How do you let water speak? Xandra van der Eijk designs new artwork in Van Sijpesteijntunnel


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Van Sijpesteijntunnel voor de renovatie, foto door Xandra van der Eijk

Artist Xandra van der Eijk is designing a work of art in the Van Sijpesteijntunnel, the tunnel under the Utrecht railway, which is the connection between the city centre and the new centre on the west side of the city.

Xandra van der Eijk is a Dutch artist who links art, ecology and activism. Xandra has a specific interest in man's influence on nature. Her proposal 'Watery Worlds' was chosen to be implemented.

The Van Sijpesteijntunnel has to be adapted because of major changes on both sides of the tunnel. Westplein is changing to 'Lombokplein'. Less traffic, more nature, living space ánd the Leidse Rijn (canal) will be widened and connected via the tunnel to the Stadsbuitengracht. This means that people will also be able to sail through the tunnel. The changes around the Van Sijpesteijntunnel will also affect the habitats of animals and plants.

The art commission in the Van Sijpesteijntunnel is a follow-up to the art study Water is What We Make It. A group of artists, thinkers, designers, ecologists and urban planners set to work on the theme of hydrocommons and the ways we are connected in public space. Just a brief explanation in between: 'hydro' means water and 'commons' means common property. In other words, water that belongs to all of us. They examined the Leidse Rijn as part of the Rhine Delta and as water that will be actively connected to the historic City Canal in the future.