The Clay Diggers

— Harlingen

Our project 'Vergezicht' explores contemporary representations of our own craft of digging for clay in the Dutch landscape through the readaptation of traditional Harlingen tiles. It was shown as part of the travelling exhibition Lage Landen at the Gemeentemuseum het Hannemahuis in Harlingen.

Since the 16th century, Harlingen has been known for its unique blue & white tiles. Using clay dug from the south of Harlingen, traditionally images are transferred to the tiles by means of a dotted line that act as a guide for painters.

With the help of the Albarello Tile Factory we transformed this process by using computer-based image transfer techniques that allow the tiles to display our craft in a modern-day landscapes in a contemporary visual language.

Using photographs taken of ourselves digging in Dutch farmlands the project speaks to the value of individual labour, getting your hands in the dirt, and the actual physicality involved in doing that. The project as a whole serves as an eloquent and timely reminder of our roots; from craft and soil, to culture and geography.

The traveling exhibition 'Lage Landen' presents a selection of paintings from the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, at five different museums around the country. We created unique installations for each location referencing the area it is shown in. Find the other projects here.