Rob Sweere (1963, Arnhem)

About Rob Sweere

Rob Sweere creates works of art which you can actually go into as well as admire. His architectural sculptures, almost all of which are executed in white, look slightly alien as if they have just dropped in from another planet. They entice you up some steps and invite you to stand, sit or lie in the sculpture, or put your heads through one of the apertures. Once you’re inside, you’ll have a view of the surrounding countryside arranged by the artist himself. Rob’s art works are tools that enable us to observe the world around us and natural phenomena such as air, light, wind, temperature and sun with a new awareness. By doing this, Rob generates attention for our immediate surroundings and our sensory perceptions.  One of his better-known projects is the long-term Silent Sky Project which has been held more than 70 times in more than 25 countries. The artist invites participants all over the world to spend half an hour doing nothing but looking at the sky and giving free rein to their dreams and fantasies.

Rob Sweere is one of the most prominent contemporary artists in the Netherlands. He studied at the Academy of St Joost Breda, Artez Arnhem and at the Rijksacademie in Amsterdam. He has been creating large-scale sculptures ever since the 1990s, which are executed and exhibited in the public space in the Netherlands. He works all over the world. Although the power of nature is a source of inspiration to Rob, almost anything can serve as his muse. His temporary art work Silent Sky Project # has attracted a lot of attention on the international scene. He has worked with local people on this project in Mumbai, Rio de Janeiro, New York, Dresden, Cape Town and many more cities around the world.

About the art work

Exploded View
(Ommelander)zeedijk, Noordpolderzijl 

The people of Groningen have stood on the dike looking out to sea for many centuries. They certainly must have wondered what the water, wind and tide were going to do next. People living on the coast must have stood on the sea walls looking out to sea in 1717 too and they must have felt extremely worried. The dikes were not strong enough and they burst at several points, so the rising water inundated the surrounding land. And now, 300 years later, we still stand on the dikes looking out to sea. Rob’s art work Exploded View, which he’s setting up on the Noorderdijk, encourages us to keep on looking out to sea with even more intensity. We have an unimpeded view of the mud flats from this spot, as well as the surrounding land behind. There are no man-made obstacles such as roads, signs or fences. In fact, if we look in both directions, we see exactly the same thing: a flat landscape or seascape with the sky above and the horizon in the middle. We want to look at the water on one side but not on the other, and the dike creates a clear dividing line between the two. You can only get the Exploded View experience if you are literally standing in the middle of it. The art work comprises a series of cylinders giving us different views of our surroundings. Rob used perspective correction for this work, which inspires us to spend an infinity looking out at both horizons.

About the location

The name of the sea dike along the North Groningen coast refers to the Ommelanden, the area protected by the dike. The Ommelander Sea Dike is about 100 km long and runs from Nieuwe Statenzijl to Lauwersoog. It was brought up to ‘Delta height’ in the 80's.

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