschelling is actually the perfect microclimate to show what is happening in the Netherlands/Europe.

To create Silent Messengers,  Maarten Kolk & Guus Kusters entered into discussions with the local bird watchmen, Staatsbosbeheer, farmers, provincial policymakers, bird protection and other parties involved.

‘the opportunity to talk to local farmers and institutions about our chosen subject of earthbound geese that have enriched the project as well as us as artists.  Although our work is always inspired by nature and landscape we never had the opportunity to create an outdoor installation. The site provided by Oerol Festival as well as the LAND program gave us the opportunity to make an installation on a much larger scale than we’ve ever made before. Next to this, the specific site and it being situated at the island of Terschelling gave us the opportunity to focus FROM a natural landscape instead of focussing ON a natural landscape from the outside.’   Maarten Kolk & Guus Kusters

Oerol Festival is an annual 10 day site specific landscape arts festival on the island of Terschelling in the north of the Netherlands.  Since its beginnings in 1982, Oerol has grown into the one of the most exceptional festivals in Europe, where every June the island is transformed into a unique natural stage for theatre, dance, art installations and music.  Recent projects display a combination of arts, science and nature.; shaping new aspirations for the festival with audiences participating as fieldworkers in laboratory projects. The shows and lab-projects are created for the specific locations in which they take place with the islands special landscapes serving as source of inspirations and as a stage.

Work title: Silent Messengers

Artist: Studio Maarten Kolk & Guus Kusters

Year: June 2019

Festival: Oerol 2019

Country: Netherlands

Type: Presentation