'Summer snow’ is the phenomenon whereby millions of mayflies swarm on a summer evening, to mate, lay their eggs and die. It can be seen on sultry summer evenings in August in some places along the Rhine. The swirling swarm is a wonderful vision, but along with it goes the carpet of dead flies left behind the next morning.
The title of this eleventh edition Beelden op de Berg is inspired by the theme ‘eternal rejuvenation’. Eternal rejuvenation resides in the seasons, in nature’s continuous cycles of growth, blossoming, dying and re-emergence. The theme is also partly inspired by the centenary of Wageningen University, which is being celebrated this year: in science, change and renewal form the foundation for rejuvenation and progress.
Curator Flos Wildschut invited ten artists to create new work related to the theme. Naturally, they were also inspired by the beauty and significance of the location: Belmonte Arboretum, on the Wageningse Berg. Visitors follow an attractive route through the arboretum and past the intriguing artworks.
Karin van Dam is fascinated by the enormous life force that lies within a tiny seed. Sjoerd Buisman has created Ouroboros sculptures from pruned wood. Tanja Smeets plays with the notions of aesthetics and decay by adding intriguing new organisms to an existing tree. Anne Geene presents suggestions for new arboreta. Stéphane Couchy’s steel constructions are visible expressions of the power of the sun and wind. In the pitch dark of Nico Parlevliet’s pavilion, motion is transformed into sound. Lizan Freijsen leaves a hand-tufted rug to nature’s devices – beauty and decay unfold hand in hand. René Roeten’s cellular structure seems able to grow boundlessly. In Aeneas Wilder’s labyrinth viewers find themselves surrounded by greenery in different stages of growth, flowering and decay. And finally, in William Engelen’s sound composition, the weather conditions ‘conduct’ the song I never promised you a rose garden.
Within walking distance of Arboretum Belmonte lies Galerie Wit, where the artists selected for Beelden op de Berg show smaller, more fragile pieces of work.
Exhibitions of work by Wageningen schoolchildren and elderly people with memory loss can be seen in the Koetshuis and the information pavilion in the arboretum: Levensboom (Tree of Life) and Forever Young. These exhibitions will also be shown in the public library bblthk in Wageningen and on the university campus.
Music, poetry, dance and storytelling performances inspired by the theme of ‘eternal rejuvenation’ will take place throughout the Beelden op de Beelden exhibition period. These will be announced on the website.
Beelden op de Berg: Summer snow
Generaal Foulkesweg 94, Wageningen
Open Wednesday-Saturday 11.00-15.00
There is a guided tour at 14.00 every Sunday, which costs 2 euros per person. You can register for this in the information pavilion.
Hamelakkerlaan 38, Wageningen
Exhibition 16 June – 23 September
Open Thursday-Sunday 13.30-17.30
(closed for the summer break 16 July – 29 August)