Three hundred years ago, on Christmas Eve, the North Sea coastal area was hit by a severe storm flood known as the 1717 Christmas Flood (Kerstvloed). The dikes burst, flooding the provinces of Groningen and Friesland and the centre and south-west of the Netherlands. Thousands of people lost their lives and the material damage was immense. It was the largest natural disaster the Netherlands had seen in the last four centuries.

So how do we today relate to water and nature? It is a question that is more current than ever before. Global warming, Trump’s denial of climate change, the Arctic ice melt, natural disasters and the importance of the Paris Agreement are topics that we hear and read about in the news on a daily basis.

During Expeditie Kerstvloed 1717, and the Kerstvloed 1717 Art Route, we take a closer look at our relationship with the sea.

Artists from contemporary floodplains such as Indonesia (seaview, 2004), Japan (tsunami, 2011) and the United States (Katrina flood, 2005), as well as artists from coastal areas affected by the Christmas Flood were asked to create art works on this theme. The result is a collection of impressive works of art set in a unique landscape.

You can visit the Kerstvloed 1717 Art Route until 1 October 2017. It runs along the northern Groningen coastline from Vliedorp, Pieterburen, Westernieland, Den Andel and Warffum to Noordpolderzijl and takes you past the 16 unique works of art.

During the Expeditie Kerstvloed event, we will also organise various activities such as workshops, lectures and walking tours to take a closer look at the theme of the power of water, now and in the 18th century.

Discover the power of water. Come and join us on Expeditie Kerstvloed 1717.