Sensing nature from the perspective of bees, sheep and wisents. De Maashorst, 2015-2019
In the north-eastern part of Brabant lies De Maashorst, a 3500 hectares patchwork of woods, fields, sand-drifts and heaths. Over the course of several decades, this area is being turned into a continuous nature reserve with the biggest possible biodiversity and minimal human interference – that still offers opportunities for recreation.
Krijn Christiaansen and Cathelijne Montens were commissioned to mark the herding paths that offer visitors a sense of orientation in the changing landscape. The paths, straight connections between the villages surrounding De Maashorst, provide a historical structure: shepherds drove their flocks to the heaths along these roads and beekeepers used them to bring their colonies to the fields.
To demarcate the paths, KCCM developed a unique series of signposts in collaboration with local beekeepers. In addition, several objects are installed at the path’s starting points in reference to the three animals that play an important part in nature reconstruction: wisents, sheep and bees.
The work traces the complex history of how the area has been shaped over time and translates it into objects, at once poetic and robust, that connect the visitors more closely to De Maashorst’s many stories.