Kerstvloed 1717 Art Route

Kerstvloed 1717 Art Route

Sixteen artists will be exhibiting their work along the Northern Groningen coast to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the Christmas Flood.

This year, 2017, it’s 300 years ago that the North Sea coastal area was hit by severe storm floods known as the 1717 Christmas Flood (Kerstvloed). What’s our attitude to water and nature today? This question sparks off lots of debates even today. Climate change, Trump’s denials, the melting of polar ice, natural disasters and the urgency of a global climate agreement are daily news items. And this means that our theme is more relevant than ever before. Kerstvloed 1717 inspires us to look to the future and find ways of dealing with this issue.

Sixteen international artists are creating art works relating to the power of water in the countryside all along the Northern Groningen coastline. “These artists include people from modern flood areas like Indonesia (2004 earthquake and tsunami), Japan (2011 tsunami) and the United States (2005 Katrina flood in New Orleans). And we’ve also invited artists from other coastal areas in the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark,” says art route curator Merijn Vrij. “All these artists are taking a look at the ‘flood’ theme. The backdrop of the Northern Groningen countryside, where the sea is always present, plays a major role. This art route shows us, through art, that our relationship with water is still very much alive today.”


The art route will be officially opened in Pieterburen on 1 July. We cordially invite our guests and members of the public to come and study the art works, walk or cycle along the route, and join in the many activities such as Rob Sweere’s Silent Sky Project. This art project where everyone can join in takes participants out of their everyday activities and thoughts and makes them look at the world we live in from a different angle.

The art route starts in Vliedorp and goes past Pieterburen, Westernieland, Den Andel and Warffum, finishing in Noordpolderzijl. It’s open to the public until 1 October 2017. Besides the art route, there are lots of other activities such as lectures, walking tours, excursions, music and festivals focusing on the theme of the Christmas Flood, such as Tocht om de Noord. Expeditie Kerstvloed 1717 will finish on 24 December with a grand closing event.

More about the Christmas Flood

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