You can also just do - A collaboration with a snackbar owner

This project was a collaboration with the owner of a snackbar. He would help me understand what snackbars are all about, and I would take that and help decorate his shop.

What he showed me was the snackbars’ practical and easy-going approach. The radio channel hasn’t changed in over 7 years; the wallpaper is pictures of dolphins because the snackbar is called “Dolfijn”. Why is it called “Dolfijn”? The place was already called that when they bought it, so they just kept it.

I decided that my work for the space should follow the same practical and easy-going mentality: if I needed a color for something, I’d pick one from the color-code of the shop (white, grey…and pink) or consult our extended interviews (for instance he said he would like to be more in nature, so I made a lot of nature-themed wallpieces).

The pieces I made were wooden plates with collages and prints stuck on them. I found that laying them out or on top of each other was more spontaneous and “quick”. This is what I meant with practical and easy-going: don’t make it too difficult, just do.

I had for a while been curious about the design of Dutch snackbars, and the thinking process of arranging such a space. But more importantly I was looking for someone to wrestle with about creative decisions.

The snackbar owner and I didn’t ponder on the deep meaning of art until the wee hours. However, we put a lot of time into what was possible in the space; how he could and couldn’t help me. Where works were to stand was for a large part his decision for instance.

This put my thinking in a box of restrictions. Working with someone like this is very exciting to me, but also very much out of my comfort zone. This collaborative aspect was the most important part; with all the restrictions and change of climate that came with it.