Island – Jurjen Alkema & Andrea Dröes

At Van Sijpesteijnkade, you’ll discover an impressive projection on the classical facade, enclosed by the new high-rises. The artists engage in a dialogue between the city and nature, using the urban, concrete, functional environment as a backdrop to create a contrasting, vibrant, and colorful image.

Here, growth, blossoming, color, unpredictability, contrast, life, and temptation flourish. The vitality and beauty of nature overrun the geometric cityscape. 
The essence of lushness, abundance, and diversity of nature is captured in a colorful and dynamic image, surrounded by the modern city.

The contrast between the old facade and the surrounding modern high-rises forms a fantastic canvas for an artwork that illuminates both the suppression of nature and an island of color and exuberance in a world of concrete and glass.

This location itself is remarkable, where old and new come together in a unique way. The new has taken over the old, but not entirely, just as the city once took over nature.

This artwork temporarily provides a glimpse into the imagined nature that once existed, reflecting the ongoing transformation of nature, with surprising elements thanks to the artists’ imagination. The projection aligns perfectly with their fascination for contrasts such as artificial vs. natural, nature vs. city, color, and imagination.

“Urban transformation’ is a significant theme in this era where changes in our relationship with nature have become paramount. Circumstances force us to contemplate our position and how we shape our environment. The chosen location, a suppressed fragment of the old city amidst the dominance of office behemoths, is a fantastic place to create a contrast, an antithesis of the city, and thereby showcase what the city lacks: nature, color, variety, exuberance, and fantasy.”

Artists: Jurjen Alkema & Andrea Dröes

The Netherlands

Andrea Dröes and Jurjen Alkema are visual artists with a penchant for video and light. They create (audio)visual experiences, installations, and decors for festivals, theaters, and concerts, among others. They transform each space or environment into its unique, poetic world. Dröes and Alkema create autonomous work but also collaborate with orchestras and musicians. Until 2021, they worked for years with graphic designer and animator Jos Agasi under the name Blauwe Uur.

They often start with the location and then develop a concept that engages in a dialogue with the surroundings. Based on that concept, they determine which materials, techniques, and visual language best fit. They work with existing imagery as well as self-developed content. Some commonly used techniques include collages, animations (both analog and digital), models, and digitally generated images.

Key themes in their work are Light, nature vs. culture, artificial structures versus organic materials and patterns, rhythm, color, and contrast.