Peewit Lucy & Jorge Orta

The fountain depicts a young girl standing on a man’s shoulders. A bird is perched on her hand. Beneath the man’s feet, a haphazard stack of buckets, jerry cans and pails forms the base of the fountain. These universal water containers, where the fountain’s water flows so extravagantly in and out, point to the fact that our society possess something in abundance that, elsewhere in the world, is not at all to be taken for granted: water as the source of all life. The bird the girl holds is a peewit, a well known species in Friesland that is now endangered as a result of intensive agriculture and livestock farming.
New cultural heritage
in eleven Dutch cities
New cultural heritage
in eleven Dutch cities

Source of inspiration: the peewit as an endangered bird species, water as a source of life
Material: bronze, coating
Size: 5 metres high
Location: G.G. van der Walplein at the entrance of the city

The versatile work of the artist couple Lucy & Jorge Orta (Great Britain, b. 1966 / Argentina, b. 1953) focuses on food, water and environmental issues. In their often long-term, intensive research projects, they collaborate with scientists, NGOs and the local population. Their excursions to Antarctica and the Amazon region lead to exhibitions focusing on interesting core themes. The transformation of the Frisian pasture landscape and the close community feeling of Sloten strongly appeal to the Ortas, and this is reflected in their fountain.

Lucy & Jorge Orta live and work in Paris. One highly-praised work is ‘The Road of the Fairies’ (Spirits of the Huveaune, 2013), a series of sculptures placed alongside a polluted river in Southern France, that became a tourist attraction which triggered an effort to end the pollution of the river. The Ortas’ work has also found its way into public and private collections all over the world. In 2007 they were given ‘the Green Leaf Award for artistic excellence with an environmental message’ at the Nobel Peace Centre in Oslo.
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