de Nieuwe opdrachtgevers

les Nouveaux commanditaires

Roel Vandebeek – Heindonk

Patrons - Hendon inhabitants
Curator - Joost Declercq
Willebroek, Belgie, 07/2015

The patrons

The group of patrons was formed following an open call for participation in the Willebroek project. The group was made up of several actors:
- The Iever Maakt Vooruitgang Band
- Heindonk Church Factory
- Willebroek Academy of Music
- The Salvocalee Vocal Choir
- Current association "Residents of the Heindonk Kerkweg".

The context

The group resolutely chose the Heindonk centre as the artwork's location. Lined with historic buildings (the church, the former presbytery, the former town hall), the village centre has all the assets for the development of a real village square. It is mainly a passage (street) and a parking lot. The patrons express the idea that it would be good for art to enrich this small green village with a central and lively stopover for meetings / parties / rest.

The commission

The initial desire (as expressed in the file submitted by the group of patrons) to set up a cast iron kiosk quickly turned out to be a metaphor for the need for a meeting place. The inhabitants express the desire for a warm village square calling on the local population to go out more and meet each other. This square should be friendly, an ideal place for the fanare concerts. A lively discussion on the mandatory presence of greenery in the future work of art finally leads to an interesting balance between man (inhabitant), culture (historical centre of the village) and nature (the green character of Heindonk).

On October 17 and November 14, 2012, Roel Vandebeek will present to the group of patrons a project for the Dorpsplein in Heindonk. From the beginning, a clear distinction was made between a work of art and the construction of the square.

Roel shows the process he followed with some sketches and a model. He set out in search of the archetype of a chapel, which he shapes in a contemporary way through a sober design, a conscious choice of materials and a concern for the desired functionality.

The work has become a "metaphor". The height of the building is impressive (about 6 m high). It can function as a shelter - to hide, to play music - but at the same time it is a powerful representation in itself. The work of art also directs the eye of the passer-by and thus offers a surprising view of the environment. The work of art invites and offers a certain intimacy. During musical performances, the public's attention naturally turns towards the current historic buildings. The work of art is like a megaphone or a stylistic mouthpiece. At the modest and sacred front, at the back, it looks like a forum.

The artist proposes zinc for the execution of the work of art. It is a tactile material that acquires a patina over time and also takes on a changing form under different climatic conditions (light intensity). At the same time, zinc strips offer the possibility of reinforcing the object, so to speak, graphically (the set of expansion strip lines).

The work of art has been inaugurated in July 2015.

Roel Vandebeek

Based on the discussions, Joost Declercq will propose two artists. Each of them has an eye for design, architecture and local concerns.

At first, the group unanimously chose Philip Van Isackern but they did not see his proposal as an adequate response to their expectations. The collaboration has therefore stopped. The group of sponsors stressed the importance of a concrete interpretation of their request in the form of a kiosk or shelter.

During the summer of 2011, Roel Vandebeek will be contacted for this mission. He lives and works in Genk. As a professional designer, his work moves across the line between art and design. For Heindonk's project, he is explicitly invited as an artist. He visits the site, learns everything about the journey already made and wants to take up the challenge. At the end of 2011, he met with the group of sponsors and immediately put a proposal on the table, which received a positive response.