Denktank de Vuurvlinder

Commision by Stroom the Hague for a work of art at the new school building of elementery school  de Vuurvlinder 2023

photo Sander Foederer

The challenge for this work was to get to a plan that would be supported by the school and the pupils of the school. As a reaction to the invitation to come up with a proposal for a work of art, I didn’t make a proposal, but I did come up with a strategy on how to get to a proposal. Together with Anouk Nooteboom, we devised a strategy how to find out what really mattered.

With a group of school children between the ages of 10 and 12, we formed ‘Denktank de Vuurvlinder’. I hosted 7 meetings where we tried to figure out what the artwork should be about and what really mattered to them. We had conversations, did a workshop on enamel, made drawings and sculptures, and went on an excursion to Buitenplaats Brienenoord. At the last meeting, I had to leave the room so they could formulate the criteria for the artwork to fulfill on their own. 3 weeks later, I presented them my final proposal; it was up to them to decide if they accepted it. They thankfully did, otherwise I would have had to give the commission back. One could say I used the children to get an idea of what to make, but by letting them have a final say, I think it was a fair exchange.

The school proposed that the work should be at the border between the school yard and the park. We took this as a starting point for the conversations and workshops with the children. In the end it turned out that for them, the border wasn’t that important after all.

Special thanks to the members of Denktank de Vuurvlinder: Dash Raap, Guncha Gupta, Damien Niehoff, Tishanny Inocente, Lara Evtimov  and Sofia Molcanova. And thank you Anouk Nooteboom and Rob Rosier from BS de Vuurvlinder.

filmed by Lucia Berg edited by Lío Spinnewijn
the assignment by Denktank de Vuurvlinder

Made possible with the generous support of: