Evaluation of Outdoor Art Project ‘Over the Dyke’

11 December 2023

The board of the Dijken van Wijven Foundation has once again put together a project of which it is proud. With the theme ‘Over the Dyke’, sculptures by female artists were on display along a section of the Oosterschelde sea dyke and around the village of Kattendijke during the period from June 17 to September 3, 2023.

The opening of the project took place on June 17, 2023 in Kattendijke. The trio ‘Seda Rosa’ waited for the invitees at the seawall and preceded the procession to the Dutch Reformed church in the village where the official opening was performed by Willy van Meegen, ‘culture beast’ in Goes. Along the road, poetry on pennants on lampposts could already be enjoyed. Willy outlined the quality of the sculptures in the area and the preliminary process in which they were created, after which Betsy de Jonge Hamelink, chairwoman of Dijken van Wijven, shone a spotlight on each of the artists.

Crossover between art and language

A crossover between art and language took shape in a collaboration with language artists tasked with highlighting the quality of Zeeland’s landscape. They were asked to create haikus or short poems that were printed on pennants and hung along the village centre in particular.

Poems and short stories that give inspired and involved words to what is happening today, thus convincingly engaging visitors with poetry. A way to communicate, to give a face to a big and sometimes abstract story or situation. We so need it, the faces behind the numbers.

Poetry weekend

On July 29 and 30, the poetry weekend took place. At the Dutch Reformed Church in Kattendijke, many listeners enjoyed the work of the language artists, framed by some music ensembles. The language artists were present in person to recite and explain what they had created especially for this exhibition.


There was contact with the board of the village association Kattendijke from the very start of the project, which led to a conference where Dijken van Wijven gave a presentation to the residents. Material was also supplied several times for their village magazine Info Kattendijke with information on the course of events. This resulted in public support and cooperation.

For instance, besides approval from the Department of Public Works and the Water Board, help and permission was also needed from some farmers who own or use land along the route. Not to mention eyes and ears of villagers when something was wrong somewhere.

There were also some presentations given to groups of women from service clubs so that they were informed what they could go and see and experience. On September 2 and 3, 2023, the ‘Over de dijk’ project concluded. Again in the Dutch Reformed Church in Kattendijke, festively framed by a music ensemble.


The location was exquisite and easily accessible to all (pedestrians, cyclists, motorists). A very strong point this year was that the sculptures blended so beautifully into the landscape and into or near the water. Each sculpture had its space chosen by the artist.

The connection with poetry and literature was a success, as was the local residents’ concern for the pennants when they hung askew due to the wind.

Website Dijken van Wijven

The Hurgronje Family Fund made a financial contribution to the realisation of this project.

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