What if the idyllic veridity of nature reserve De Gavers were brutally disrupted? This intervention shows us the misleading power of images and points out the value of our landscape. Is it real or just an illusion? A construction sign in front of a meadow suggests building works are at hand in this vulnerable piece of nature. It is a double window: the sign mounted on a wooden viewing deck offers a view to the gorgeous green present, but also to a grid of range rods in the field. Are they marking the planned development? Stepping onto the deck immediately arouses interest and sharpens awareness. A QR code on the sign leads visitors to the realtor’s website where they can show interest. Is it real or fake? Because they will not be fooled. Or will they? Just click and see what happens then… This simple, accessible installation entices people. It brings them together to enjoy the view and at the same time discuss the value of our environment and the importance of nature conservation. It is a pamphlet against unbridled construction developments in our landscape we value so highly.
Exact GPS coordinates location artwork: 50°50'37.0"N 3°20'03.2"E
De Gavers nature reserve is known for its unspoiled natural beauty with its large pond and unique biotopes such as a bird sanctuary and butterfly and hay pastures rich with insects. For the construction of the nearby European motorway, fill sand was needed that was found in the marshes. By the end of 1970, 140 million cubic feet of sand had been gushed out and the original landscape gave way to a jagged 153-acre body of water. De Gavers is now a green oasis in a built-up area as well as a place for adventure with water sports, playgrounds, an aerial course… This intervention makes us pause at the value of our priceless landscape.
Ed Joosting Bunk: BA Architectural Design and Monumental Art. With a background in horticulture, actively taking a practical approach to projects balancing between public space and art. Never runs out of new ideas. Bram Breedveld: MA Landscape Architecture, with over 30 years of professional experience, an analytical thinker and supervisor. Together they form LANDLAB. An advocate of green cities, LANDLAB follows simple steps, though never in a straight line. It is a matter of exploring sites, digging through (soil) archives, respecting the past, looking to the future, organising and simplifying. Their designs aim to balance all interests involved – economical, ecological and social. LANDLAB won the Belgian Public Space Prize in 2011 for their design of the Turnhout market square.