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Alveringem (Klare Wal)
Maika Garnica & Willem Coenen

Patrons - Jan Vermang, Rita and Kris Mahieu, Bern Paret, Sam De Decker, Marc de Wilde
Supporters - Vlaamse Landmaatschappij, Municipality of Alveringem
Alveringem, West-Flanders, Belgium, 2021 -

The context

The direct reason for starting this art project was the preservation and visibility of the valuable site, Klare Wal. This archaeological site consists of two parcels of land that were brought together by Vlaamse Landmaatschappij in context of a land consolidation operation. After sowing grass on the joined parcels, the complete circular structure of an underlying historical wall became visible. This structure is especially well visible from above. But also, by walking around it, the circle has become perceptible.

Archaeological research, guided by the university of Brussels in 2013 and 2014, yielded unexpected results. Using the C14 method, the researchers were able to date a few post pits to the Neolithic period. This was also confirmed by the pottery found on site. This site could possibly be a henge (cf. Stonehenge). At the moment, there are no means to continue the archaeological research. To make this possible in the future and to prevent damage to the soil, no activity is allowed on the site.

The commission

A work of art, as a marker in this flat landscape, can draw attention to this site. In addition, art can indicate the archaeological meaning to the passer-by, by "making the invisible visible". The group of patrons consists of interested residents and archaeologists. They are guided by curator/mediator Louise Goegebeur. After several meetings, the patrons choose the artist duo, Maika Garnica and Willem Coenen, for this art commission. They will work out a first design in the coming months.

The site is part of the Sint-Rijkers land development project. By redeveloping the area, the Vlaamse Landmaatschappij wants to make the landscape more attractive (planting rows of trees, wood edges or hedges), expand recreational possibilities (laying out new cycling and walking paths) and take care of interesting historical sites (redevelopment, restoration, preservation for the future).