The Delft blue tile was the departure for the art project Met voeten getreden. Our idea was to replace the well-known tile with a paving stone and to replace the tile motto with short sayings or quotes from all over the world, completed by a design by 65 artists. 800 paving stones were placed in a route around Zwolle’s city canal. The colourful project was supported by the people of Zwolle themselves through art tile adoption.
50 Overijssel/Zwolle artists and 15 Overijssel/Zwolle prominent figures were asked to contribute to this project.
The tile project consisted of 65 art images at the size of a paving stone and was related to the May 5- Liberation day, 2010 theme: “freedom around the world”.
Proverbs and sayings often appear to transcend language and cultural areas. They are often seen as common wisdom and can be translated and understood by almost anyone. With this in mind, we asked 65 artists and prominent figures from Overijssel to make a design with a proverb for a pavement tile. 65 artists because it was also the celebration of the 65th year after the liberation.
Unfortunately, the route did not stand the test of time. The tiles were supposed to have a lifespan of 10 years, but in practice turned out to be much more vulnerable due to factors such as moisture and road salt. The project also attracted the requisite criticism afterwards, but what remains is the beautiful connection that was made between art and the inhabitants of Zwolle, the street poetry that could literally be walked on and the wonderful ideas and images of freedom that ended up on the paving stones and which were subsequently read by many while walking along the beautiful Zwolse Stadsgracht. So for the time it took, a valuable project and an eternal shame that the image of this project has been tarnished somewhat by the short life span of the tiles.