News - August 3, 2015

Art on Orion's bare walls

Koen Guiking

The quiet summer period is used to decorate the bare, concrete walls in Orion. Artist Kim Habers is now working with two assistants on a massive wall drawing in the stair case, from the ground to the eighth floor.

Photos: Wilfred Bergsma

The creation of this 300 square meter art work is a major job. To reach every piece of concrete, scaffolds of up to four storeys high had to be built on the stairs.

Wandtekening Orion


Kim Habers, Anneke Aalders en Lisa Meissl stand on this construction with a black ink pen in their hands to draw lines on the wall. Not just as they like, but according to a design (which took six weeks to make) that is projected on the wall. The parts that could not be reached - because the scaffold or the stairs were in the way - will still have to be filled in. This will require some improvisation.

The artist and her two assitants have been working on this piece since mid-June. ‘They like to work in the evening. Som,etimes even till deep in the night. That seems to be pretty common for creative people’, says Annemarie de Vries, the location manager of Orion who assigned the artists this job. The artwork is scheduled to be completed by the middle of August.

It is pure abstractness that grows on the concrete like tissue
Artist Kim Habers

‘The assignment was to create a timeless design that fits with the dynamic educational environment of Wageningen UR’, says De Vries. ‘Habers' design was chosen because the variety in the thickness of the lines creates depth and dynamics.’ The use of black ink on concrete also reminds De Vries of graffiti.

Habers describes her design as: ‘Pure abstractness that grows on the concrete like tissue. But it also contains recognizable figurative elements. I would like to challenge everyone to view the drawing without trying to explain it. For once, let go of the scientific logic and use your imagination.’

Infographics and photo art

The wall drawing is not the only piece of art that has come to Orion this summer. At this moment, six infographics are printed on wall paper. Four of these graphics with historical facts of Wageningen UR will be hung on on the second floor, two will be placed om the fourth floor.

‘Three designers, each with their own style, were selected to make the infographics’, says De Vries. One of them, Trudy Bruil, uses photography to show that Wageningen University's student population has become increasingly more international over the years and that the man/woman-ratio has also changed. Another artist, Vincent Meertens, made graphics of Wageningens worldwide alumni network and of the history of the research institutes of Wageningen UR. Vincent van Baar made typographic design, ‘much like Excel documents’. One art work shows what courses the university has offered since 1918, the other piece reflects the CO2 footprint of the organisation.

Bit by bit, Orion gets more character. The Student Council is also involved in creating a pleasant environment in the education building. Various sitting corners have already been established and since a few month there are two photo art works on the first floor as well. These photo walls with historical images and images of the opening party of Orion in 2013, can also be viewed digitally.

More art will follow, says De Vries. ‘Next is the concrete wall in the restaurant. We hung two giant photos on this wall, as a test. But we have decided that is not what we want. We are going to do something totally different with that wall.’