Dummel tunnel from gray to Delft blue; 150 children put artists to work for months | Valkenswaard

DOMMELEN – A nicer bicycle tunnel, but without making it a competition. The artist Kiek Swinkels had this in mind when she and 150 children set about decorating the bicycle tunnel under the N69 in Dommelen. She could choose from 1350 drawings.

The mural of the bicycle tunnel on Mgr. Smetsstraat is nearing completion. The gray tunnel walls are lit up with drawings of children from the local primary schools De Belhamel, Schepelweyen and St. Martinus. All in light Delft blue.

Harmonious whole

It is a project led by Valkenswaard artist Kiek Swinkels. “With the special feature that it is a harmonious whole of so many drawings, made by so many children and content-wise appropriate to this environment.” The bicycle tunnel will officially open in the middle of next month together with all young designers.


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It took quite a bit of croaking, but I am very happy and above all satisfied

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For Swinkels (54) from Kieks Atelier, an exciting process of about ten months ends. “It cost me a lot of money. But I am very happy and above all satisfied. The strength of this project is its enormous diversity. A collaboration between many big and small people. Especially with the many children, and certainly not just the best cartoonists. Each child has their own contribution.

Equal opportunities for all

The art project in this N69 tunnel is a joint initiative of the province and the municipality with the aim of decorating both walls through contributions from primary school children from Dommelen. ,, And at the first contacts I immediately indicated that I would definitely not make it a competition. Equal opportunities for all ”, explains Swinkels.

The artist got local nature and history as a theme. With the explanation from the municipality: ‘The reason for this is that archaeological excavations have been carried out as a result of the construction of the new N69, and that the Arealimpuls projects focus on nature and landscape.’

1350 drawings in total

For Swinkels, it was an educational project together with IVN and Heemkundekring Wederheem. These two organizations provided workshops to inspire the children, telling them about the flora and fauna and the archaeological finds. Subsequently, 150 children made a total of 1350 drawings. “Only with a fine liner, to project them well on the walls.”

Swinkels then had the ungrateful task of selecting the drawings for the 276 empty areas. At least one work from each child. “And then everything fits into a varied layout distributed on the two tunnel walls. For each drawing a piece of wall 75 by 75 centimeters. ”


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We have been working in the tunnel since February, a total of about 400 square meters

Check out Swinkels

She tackled painting with nine artist colleagues. Everyone works in the same template. ,, We have been working in the tunnel box since February. In total, an area of ​​about 400 square meters. And all the while, the tunnel is just accessible for bike traffic. “

Put it on the wall with your own hands

For the artist Pauline Bisseling (56), it is a special project. As a part-time teacher at De Belhamel Elementary School, she and her class were actively involved in the preparation. ,, What my students have drawn, I can now put on the wall with my own hands. And later with the whole class at the opening. Proud of the children, proud of the project, proud of myself. ”

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