Discover the Night

  • commissioning and public space

Artists Development Platform, or KOP, in Breda has for years been committed to giving starting artists the opportunity to develop, especially when it comes to commissioning practice. It does this by offering activities in combination with an art commission.

Image: Georgie Brinkman, The Lunar Moss Piglets in the Sea of Serenity, 2022.
Photo: Linsey Kuijpers


Through October 30, the program will take place Discover the Night took place, a collaboration with the Stedelijk Museum Breda, among others. The occasion was the exhibition Night Flight on the work of Pieter Laurens Mol at the museum. BUY and the museum issued an open call for budding artists to create a temporary work in Breda's public space, inspired by Mol's work and the theme of the exhibition, exploring the night. The artists will receive an honorarium, material budget and guidance from the experienced artist Yasser Ballemans, once a founding member of KOP.

Last June, the four selected artists presented the more concrete details of their proposal. Earlier they visited locations in Breda and Ballemans gave the first recommendations. What immediately stood out was the positivism of the young artists; an almost enviable positivism, prompted not by experience but by flexibility. They will work on it until it is good.

This is what makes KOP so necessary: guiding young artists through an assignment with a clear hand

For the presentation, the artists had not brought sample models or finished drawings. Ballemans indicated that in presentations such as this one, visuals and showing research are expected. It is difficult for him to advise if there is nothing to see. On behalf of the museum, the curator was also present. Each artist can also show a small work in the foyer of the museum as a reference to the artworks outside. But again, the artists' ideas are not yet concrete. The curator is lenient; there is still time to pass on what they want. But not everything is possible, she says, as the space in the foyer is limited.

This is what makes KOP so necessary: guiding young artists through an assignment with a clear hand. Making known what is expected of them, what it means to present professionally as an artist and how to research the feasibility of your plan.

Georgie Brinkman, one of the selected artists, works with living material: mosses and tardigrades (tiny multicellular animals). In 2019, a spacecraft with a colony of thousands of tardigrades crashed on the moon. Now Brinkman is recreating the crash site with another colony of tardigrades on a lunar sculpture, where they will live in their favorite environment; moss. This work will be placed near the hotel where KOP is housed. She has mainly been researching how to make the moon and how to make it within budget. She hasn't figured it out yet and suggests several ideas. Ballemans mentions some companies where she could build this well. About growing the moss she is not worried much yet, first settle that moon then the rest will come.

Sjors Smit wants to use charred sculptures to draw a parallel between the Breda city fire of 1534 and the ritual burning of Mol's own artworks. Smit has mainly done archival research and visited the oldest house in Breda. There, in the basement, are still traces of that fierce fire. He has already set a few fires in his studio to assess which materials do and don't burn well, and how long it has to burn before it looks good. On his cell phone, he shows some photos of these experiments.

The artists' plans are appealing and the relationship to the work of Pieter Laurens Mol is undeniable

Alicia Kremser wants to project a sentence on the sidewalk. By attaching a projector to a lamppost, she wants to show passersby the text text me when you're home have it read. Kremser just graduated for one day, and she also used projectors in her graduate work. She shows some pictures of them on an iPad. For Breda, she still has a lot of research to do. Maybe she could unscrew the hood of the street lamp and put a stronger bulb in there? At least then the projector would work; the light is too weak now.

Naomi Jansen wants to welcome the sun during sunrise in three special places in Breda and on three different days, together with residents and local organizations. For example, she has asked a performance artist to design a ritual and is in talks with a Capoeira association. Things are going pretty well. There is still the question of how to attract an audience so early in the morning. Maybe she should invite people in person?

The artists' plans are appealing and the relationship to the work of Pieter Laurens Mol is unmistakable. Thanks to the collegial support of KOP, the museum and Ballemans, these artists are gaining valuable experience and a sense of collective responsibility is emerging. Together they make something beautiful out of it.

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