Documentary: Reis door het waddengebied

February 20, 2011 § Leave a comment

Dear all,

Just after Any Questions ended, a Dutch documentary maker visited Mandø, making a documentary about the Wadden Sea area. It has been shown on Dutch tv in six parts.

Mandø has been shown on the 12th of February. Although a lot of ‘story-telling’ is in Dutch, there are people from the area explaining about the area, talking German or English.

Moreover, it shows nice views of the island and the other islands as well.  

You can see it following the link


The Mandoe Dialogues captured in a book

February 2, 2011 § Leave a comment

Still warm from printing; the book of the project Any Questions with the work of the artists, the researchers and other contributors is ready! It can be ordered by sending an email to and soon more information on


October 7, 2010 § Leave a comment

By Liesbeth Takken. (Pictures by Haitske van Nus, Sarah Fitzsimons and Liesbeth Takken)

Creation of heaven and earth, development of mankind, inspired by northern (and southern) mythology were my themes for AnyQuestions? on Mandoe. Influence of planets on island, beach and inhabitants. Actual current political statement too.


As I said, my preparations and study produces works for a month. Life is a compromise. After years I’ve got more and more the experience that you have to prepare always, to exercise, to study, to think, to draw, to design. Then you have to let it go, set it free, and be aware and awake to catch the moment to create, or even creation manifests it selves. Without preparation you would miss. Without evaluation too.

The first days I was struggling a bit with the tide, after a week I was working with it. So the next waddenproject would be welcome! I’m especially satisfied with unexpected founded objects, unexpected meetings with visitors, inhabitants, helper’s en master class-students. Thanks Kjelt for great helping and meeting. And artists and their cross points with my work. Researchers and organizers. Special thanks to Haitske: you were a great assistant! Without your help, sounding board and sense of humour it would have been more difficult. Thanks to all to bring me this experience. And last but not least thanks Mandoe! I miss you since back home…

On our way back home we suddenly pass the Nolde Museum. I turn on my wheel 180 degrees. We look at his Ungemalte Bilder. It refers to my Unmade Makes this week. I’m glad there’s something left to work on!






…let there be light….


…and had written into the earth…


…and looked back…

Liesbeth Takken, September 2010

Adorante, 9/11 and ritual fire

September 26, 2010 § Leave a comment

By Liesbeth Takken. (Pictures by Haitske van Nus, Sarah Fitzsimons and Liesbeth Takken)

Today is our last working day. Saturday again. We’re making three works altogether. First I make an Adorante on the highest dune near the circle work: the womanlike rock carving that adores the sun. With a cup mark between her legs.

It’s Saturday. There are a lot of people visiting the island and the festival. Everyone is coming to look what we’re doing and asking. They’re really interested. Dario is playing flute, walking from the Adorante to Sarah’s house.

After we’ve laid the Adorante on the dune, it’s very high tide. There’s no beach anymore and water is filling even the path. It’s nice that the circles under the water are still there. Dario noticed every time that the sea is really carefully with my work. It’s not destroying it. Nice spoken.

We find a little place to make our work about the Twin Towers. A sand tongue at seaside. We have to work very quickly because the water is still rising.  It’s 9/11 today. Joseph Beuys’ visionary work Cosmos und Damian had brought me to this idea.

In the surrounding we make little cup marks. With coins for elves. They transform in black holes. Tearing off everything. In the middle there are two twin towers as anti-material form. We put the coins in it. I photograph them as high tide comes. Sea’s taking the coins: my offer for Mandoe.

Cosmos und Damian repeated – 9/11 – anti-material. Anti-form.

In the evening we organize a finishing party at the beach at my sandcirclework. With ritual fire-performance. Because of high tide we make it into the water. An old dream comes true: making fire into the water! I build up a big wooden boat in it; Kjelt sets fire to it, like a naughty boy.

Sarah and I make a cross point: she changes her house into circles of different size. With the sticks Sarah and I hold up one circle in the air. Dario plays music in it, walking around with the circle. Danka continues on violin. I make some meal circles on the ground. Kjelt dogs love it! A group of young Danish women are singing beautiful songs. Haitske is filming it all. She’s got stuff for a documentary as well. Peep behind the scenes of Mandoe during Any Questions? Hope she’ll manage. Thanks to all!


September 22, 2010 § Leave a comment

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   by Irna Hofman

Each time I browse through the post of the artists on this weblog – which has become quite impressive, hasn’t it? – I find bricks. Bricks, that form part of the fundament of Mandø’s identity. The art work layed bare its corner stones.

Sarah her house moved, from one place to another. It was a metaphor for the local identity. One moment expansive, the next it remained small and simple. Nevertheless, the building never collapsed, despite exposure to wind and water. Once it approached the horizon, but it returned, with support of the people.

Liesbeth her work made me again think of the exposure of the island to natural forces. Yet, even more, it showed the interdependency between mankind and nature. There are constant struggles between sea and land. What can be made, how work is influenced, and what remains of it all depends on the availability of different materials, the tides, and the weather circumstances, which also determined the working rhytm of Liesbeth and Haitske.

The musicians gave notice of the intimate sphere, a place to shelter, that certainly is around. Perhaps one cannot notice it immediately. Tomas, Ivan and Petr played their instruments on different places which resulted in different compositions. The intimacy that different buildings can provide – the acoustics of the barn, the church, the mill – yes, there is harmony on this island. Harmony that is not loudly audible nor visible; it is whispering, but it is certainly there.

Dario showed me that each ‘thing’ available can be turned into something enjoyable. To make music, to admire. There are always good sides of something that from first sight seems useless, worthless. Perhaps Dario his work may make people revalue the things that are available to them. They must use everything, and involve everyone, that is nearby.

Tamara shed light on personal story lines and the history of the island. She showed different personal experiences people have with this island. Together they form a background upon which the community is build up today. 

Any Questions? Perhaps these are some answers. Perhaps the art work could make the Mandø boere (the island’s inhabitants) rethink, but foremost make them revalue the characteristics the island has and could give them.

The community is changing, but Mandø is not a burning ship. The fire on the closing event intrigued people, brought them together, and warmed those who were nearby.


September 21, 2010 § 2 Comments

By Liesbeth Takken. (Pictures by Haitske van Nus and Liesbeth Takken)

Friday. Freia’s day. Morning meeting; sketching. The reality is that I have to do different kinds of practical things today. First working on computer for photos, writing and blogging. Then we have to leave our house. House moving takes some time with all our stuff. Because I find stones every day the car becomes fuller en heavier every day. Hopefully I’m not sinking into the Wadden when leaving…

We go to the places we’ve made our Ymir’s. Wind had turned so there’s much more water than the last days. We take some pictures of the Ymir’s. The big circle drawing has also filled with water when we arrive.

Kjelt, an inhabitant of the island, is going to help us to take a lot of wood at the beach. Because of the fire I will make tomorrow night. With tractor and his two dogs we go there, shaking and almost falling, and take plenty of it. It’s an exciting experience. Afterwards he offers a drink. He’s a man from 72 and had moved all around the world. He speaks good English with American accent. He lives alone in his simply house without television; he doesn’t like that machine, prefers reading books. I read Papillion on one book back. I have a very special talk with him.

This morning I wrote about my work here, the influence of sun and moon, the meaning of time, the living with the riches of nature, to work in gratefulness. Kjelt is telling us about the fact people don’t have time anymore for important things. They only want to make money. They don’t live with natural time. He tells he lived with the Indians and learned a lot of them. It’s only allowed for them to take animals when they’re hungry. Before they kill they send the sun their gratefulness and ask if they can take one because they are hungry. They adore the sun and the moon instead of God or Allah. Since then I always do the same before killing an animal, Kjelt says. ‘People think I’m crazy but for me it’s the only right thing to do’. Kjelt is an artist to the backbone.

After meditation concert of the Czech musicians (wonderful relaxing!) in the barn Kjelt is coming: we have to come quickly. Because of high tide you can take unique pictures from the road, filled with water. We go there, come a bit too late: water is leaving already. He explains what the influence of the moon on the tide means for the people who live here. Again the same I wrote. Although I didn’t asked him we really come close to each other’s opinions. I’m so glad I met this man. The work of today is the meeting with this man! Social sculpture: ‘…making the invisible visible…’.

At last Kjelt is taking us for a trip to special places on the island.

While eating Dario’s fish soup I find some special fish skeletons in it. There’s a viking boat on one of them. We take some pictures, nice strange.


September 17, 2010 § Leave a comment

By Liesbeth Takken. (Pictures by Liesbeth Takken and Haitske van Nus)

Thursday:  I want to make ‘rock carvings’ far away on the wad. At low tide we walk through the rest of the water en look for a place to start. It’s a really big open sand plate. The wind is very hard today. We feel like on expedition. Nova Zembla. But warm.

We’re looking to find the little sand drawings made by nature and….find them! That’s our starting point. Around we start on drawing in the way of the free signs we’ve found in the sand and on the stones. Like ‘écriture automatique‘; I often do exercises like this when I work with children too. It slowly changes into scribbles, little figures and boats. It’s a present that the underground had a special anthracite-black colour.

At last I create a big figure, Ymir-like, inspired by old carvings. Ymir is a giant in de northern mythology (Edda), which means ‘boiled clay’. Out of his body earth is created, out of his skull sky is created. It’s discribed very plastic.

Ymir – ‘ziedende klei’

‘In oertijd was het dat Ymir leefde

Geen zand geen zee geen zilte golven

Er was geen aarde noch evenmin inzicht

En gras nergens’

‘Of old was the age | when Ymir lived;
Sea nor cool waves | nor sand there were;
Earth had not been, | nor heaven above,
But a yawning gap, | and grass nowhere.’