Done as a mosaic in glorious blue and white tile, It Sil Heve, the Elfsteden monument in Friesland, was created in 1999 by artists Maree Blok and Bas Lugthart.
The phrase from which the work at the boundary of the Tytsjerksteradiel and Leeuwarden boroughs derives its name comes from 1985, when those words were said at the start of the first Elfstedentocht speed skating race to be held after a 22-year gap. The tile adorns the Canterlandse bridge, the final bridge the skaters pass under on the intense winter race that passes through 11 towns. It’s easy to imagine that the Delft bridge is a welcome sight to skaters as it marks the final few kilometers of the course. There’s glory to be had in finishing the race, too: the individual tiles are portraits of thousands of skaters who have finished. At a distance, the tiles form a mosaic picture of skaters helping each other and keeping each other out of the wind. The Koninklijke Tichelaar Makkum company handled the production of the tiles.
Blok and Lugthart live and work in Onderdendam under the name Bloklugthart. Lugthart studied at the Academie Minerva in Groningen and the Academie des Beaux Arts in Bordeaux in France. Blok spent the final year of her studies at the Academie Minerva in Indonesia. The pair embrace the various developments in the visual arts of the time. Their works often feature man as a central feature.
Above image: It Sil Heve, by Maree Blok and Bas Lugthart.
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