The city and the water

The city and the water

Now on view | until 10 november

This summer you can just see the roof of a sinking house sticking out above the water surface of the Westsingel. Fortunately, Amersfoort is not yet under water. With his work 'Motor Home', artist Willem de Haan humorously draws attention to the destructive power that water can have. Motor Home is part of the exhibition 'The City and Water', on display from July 6 to November 10.

Water is useful, even vital, but in our low-lying country it is sometimes dangerous and life-threatening. In the Netherlands we have a long history of monitoring, managing and utilizing water and at the same time dealing with its dangers and power. In light of current climate change, with periods of heavy rainfall and flooding, but also with longer periods of drought and reduction in water quality, it is also a current and urgent theme.

Museum Flehite shows the relationship of people with water in the past, now and in the future. A mix of old and new art, photos and maps bring the water stories of Amersfoort to life. Young and old take a dive and discover the conflicting roles that the element plays in everyone's lives.

Amersfoort and the water

Amersfoort, like the rest of the Netherlands, has traditionally had a close relationship with water. The city, conveniently located on the Eem River, has a multifaceted history in which the Zuiderzee and the river, streams and sources, groundwater and canals, play an important role. The exhibition 'The City and the Water' shows how inextricably linked the water and the city are and how different the roles are that water still plays in our lives today. From the role of water in the creation of the city, to water as a source of peace, cooling, inspiration and water fun.

In the City and Water, visitors delve into the stories about water as the origin of the bustling cloth trade and beer breweries, water as a threat during the Zuiderzee flood in 1916, water as an ally against war violence in the form of the Grebbe Line. Architectural center FASadE brings the aspect of housing and water into focus in the exhibition and also discusses current water issues. With photos by Rufus de Vries and Gerhard Oude Vrielink and interviews by Erik van Marissing.

Water as a source of inspiration and pleasure

Water is a source of inspiration. Artists of the past and present reflect in their work on the bond between man and water. The scale models of pipe work by Frank Halmans, for example, make you realize how special it is that water comes out of the tap. In the Dreamscapes, by Rob Sweere, you wonder whether the tranquil landscapes refer to the past, present or future. And in "To water is to Be" by Nanno Simonis, water is captured in a transparent cube in which it radiates, drips, flows and flows, taking on all sorts of contrasting appearances.

Also on display is contemporary work by Claudy Jongstra, Saskia Boelsums, Peter Bes, Udo Prinsen, Everdien Breken, Anna Khodorovich, Jinxiao Zhou, Juane Xue, Jolanda Meulendijks, Noortje Haegens, Ans Bakker, John Konijn, De Spullenmannen and Cees Wouda, Rufus de Vries and Gerhard Oude Vrielink.

Playful learning with The Spullenmen's Water Wheel and Water Bingo


Outside by the canal, children and adults playfully influence the course of water with the 4-meter-high Water Wheel by artist duo De Spullenmannen. In the exhibition, children play "Waterbingo" with their parents or grandparents, discovering different aspects of water. In Depot Junior, visitors of all ages can get visual by building a city on water with waste materials, drawing with water words

Playful learning with Waterwheel of the Spullenmen and Water Bingo
Outside by the canal, children and adults playfully influence the course of water with the 4-meter-high Water Wheel by artist duo The Spullenmen. In the exhibition, children play "Waterbingo" with their parents or grandparents, discovering different aspects of water. In Depot Junior, visitors of all ages can get visual by building a city on water with waste materials, drawing with water words or making a wave collage.

Schools will get to work in the exhibition with teaching materials from Centrum voor Natuur en Milieu Educatie, Waterschap Vallei en Veluwe and Vitens. FASadE, NEOS, AIR Rotterdam and Podium Architectuur joined forces for the Education Project Learning in the Metropl(ol)der. Through this project, young people are made aware of the opportunities on and near the water and are given an active role in shaping their own spatial future on the basis of Design Thinking.

All of Amersfoort dedicated to Water

In the summer of 2024, all of Amersfoort will be dedicated to water. Museum Flehite and partners from the cultural and water sectors will organize a program of activities. Think of expert-meetings, educational and creative workshops with Vitens, Theme cruises of the Waterline, a visit to the Volmolen, a water exhibition in the Joriskerk, bike and boat trip with the Eemlijn, a beer tasting at the city brewery de Drie Ringen, a city walk with the Guild.

To the water program of Amersfoort

Jinxiao Zhou, Reflecting with water II, 2024, video installation/Text/Participatory installationJinxiao Zhou, Reflecting with water II, 2024, video installation/Text/Participatory installation
 Anna Khodorovich, Swimmimg pool 9 Anna Khodorovich, Swimmimg pool 9
Eemland Archives, 1915-1928, Den Ouden swimming pool in the Flierbeek in AmersfoortEemland Archives, 1915-1928, Den Ouden swimming pool in the Flierbeek in Amersfoort
9 july 2023 - 30 december 2030

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