Mei is constantly looking for an image that sticks in people’s minds: recognisable, but also surprising, or even alienating. In the context of World Poetry Day 2022, we shared three projects in which we worked together with text-based artist Milou van Ham. Her layered texts on the facades encourage residents and passers-by to take a pause and think.
The Four Worlds
At the 4 Worlds in Spijkenisse, Van Ham collected hundreds of words that convey the identity of Spijkenisse. The artwork is applied on the façade and bottom side of the balconies – a dimension that is often neglected in balcony design yet highly visible for passers-by and residents. The words are presented in multiple layers, making the artwork visible from up close, as well as up to 300 meters away.
For this residential building in Utrecht, Van Ham worked together with poet Tsead Bruinja to create a visual narrative of the friendships, relations, and the beauty of everyday events and people at De Verkenner. This resulted in 13,000 ceramic tiles, 16 lines of poetry and an endless stream of mini stories. Check the video below to see how the tiles were made.
The JD Sports retail store on the renovated Lijnbaan in Rotterdam, was completed in 2020. Referring to an original artwork from the 1950s, this glass appliqué artwork “TIJD” (translated as “TIME”) was installed at the façade. Together with poet Tsead Bruinja, Milou van Ham created a poem about time consisting of 16 four letter words:
LEEF TIJD LOOS
GLIM GALM KALM
VOOR MIJN DOEI VALT
ZING ZAAI VLAM
STAP FIER ROND