becoming waves
Esther Kokmeijer

Becoming Waves in a Deep Blue Ocean



With its bright blue heart, the starlike cornflower is one of the most noticeable flowers in our landscape. Centaurea cyanus used to abound in cornfields as a weed, germinating and flourishing together with the corn. The striking blue flower, contrasting with the golden corn, has become a symbol of loyalty and lastingness. Seemingly fragile, it can withstand the forces of nature and thrives in areas where many plants won’t. Such as here. It is not resistant, however, to man. Intensive agriculture and excessive use of herbicides have made the cornflower all but extinct. It is a connection between nature and culture made visible by the withering wildflower. Becoming Waves brings it back to full bountiful bloom on a field by an old rettery bordering the Lys. Millions of cornflower seeds were sown on one acre, the amount of land that, historically, could be ploughed in one day by one ox. Visitors are treated with a field of marvellous waving stars, a cornucopia of cornflower heads sweeping in the wind as waves in a deep blue ocean under a steel Flemish sky. 


GPS coordinates artwork: 50°50'33.0"N 3°17'01.7"E

The rettery and cornflower field are set by the all-new Vlaspark (flax park), an open area of 74 acres that reconnects the built-up town of Kuurne with the river Lys and its rich history of flax, supplying oxygen and restoring Kuurne’s face by the banks of the Golden River. R&R, heritage, agriculture and nature converge harmoniously in this lovely, pristine parkland hidden between the tip, the presbytery and Leiemeers tavern. The Heulebeek creek meanders through the domain, dotted with walking paths, picnic tables, benches and a natural playground. The old pastures where flax used to be dried in chapels lie as silent witnesses around the historic rettery. Becoming Waves in a Deep Blue Ocean adds deep colour to this green oasis, paying tribute to a past of blue and gold. 


Esther Kokmeijer (born 1977) is a Dutch artist, photographer and explorer. A graphic designer, she set up her own design studio in 2001. Kokmeijer has worked as a (travel) photographer for many magazines and papers and, since 2008, performs as a visual artist for artistic research projects. Her work is exhibited and published around the world. Since 2013, she has been an expedition photographer in the Arctic and Antarctic. As an artist, she focuses mainly on the Global Commons, i.e. Earth’s shared natural sources, the oceans, the atmosphere, the universe and Antarctica. Her visual art is created largely on her travels, the trip itself often being an essential part of her works of art. She is interested in the origins of nature, the formation of landscapes and the role nature plays in modern life and vice versa.