Droomkussens van de vrijheid in Leidse singels en grachten – Leidse Glibber
— Read on www.leidseglibber.nl/2020/12/28/droomkussens-van-de-vrijheid-in-leidse-singels-en-grachten/
This is a project by Fields of Wonder, Leiden-based art collective that I’ve now had contact with. Not had much to do with it, as this was an existing project, but it has been interesting to see how this has worked in terms of dealing with Covid limitations and communicating with the public. The latter was an issue I think: the “dream pillows” have been hand-inscribed with the words sent in by members of the public, expressing their idea of freedom- these inflated pillows then floated on the canals. A series of high quality flyers have been distributed to inhabitants of the streets directly on the canals, explaining the background to this and other FoW projects. These flyers have gone out after the pillows were floated.
One of the issues is avoiding misunderstanding. I live near the canal and have heard public responses: most thought that this was an anti-Covid lockdown protest, ie asking from freedom from the rules- wanting to meet friends, hug, eat out etc. There was real hostility. This is the danger of not giving people a clear enough way in to the intentions. Also, the explanations are sent to houses nearby, but no explanation made available to the people who are bystanders or passersby. I feel that the explanations are necessary from the start, and that they should be posted at the site.
There are also a set of large sculptural pieces that have been installed this year on the singel (canal) park. They are on a theme of “boundaries”- there is an explanation by one of them. Again, with the lack of a way in given to the public, there is hostility- people find them ugly, and depressing.
I’d really like to be involved in this kind of community art intervention but there are a lot of points of view to be considered.