Spice Winds: Installation Celebrates Link between Australia and the Netherlands
In the sixteenth century, Dutch traders wanted to sail to the Spice Islands, now known as Indonesia. Instead, they landed on unknown shores which soon became known throughout Europe as New Holland. Almost exactly 400 years ago one of the sailors, Dirk Hartog, was the first to make a record of this experience. Even today, part of Western Australia is still called New Holland.
In honour of this occasion, the Dutch design studio Toer has created an installation: Spice Winds is a kinetic work that uses the wind which once drove the ships. Flags in the Dutch national colour of orange wave in the breeze and shed light on the visitors and their surroundings.
Just as the sailors used the wind for their journeys, wind power plays an important role in the history of the Netherlands as windmills were developed to pump water away from the land. Australia is similar, but there the mills are used to pump water to isolated farms. Around the world, wind power is now making a significant contribution in harnessing sustainable energy. This profound installation presents itself against a rich, multifaceted background.