An Elfstedentocht over the ice is an increasing rarity; the skating tour of almost 200 kilometres over natural ice was last held in 1997. Practical as the Frisians are, they just created a new Elfstedentocht. Not connected by ice, but by the sparkling waters of fountains.
These fountains are created by top international artists from eleven different countries. The artists were not randomly chosen; there was a search for a match between the work of the artist and the character and history of each of the Eleven Cities.
Connected by water
The local population was closely involved in the development of the new watery work of art. In every city, the artist met with a fountain committee composed of local people. This committee guided him or her around the city and was in discussion with the artist during the creative phase. The fountain committees generated support amongst the local population as 'ambassadors' of 11Fountains.
This unique collaboration led to friendly contacts and an exceptional design that fits the location and the city. Just like in earlier times when everyone met at the old lime tree, the eleven fountains have now become a central meeting place. Not only for the residents, but also for tourists.
New cultural heritage
11Fountains forms a new cultural heritage and is an unmissable destination for national and international tourists. This largest international art project of Leeuwarden-Friesland 2018 is supported by the province of Friesland and the six municipalities involved.
The artists are: Bolsward - Johan Creten (Belgium) / Dokkum - Birthe Leemeijer (the Netherlands) / Franeker - Jean-Michel Othoniel (France) / Harlingen - Jennifer Allora & Guillermo Calzadilla (United States, Cuba) / Hindeloopen - Shen Yuan (China) / IJlst - Shinji Ohmaki (Japan) / Leeuwarden - Jaume Plensa (Spain) / Sloten - Jorge & Lucy Orta (Argentina & United Kingdom) / Sneek - Stephan Balkenhol (Germany) / Stavoren - Mark Dion (United States) / Workum - Cornelia Parker (United Kingdom).