Sarah Van Sonsbeeck brings the sea back to the Oude Kerk

Sarah Van Sonsbeeck brings the sea back to the Oude Kerk

May 18, 2017 |  by  |  Art, Event
About the author
Half-tourist and half-journalist, I am a full-time hot chocolate drinker who never leaves her camera. Always on the lookout, from classical music to rap, to the arts or good spots to visit, I could also feed myself with history and culture of all kinds.

As it’s named, the Oude Kerk (‘Old Church’) is the oldest church in Amsterdam. Erected from a 1213 wooden chapel, it was a Roman catholic church before it turned protestant in 1578. It was not only recognized as a religious place but also as a shelter; many sailors found their way here as the sea surrounded the building. Some naval heroes were buried here, the others prayed for protection.

We may all have come on different ships, but we’re all in the same boat now.

Sarah Van Sonsbeeck linked the history of the Oude Kerk with the topical question of migration in an exhibition, to make you question about the building’s more historic significance as well as its current purpose.

Refugees from overseas

Nowadays, refugees try to reach their point by sea, and the main picture that remains in our minds are those people in emergency blankets after a terrible sea crossing. In its early times though, the Oude Kerk would have welcomed nowadays’ refugees as it was a public place interfering with the sea. The techniques used to build it remind us of shipbuilding techniques, and the barrel section of the church is known as the ‘schip’, ship in Dutch.

Sarah Van Sonsbeeck

Sarah Von Sonsbeeck went further to find an actual link between the sea and the Oude Kerk. She used emergency blankets in her exhibition called “We may have all come on different ships, but we’re all in the same boat now,” a quote attributed to Martin Luther King. News concerning refugees changed the meaning of this golden eye-catching material used to keep the body warm. With this, Sarah reflects this centuries-old building that in origin offered protection.

Contemporary art invaded the Oude Kerk since 2013, but it’s always linked to the building in order to create an interconnection between past and present. No better material could’ve built a bridge between the Oude Kerk’s past and current issues.

Sarah Von Sonsbeeck @ Oude Kerk

When: From May 19 to September 17
Where: Oude kerk, Oudekerksplein 23
Tickets: €10,-
More info: Website & Facebook event

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