A Gas Station In The Dutch Waddenzee

Back in 2007, landscape artist Melle Smets built this amazing Tentstation in de Dutch Waddenzee close to the island of Terschelling. The installation was inspired by the fuel stations as you see them everywhere in the world. As Melle says, “they are among the most fabulous logistic inventions of mankind, as they combine a supermarket, coffeehouse and fuel station in one concept. All over the world they are recognizable, with a flat colorful roof that lightens up when dark, as a space ship in a open landscape.”

The Tentstation is made as part of the annual open air culture, art and landscape festival Oerol that is organised at the island of Terschelling. Here the installation goes very well with the tide. The artwork is made for a seascape and is constructed out of wood and canvas. The whole measures 13 meters by 10 meters and has a height of 3 meters. Smets considers the the fuel station an icon of our industrialised society. I think the work also contains a very strong political statement regarding the context of the 30 year old discussion about whether the Dutch should start searching for gas in the UNESCO-protected Waddenzee. I’m not sure what the artist’s position is though.