Coevorden Huis Aan Huis 02-01-08


Light by Tamar Frank in the water tower Coevorden

‘Trick seduces people to observe’

COEVORDEN - The new light art project in the watertower of Coevorden will be opened next week Thursday the 10th of January at 19:30 hours. This time the monumental building contains an installation created by artist Tamar Frank.  From the outside the blue foil on the windows strike the eye. Inside the Hilversum based artist has been busy making all the necessary preparations. She likes to pass on the challenge to the visitors of her installation. “I want people to discover what is happening in the tower by themselves.”

The 33 year old Tamar Frank was selected last year August to establish the new light art project. “next to the fact that the municipality and the Drentse water company want to do something with the dark tower, the festivities around the 600 year existence of the town of Coevorden also plays a important role. This is why I delved into the history of the town. What intrigued me was the former shape of the fortification. There is nothing left of what used to be a striking feature, built as a seven pointed star. It is a fathom of the past. Also the function of Coevorden has fascinated me: the fortification was a strategic target and many battles have been fought around those walls. The surrounding fields were flooded to hold back the enemy. I imagined how the tower, being the highest point in the town, could serve as a watch tower passing a signal to the sluice keepers.” In December she started working in the tower. “This place has a tangible history. I don’t mean to be vague, but as I am working, I continually think of what has taken place here.”

Double layers

Frank studied monumental design at the Fine Art Academy of Maastricht. She  started to submit herself to combining light in existing spaces with a minimal use in adding her own concentrations. She finds light an interesting and space defining element. “You can impose images in a very simple way. The first impression must effectively attract attention. Then another layer reveals new elements: by focusing on certain aspects of the space. Like the height of the tower: the light falls from up above downward to emphasize this.” In what way does the shape of the tower influence her work? “The building has something cocoon-like. The staircase is dominant and I have to work around that. I cannot reach the top windows. A  system has been conjured up by my technician to solve this. The light image works through fine electronics. This faces me with another problem: the tower is very humid and cold and these are not good conditions for electronics to function in. I am glad to be assisted by Ed Dammers. His affinity with both art and technique is perfectly combined here.”


Tamar Frank participated in the light art route Lumineus Amersfoort and created an installation in de Vishal in Haarlem amongst others. She has no problems with working on more projects at once. “Every installation is very specific. I usually start building from scrap. It is tricky sometimes to plan things time-wise and usually I need to find some assistance. I have a quite an intense period behind me. In the new year I will start working on a project in Bruges together with a violin player. I would like to invest more time in establishing myself outside of Holland. So now I am looking for a chance to orient myself somewhere abroad  for a few weeks and use these impressions to build an installation there.” Frank does not want to make things more complex than they are. “I do not make heavy conceptual art. Time is the only thing I ask of the observer. Take the time to look and observe. I seduce people with a fetching image. The water tower has the advantage of being seen from a distance and can thus signal to lure the spectator. Once the tower is entered a sensor triggers the light installation. And then? You will see!” The installation by Tamar Frank can be seen from the 10th of January till the 31st of March: Van Heutszpark Coevorden.