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Public Art City Hall Dronten

Kunstwerk Stadhuis Dronten Marjan Laaper

Marjan Laaper developed a sketch design for an artwork in the newly renovated town hall in Dronten, The Netherlands.
The artwork had to reflect the identity of Dronten and make a connection between the people who first reclaimed, developed and lived in Flevoland, the so-called “polder pioniers” and today's pioneers. The artwork was designed for the vide in the new public area in the City Hall.
The history of Dronten is fascinating. It is a city that literally rose from water. A new piece of land was created by draining the former Zuiderzee (later IJsselmeer). On the former seabed, the new residents reclaimed the land and formed new communities. The people who initially settled in Dronten came from all over the country (The Netherlands). These people have played an important role in shaping Dronten's identity. But also, the current residents are shaping the community and the future of the municipality.
The meaning and symbolism of the building (city hall) are also important starting points for the design. The function of the town hall is one of connection. It is a place where people go to have their children registered after birth, to register if they want to settle in Dronten, a place to register their relationship or marriage, or to deregister loved ones after death. It is a place where the personal lives and histories of many different people come together and are collected.
The location for which the work was developed is the 11-meter high void in the central public hall. This void is the space enclosed by the 3 connecting floors above. The vide has an intense experience value due to its height and the many different viewpoints from which you can view the artwork.
In the artwork, the personal history of the inhabitants is connected to the fascinating history of the area.
The artwork consists of a hanging shape in the middle of the 11-meter-high loft. This shape, which hangs close to the ceiling of the loft, has the contours of the province of Flevoland.

Marjan Laaper Dronten stadhuis

The interplay of lines visualizes a map on which Dronten is visible. Wires are attached to this shape, which connect the shape underneath with “hanging water drops”.

In every "water drop" you can see "reflections"; photographic images showing the history, identity and the life course of the residents of Dronten. In every “waterdrop” there is a moment recorded from time. Both historical images of the first inhabitants of Dronten and more recent images can be seen. A diverse number of images of people depicting the wide variety of residents. From young to old and at all stages of their lives.waterdrops cityhall Dronten Artwork Marjan Laaper
“Just as the many drops of water once formed the Zuiderzee, so many people form the current community of Dronten”

stadhuis dronten Marjan Laaper

Together all these “waterdrops” form one large water shape hanging in space.

From a distance you can see an overview of the "water shape" that is connected by many lines to the form above. As you get closer you see that the water shape is made up of many small waterdrop shapes. Different moments in time can be seen in every drop of water. The many life cycles and histories of the inhabitants are reflected in the different waterdrops. If you stand under the many water drops and look up, the contours of “the new (Flevo-) land” becomes visible, rising from the many water drops below. In this work, the personal life cycles and history of the inhabitants of Dronten are connected to the fascinating history of the area that literally rose from water. The work also refers to the location of Dronten and Flevoland below sea level. Standing under the artwork, you can see through the water droplets in the 11-meter-high void, the contours of “the new land”.

Stadhuis Dronten Kunstwerk Marjan Laaper

Description of the artwork
The artwork consists of a large aluminum shape of 4050 x 2102 x 100 mm. This shape is attached below the ceiling. The contours of the shape visualize the province of Flevoland. The interplay of lines visualizes a map of Flevoland on which Dronten is visible. The color of the shape is in the shade “sea clay-blue / gray”.
Approximately 1350 wires with waterdrops are attached to this form. A photographic image is printed on both sides on these aluminum water drop shapes.
The photo is “positive” on one side and “mirrored” on the other side, to visualize the illusion of transparency. The many aluminum water drop shapes (approximately 1350 pieces) together form one new shape. A water surface made up of many small droplets.
The wires from the “Flevoland” shape to the aluminum waterdrop shapes are up to 7 meters long. The waterdrop form hangs 4 meters above the floor.