Inspired by the work of painters such as Pieter Bruegel and Jan Steen

Symbolism, metaphor, and old Dutch proverbs come together to create an exuberant spectacle during Dutch Design Week. Inspired by the work of painters such as Pieter Bruegel and Jan Steen, we took the public toa world where ‘Brabants’ Finest’ intertwine a bygone era with the lively present, against the backdrop of the iconic Saint Augustine Church.

We build an art installation centred around a twenty-metre long table. Dressed by floral genius Oogenlust from Eersel and constructed by master builder Bruns from Bergeijk, it became a true work of art. At night the scenery came alive as the nave of Saint Augustine Church transformed into a dining room, where Dick Middelweerd from restaurant De Treeswijkhoeve – awarded two Michelin stars – served an exclusive dinner prepared especially for this event. Beerze Beer from Vessem completed the feast with their exquisite beers.

The arrangement of large architectural objects that fill the Allegory of the South refer to the concept of follies; the useless but sensual buildings that stimulated the experience of the 18th century English landscape garden. The repertoire of Dutch architect John Körmeling, packed with folly re- interpretations like Happy Street Shanghai, Rotating House and Observation Post, directly inspired us to design our own artifacts, combining bits and pieces taken from utilitarian architecture. His earlier projects Safe Storage and the pieces that were made for CHV Noordkade were obvious precursors to our Allegory of the South, which took our historical interest further back in time.

Even outside the church people were working, eating, drinking, and singing. Market vendors sold their wares, music played, and the beer flowed in abundance. Spectators could step into a world imagined from the work of artists like Jeroen Bosch, Pieter Bruegel, and Jan Steen.

The candelabras, stoves, lanterns and other magical utensils that we created demonstrated our love for the artisanal process, larger than life sizes and uncompromising commitment

to detail. For the new Allegory we designed a new series of works and objects, based on ‘Dutch proverbs and sayings’ depicted by 16th century painter Pieter Breughel de Oude, who originated from the same area in Brabant; south of The Netherlands. ‘A shoe to one foot, the other bare’relates to the careful balance needed to land any large risky business (such as this one) well.