Catapult: Op Drift
WG-terrein Amsterdam 2018


Catapult: 2018
for Op Drift, WG Kunst
WG-terrein Amsterdam
chestnut & beech woods



A late nineteenth-century brick building with vestiges of the medieval and even ancient past, hints of the grand, touches of the Romantic. A mock Roman aqueduct on arches we can drive through - not functionl, just fun. Most fun of all is the round stairwell with its pointed tower, like castles of old. Whispers from fairy tales.

Even the ceilings inside are 5m high and arched. I love it. I am more than delighted to make a sculpture for this building, one that is fun in the same way. A mascot to celebrate the special character of where we work. The Modern had not yet arrived, and that is fine with me!

A catapult, perhaps, carved from a big tree trunk, with great wooden balls waiting to be rolled about, shot in the air. Or is it a giant stick insect, a grasshopper, about to leap? A lizard sunning itself, eyeing that something edible? Movement is immanent. New stories want to happen.

The grand old tree was a sweet chestnut on an estate along the Utrechtse Heuvelrug, felled with many more trees by a freak storm. I saw interesting shapes in amongst the debris, and spent days digging it out. Chestnut is weather and rot-resistant, good for the Dutch climate. The entire tree is now sculpture. But it is the long, hand-carved beam that feels most at home in this unique location with all its history, suggestions and associations.