Ambassador Jaap Lodders

Jaap Lodders. Photo: Sjoerd van Leeuwen

Jaap Lodders lives in Zeewolde next to the Land Art work Aardzee by Piet Slegers. During his time as a Provincial Executive of Flevoland, the land art was part of his portfolio.

“As I always say: Aardzee is practically my back garden. I only need to walk down the path behind my house to get there. I cycle a lot at Aardzee, my daughter rides horse in it and I often walk over with friends and family. The curious thing is that a lot of people don’t realise that such a beautiful work is located here. This is mainly because the work is not that visible for its size. It is partly included within a small nature area. Hence Aardzee, despite its huge size, is sort of withdrawn into the landscape.

But from the air, you can see it very well indeed. The other day I flew over the work and then you see how the waves of Aardzee somehow resemble the straight lines of the polder. The work represents of course the situation here before the polder was created: recalling the waves of the former Zuiderzee. In Aardzee you can actually walk through that former sea: through its rough and fierce waves. At the edges of the work, suddenly fields of grain emerge and you can see how the polder was born from the sea. It’s here that the polder literally and figuratively rises to the surface. Once at the end of the work, you can see how Aardzee merges with the landscape, like a wave that dies out. Yes, I think it’s a magnificent work. I really love the polder anyway. The space.

I also really appreciate if you can interpret a work in different ways. I visited Aardzee many times, but every time I’m surprised again what I find behind a hill or where a path leads me. This work really invites you to look further: to discover what’s behind the next bridge or hill. That intrigues me again and again.

Aardzee is not only a place where you continuously discover new things, but also a place that can unexpectedly come to life. In 2013 Suburbia played Blind Date by Theo van Gogh at Aardzee over the course of a few weeks. This play is about a couple of which the relationship is severely damaged by the loss of their child in a car crash. They grow apart, but keep contact via personal ads. Then they have a few dates in alternating settings. This play was performed throughout the entire landscape of Aardzee. So at one moment the actors appeared via this path and then they disappeared again via that one. For the next date they returned over here, but then they played it from a different angle. At some point in the play their deceased child returns in their dreams. Then the parents commit suicide. For this scene the actors walked to the end of Aardzee to fade into nothingness behind a far hill. During the act the whole work became a stage and the landscape played along. Even the traffic lights at the far-away road further broadened the stage. That was utterly fascinating.”