The Bat Johan Creten

Bats are intriguing, useful animals, crucial to the ecological system for their insect hunting. In Asian culture, the bat symbolises wealth, happiness and the blessings of old age. For us he symbolises both dark forces and a positive, saving force - think of Batman, or the facades of great cathedrals where, in the form of gargoyles, bats keep the demons at bay. This image fits beautifully with the burnt Broerekerk. The staircase up the bat’s back invites the visitor to symbolically overcome the bat. And, in so doing... to transcend him/herself.
New cultural heritage
in eleven Dutch cities
New cultural heritage
in eleven Dutch cities

3,3 m high, 2,4 m wide

Inspiration: the façade of the Broerekerk, a church mainly destroyed by fire
Location: The Broereplein square, in front of the Broerekerk

Johan Creten

Johan Creten’s (1963) ceramic and bronze sculptures tackle a range of subjects, from impressive birds and fearsome cuttlefish to woman’s torsos covered with sharp-edged roses. Their symbolically rich power is never unambiguous, and swings back and forth between temptation and fear, strength and vulnerability, the sacred and the demonic. With his Catholic background and his sense of drama, Creten perfectly captures the loaded history of Bolsward.