Blog Drawing Centre Diepenheim

On this page you can follow our residency  at Drawing Centre Diepenheim (April-June 2024), where we will be working on a new series of Grazing Choreographies, this time Large and hopefully Extra Large.

June 13 2024

It was already a week ago again that we were at the Heilersig farm. Today, for the first drawing, we again decided to draw the path so we could get another stream of cows walking towards the barn. In the video you see them pass by in between the camera and us. Ivar asked Aarnt-Jan if there would be fewer cows in the other meadow that afternoon because he would like to make a drawing with less cows, because he can be more precise, it’s a different focus. So Aart-Jan left a small group, but still nineteen, outside for us to draw.

Graaschoreografieën Markelo Heilersig Diepenheim

June 6 2024

Today is our first visit to the farm of Aarnt-Jan, Janet, and Emmy Heilersig in Markelo. Their cows only went outside last week since it had been raining so much. They introduced the milking robot only last December, so the cows still have to get used to their autonomous life – they can decide when to go back in to get milked. The Heilersigs use the New Dutch Pasture (Nieuw Hollands Weiden) system, in which the cows get a different plot of land every day of the week. Today they should be in field 2, but they broke out to field 3, so we set up our drawing table in field 2. About 105 cows. This will be a day of grazing system drawing more then following individual cows.

Graaschoreografieën Markelo Heilersig Diepenheim

June 1 2024

The day before yesterday, we hung six of our new large grazing choreography drawings on the wall—preparing for the Drawing Garden Festival next week and for some studio visits, but not least to see what story they tell together and to feel what they actually evoke. Preparing, drawing, and processing them is such concentrated work that it’s a pleasure to see them all together on the wall.

We now know we definitely want to make at least six more in the coming month. So today preparing the drawing sheets and cardboard for drying needs to be done!

Zes Graaaschoreografieën Large in Drawing Studio Diepenheim

Press – Mister Motley

Artikel Linda Keja in Mr. Motley over Berichten uit het Platte vlak in Kunstenlab

Linde Keja on our exhibition in Kunstenlab


Graaschoreografieën in Nieuwe Oogst

Pieter Stokkermans on grazing as art


Artikel Linda Keja in Mr. Motley over Berichten uit het Platte vlak in Kunstenlab

Noa Zuidervaart visits our studio in Drawing Centre Diepenheim

May 25 2024

It had been raining again severely, so the cows at the Meutstege had to stay inside the barn. We called Janette and Arend Jan in Markelo, but they did not have their cows out either. We expected Gerard to have their cows in the field, and indeed, that was the case. It was a different field than last time, but still adjacent to the corn silage.

In our first drawing, only two cows wanted to enter the stage. We waited for a while and then decided to start a new drawing, but still, we had to wait a while before they started to move towards our projected field. Soon almost all stood up and started to graze. Esther and I both followed black and reds, constantly switching pencils. 

Esther op boerderij Wissink. Koeien willen ook naar binnen. Graaschoreografieën

May 23 2024

Today, I went for fieldwork on my own. Esther sprained her ankle yesterday night on a drain in the pavement. So she has to keep calm for a few days. The cows were grazing on another part of the farmland—a rather strange shaped kind of plot, but next to the silage hump. So I was about 3 meters above the meadow and had a good view. As you can see in the stop-motion film of the first drawing, I had a good amount of backwind. In the end, the drawing pulled itself loose from the clamps and flipped over, leaving some wrinkles. I trust those will mostly straighten again. And hey, it’s fieldwork (I relied on my ‘tying up optimism,’ as Esther calls it).

For the second drawing, I turned to a square part of the field to make it easier to project the field on the paper. Compared to last Tuesday, the plot of land for both drawings was relatively minor. Hence, the distances on the paper were smaller, and cows moved significantly faster compared to the paper size. For more cartographic-minded readers, this is as if the cows moved from a 1:50000 map to a 1:10000 map without telling me.

Barend, the farmer’s father and former owner of the farm, warmheartedly brought me a coffee and a cookie. We talked for a bit about the land, the cows, the milk, and the bugs that cause the blue tongue virus, about politics regarding agriculture and the fact that change always takes place at its own pace.


May 21 2024

Another day at the farm! This time, we set up camp at the farm of Arjen and Karin Meutstege in Diepenheim. We found ourselves a good spot in the shadow, with little wind. Most of the cows also found the coolness of the shadow of the trees and were lying ruminating when we started drawing. Different from other times, we chose the whole field to be our drawing, except the top, where the cattle could leave the drawing. The left, right, and bottom were fenced off, though.

We made two drawings. Also, like in Markelo, there are more Red than Black Holstein cattle here. In the second drawing, just one Black entered and later left the drawing.


May 17 2024

Opening the exhibition Tidings from the Two Dimensional (Berichten uit het Platte Vlak). Mieke Conijn (director of Kunstenlab) opened the exhibition program (our en Zeger Reyers exhibition), and Noa Zuidervaart (artistic leader of Drawing Centre Diepenheim) opened our exhibition by talking about the day he visited our studio (the essay he based his speech on (in Dutch) you can read here). In the exhibition exixting and new Grazing Choreographies, Water Drawings from the IJssel river, Walking the Machine and Pi-Boy.

Met veel dank aan de inzet van het volledige team van Kunstenlab en Diepenheim.

Photos of the opening by Viorica Cernica


May 16 2024

For the new drawings in our exhibition in Kunstenlab (made in Markelo), which are not in our book Grazing Choreographies, we made a short audio file. We did the same for the Water Drawings made at the banks of the river IJssel (IJsseloever)

May 15 2024

Amidst of the Tschlin (S) and Feerwerd (NL) Grazing Coreographies our freshly drawn Markelo Grazing Choreographies (150x125cm). With the signs still taped to the wall. Progress is being made.

setting up: Tidings from the Two-dimensional - Berichten uit het Platte Vlak
setting up: Tidings from the Two-dimensional - Berichten uit het Platte Vlak
Drawings are henged. The two larger ones are made in Markelo, see the 27th of April post.
setting up: Tidings from the Two-dimensional
Photo: Zeger Reyers

May 12 2024

Setting up our solo Tidings from the Two-dimensional at Kunstenlab Deventer.

April 27 2024

We took our initial step: the first day of drawing the large-format grazing choreographies. This spring, we had to wait a long time; the pastures around Diepenheim were still too wet to let the cattle out. Gerard and Anja Wissink already have their red and white Holsteins outside; their pasture is just a bit higher because of the impoundment by glacier ice in the Markelo area. We were allowed to draw from the mound of silage corn: a great spot, giving us a good overview of the herd.

En Plein Air Drawing; large size number one in Markelo, Overijssel Netherlands
En Plein Air Drawing; large size number two in Markelo, Overijssel Netherlands
reading John Berger
En Plein Air Drawing; large size

April 08 2024

Our first week at Drawing Centre Diepenheim: The reading table is set. I begin with this classic: John Berger’s “Far Away in Europe,” where he captures his French countryside experience in beautiful fiction. With the exception of a very lucid essay, he characterizes the countryside’s mentality as that of survivors. And then not “staying alive” in the sense of reaching old age, but sustain one’s peasant existence within the exchange between landscape, climate, belongings, and knowledge transmitted from generation to generation.

April 01 2024

Short description

Since the publication of our book Grazing Choreographies, we have felt the need to develop this way of drawing further on a larger format paper. With the experience of the earlier drawings, we want to engage ourselves with monumental landscapes, both in execution and presentation. It is vital for us to create a series of drawings that together form a strong spatiality.

We want to connect with local farmers during our residency. Drawing on a large format requires that connection. Both practically and in terms of content, we are out there with a large installation, and that is only possible if we are welcome and engage in conversation. These encounters will be reflected in the writings that accompany each drawing.

We look forward to finding this opportunity in the rural East of the Netherlands at Drawing Centre Diepenheim.

plein air drawing
En Plein Air Drawing; large size
Noa Zuidervaart, Ivar van Bekkum and Esther Polak in front of the Drawing Centre
Noa Zuidervaart (artistic director Drawing Centre Diepenheim), Ivar van Bekkum and Esther Polak in front of the Drawing Centre.

January 11 2024

We visit the Drawing Centre two and a half months before the start of or residence to prepare for our stay. Noa, the artistic director, gave us a tour and contact numbers, so we could already meet some of the staff members and some local farmers.

Artistic Motivation 

Our work focuses on movement and landscape and how mobility shapes the landscape. Just over twenty years ago, this began with innovative artistic experiments with location technology (particularly GPS) as a means of recording movement. This often resulted in digital prints or animations of traveled routes. We saw this as a ‘photography of movement’. Within this experimental practice, we have looked for opportunities to use technology as a tool to provide a representation of the landscape as it emerges from movement. Our most recent move has been to create drawings that, while stemming entirely from those experiments with technology, are completely free of the technology itself in their execution.
With Grazing Choreographies, we now draw directly, trusting our human powers of observation, the movements we would have previously captured with GPS.

Grazing Choreography


team Drawing Centre Diepenheim

Financial support