rivier, boot, stad

Artist: Edward clydesdale Thomson
Curator: Nils van Beek (TAAK)
Community Builder: Charlotte Somerville (TAAK)
Project Management: Yvonne Dubbers (Studio Edward clydesdale Thomson)

The Dordrechts Museum asked visual artist Edward Clydesdale Thomson to develop an art project connecting the different streets and squares of the Hofkwartier area.

The Hofkwartier is known as the cultural-historical heart of Dordrecht. History, art, and science meet in places like the Dordrechts Museum, Het Hof van Nederland and the Regional Archive. The architecture of the neighbourhood unites the old with the new. The small alleys and characteristic passageways typical of old Dutch inner cities have been well preserved amidst the newer buildings.


The history of Dordrecht is intimately linked to the shipping industry: as a trading centre and staple town, it owes its wealth to the many ships passing in and out of the city’s port. In the past, Dordrecht was likely called Thuredrith: the city emerged between the peatlands along the Thure river, which joined the larger Dubbel and Merwede rivers together. Because the water level at this point was relatively low, it was possible to cross the river on foot. This also caused problems: ships had to be towed across the shallow water. This origin story of the city is the point of departure for the rivier, boot, stad project. In the summer of 2020, Edward is joined by students and volunteers to build an 18th-century ship in a Dordrecht shipyard. Across several events, the audience can follow the construction and journey of this historical ‘tjalk’, and see a new chapter in the history of Dordrecht unfold. 

You can find more information about the work of Edward Clydesdale Thomson here. Also, keep an eye on the TAAK website for updates on future events.