Aardzee (1982), Piet Slegers. Photo: Jordi Huisman

Aardzee (1982)

Piet Slegers

Between the flat fields and the straight-as-a-die Vogelweg in Zeewolde sits an agricultural plot that hardly has any straight lines at all. Here, the undulating lines of Piet Slegers’ work of art Aardzee (Earth Sea) break the horizontal monotony of the flat polder.

Covering 5 hectares, Aardzee is the same size as the surrounding agricultural plots. When Piet Slegers visited this place for the first time, the idea that the firm ground under his feet used to be the bottom of the sea fascinated him. He decided to reintroduce the movement of the Zuiderzee into the serene polder.

Two footbridges over the water access the work of art. The shell paths lead along rolling hills covered with grasses and dotted with buttercups. The clinker-clad flanks of the grass hills emphasize the upward force of waves. Like buoys, the vertical poplars mark the rustling landscape. Slegers opened up the dike in one place, allowing water to flow into the work from the straight canal. The surrounding fields are visible from this water element – the only flat part of Aardzee. Strikingly, it is the only place in this vast landscape that offers shelter.

Piet Slegers' Aardzee (1982) is located on the Vogelweg in Zeewolde in The Netherlands. Click here for the address and coordinates.

Piet Slegers, Aardzee (1982), photo Franzi Mueller-Schmidt, February 2021

Artist: Piet Slegers (13 July 1923 - 18 June 2016)
Title: Aardzee (Earth Sea)
Unveiling: 1982
Location: Vogelweg (corner Lepelaartocht, between Ooievaarsweg and Reigerweg, Zeewolde, The Netherlands
Materials: earth, water, concrete clinkers, clay shells, blue shells, white poplars
Dimensions: 100 x 500 meter (5 hectares)
Commissioned by: Rijksdienst IJsselmeer Polders (RIJP)
Proprietor: the municipality of Zeewolde.
Aardzee is located on the grounds of Het Flevo-landschap, who take care of maintenance.

Podcast over Aardzee

Luuk Heezen interviewde Rob Timmerman van Het Flevo-landschap over het onderhoud van dit kunstwerk. Is het kunstwerk, met al zijn grassen, struiken en bomen, een makkelijke plek om te onderhouden? Dit interview werd live uitgezonden tijdens het Land Art Luisterweekend 2020 vanuit De Verbeelding in Zeewolde.