TERRA NOVA, artwork by Harald den Breejen and Sjoerd van Leeuwen; the artists at the centre of the Wadden Sea / Waddenzee

The expedition at the centre of the Wadden Sea

TERRA NOVA

is an ongoing collaborative project with Sjoerd van Leeuwen. The project shares its name with the 1912 South Pole expedition led by Robert Falcon Scott, which ended with the death of its crew exactly 100 years prior to the start of this project. Currently, the artists are working on the fourth instalment of

Terra Nova

; the third instalment can be found here.
This page shows the first instalment of

Terra Nova

. Intent on experiencing the significance of (geographical) centers and of reaching them by means of physical endurance (famously favoured by Scott over the use of dogs), Van Leeuwen and Den Breejen set up basecamp at Kunsthuis Syb, with as their goal the geographical centre of the Netherlands' wildest nature reserve: the Wadden Sea. With a replica of the sledge used by Scott, they set out on a fully self-sufficient, manpowered expedition. The expedition and its preperations were documented only by instant photography. The above photo testifies of the successful conclusion of the journey.
TERRA NOVA, artwork by Harald den Breejen and Sjoerd van Leeuwen; expedition shots

A selection of images taken on the 2012 TERRA NOVA expedition

TERRA NOVA, artwork by Harald den Breejen and Sjoerd van Leeuwen; expedition shots

A selection of images taken on the 2012 TERRA NOVA expedition

At the opening (at the end of the SYB residency), a special edition whiskey was served. The commemorative label summarises thus:
'In the summer of 2012 the TERRA NOVA expedition set out to reach the center of the Waddensea with an arctic sled, using only manpower. The endeavour was at once to commemorate and to reinterpret the similarly named expedition of sir Robert F. Scott, that became fatal for its members 100 years ago. Unlike Scott, the contemporary expedition returned unharmed.
This bottle of Frysk Hinder Whisky is one of eight bottles that was hauled by the team to its destination. As such, the contents have a unique finish of mud and victory.
Below are some images of the end-of-residency presentation of the project at Kunsthuis SYB. Works dispersed throughout the space fragmentedly tell the story of the expedition. In this, some pieces were clearly presented while other elements were more hidden or temporary in nature, creating a sense of instability and surprise not unlike the chance experiences of the expedition itself. Objects include a table with map of the area, instant photographs, the sledge (suspended from the ceiling, a 2 minute video loop made from an exerpt of James Burke's The Day the Universe Changed, the expedition tent with in it a 5 minute audio loop combining fruit bat sounds and author Godfried Bomans' account of his stay on Rottumerplaat, and letters recieved from friends and family during the preperations.
TERRA NOVA, artwork by Harald den Breejen and Sjoerd van Leeuwen; partial installation view at Kunsthuis Syb, the Netherlands

Installation view at Kunsthuis SYB

TERRA NOVA, artwork by Harald den Breejen and Sjoerd van Leeuwen; partial installation view at Kunsthuis Syb, the Netherlands

Installation view at Kunsthuis SYB

TERRA NOVA, artwork by Harald den Breejen and Sjoerd van Leeuwen; partial installation view at Kunsthuis Syb, the Netherlands

Installation view at Kunsthuis SYB

Van Leeuwen and I warmly thank Peter Bloem, Sanne Beemsterboer, Clare Noonan, Kunsthuis Syb, the Us Heit distillery, and everyone we met on our expedition.