Semiotics of Sand Motor


The initiative to start an art practice in Sand Motor (Zandmotor) emerged from my fascination of the place. Sand Motor is a peninsula on the coast near Ter Heijde (The Netherlands) which was built by people to cooperate with nature. Constructed by people this natural landscape lives by its own laws. Scientists study how the place develops. Visiting Sand Motor a few times I became curious about my personal interaction with this unique area. I have decided to go there regularly and see what kind of thoughts, feelings, perceptions this place will trigger.

My initial point is writing. The attention is focusing on the words which appear through the experience and relate to general understanding of a landscape. The question is how the abstract character of those words like sun, sand, wind and others transform into a specific meaning of the place which was built with nature?

I see the practice as a long term project. Now it looks like a dairy sometimes accompanied with other documentations. You can find the documentations in the text if you click on (p) – pictures, (v) – video or (s) – sound.

day 7


A sunny, cold day.

There are a lot of footprints on the sand.
They make me think that there is almost no place on the earth that man could not reach. These thoughts give me a double feeling.
From one side it feels exciting that any place can be discovered but from another side it has bad connotations.


My thoughts navigate my eyes. I can not help noticing the traces of human presence around me. My eyes stumble on a wrap from sweets, plastic rope, orange’s peel, plank, screw … 

Every time I visit Zandmotor I take two or three things which attracts me the most from this place.
Today I will take some of these human traces. 

I think about my own steps.

The laguna distracts me from my thoughts.
The water get frozen on some parts and small waves collides with ice.
Sunbeams penetrate through the quick waves and create patterns. It fascinates me.

Solar patterns

I continue my path towards the same place on the beach as I usually reach.
I am starting to get used to this place, the impressions are not so sharp.

This time the sea has not surprised me.
Hoek van Holland is clear in the distance with all of its urban constructions. 

My phone is ringing. It is not possible to abstract away from daily thoughts.
I am going home, I hope on the next meeting.

day 6


Where the peninsula begins the sea goes through the sand and slits the coast in two parts.The water is running and feeding the laguna.

I see tiny pieces of wood everywhere.
Water makes them smooth like pebbles.

Wood pieces

The laguna is surrounded by a few small sandy hollows with water.
I am going slow. It feels important to go slow.
I forded the stream that fillings the laguna.
There are patterns on the sand like waves of the sea.
The patterns are intertwining.
The natural patterns are joined by prints of wheels, cars or bikes, footprints and dogs trails. (p)

Sand patterns 

My walk continuous along the laguna.
Sometimes the border between the water and sand is barely noticeable.
The water is transparent and the bottom of the laguna is visible. The colour of sand there is rusty. 

Rusty sand

While I am walking I see that the laguna is getting deeper and intense green colour appears in the water. I do not see the sand of the bottom any more but the green looming in the water.
The lake got smaller since my previous visit. I am stepping on the wet grey surface that was covered by water not long ago.

It so happened that every visit in the middle of my walk I was coming to the certain part of the seacoast. I was curious for a new appearance of the sea.
It was always surprising and I have been never disappointed so far.
Today as well. The seacoast looks different again.
The water has divided the shore into small sandy islands.

I would like to invent a new language to start speaking with this place. 

day 5


The first day of Winter.

The sea is in its repetition again.
One wave goes after another.
It is always the same.
It is always different.

It hypnotises me.
I am staying here and the city’s life is going far away.
I want to stay even longer to calm down my still-running thoughts.


The colours of the place are different today.
The big lake has changed its colour.

There are many tiny gradations that were not visible before.
At the same time it seems that all of the colour shades in one absorbing tonality.


If I look at something close to me then the fragment is very bright in cold and transparent air.
But if I look into the distance then everything is in white, dense fog.

I am walking long path along the laguna. My feet feel sand. The sand is wet everywhere but close to the laguna, it is too watery.

The longer I am here, the more scattered my thoughts get.

day 4


Today Summer has occurred in the middle of Autumn.
The weather is very warm. I came to Zandmotor together with my son.

We took our shoes off. I could touch the sand with my naked feet. We went to the sea.
In the beginning of our path the sand was dry and lots of shells pricked our soles. We were going very slow. 

White sand

Then the sand became wet and cool. It was possible to go faster.
Closer to the sea, the sand became dry again.
I tried to find the words which could describe what I perceived while stepping on the different sand but it was in vain.

day 3


There are black clouds in the sky. Right before the entrance to Sandmotor, the flock of ravens met me.
The one after another they were sitting on the posts of a fence.

There is almost no wind today and it is easy to go.
The first thing that struck my eyes was the bright presence of Hoek van Holland with its smokestack.
The town appears very clear and graphical, it seems much closer than before.


Straight away I went to the seacoast. I expected a new surprise again.
When I came, I saw that the sea has receded.
There was a dead gellyfish almost that size that I met alive on my first day. The sea was far away from one.

The sand is very wet.

Clear air

Cold sand

Light is different than before and everything is in contrast. The laguna that was green so far is grey now.

day 2






Where the sand is drying fast from surface it is taken by the wind. I need to protect myself from the sand.

I touch the wet sand and it is not so pleasure as dry sand.

It seems that this place has its mind.


The sea gave a gift again. Calligraphy of seaweed is on sand. (p)

It is hard to write.
The fingers bend with difficulty because of wind. I need to make an effort to hold my pen.

I am sitting next to the small laguna. The water beckons.

In this place I can easily imagine that I am living on the planet.
The planet has atmosphere and is situated in space. The atmosphere protects me from the sun.


The storm deafens me.
I hid myself behind a small hill. I feel silence here though many different noises around.


I was lying on the sand with my eyes closed. My hand was touching the dry sand behind the head. The sun was hot on my face. I did not know anymore where I am. Could be a scorpion here?

The wind moves water on the lake. There is a subtle border between the dry land and water. This border is moving.

day 1


A cloudy day with very strong wind.
The sand is warm on a small hill with grass.


I have to protect myself from the wind-blown sand.
Going together with the wind, the sand hurts me. But now I am touching the sand on the surface of a knoll and it is pleasure.


This place is where I feel that I am far from the city, though I know that the city is very close.
The presence of the city stays in my mind but I can easily forget about it.

The noise of the sea

The changing temperature of the sand

I put my hand into sand and it feels cold

Strong wind

Scratchy sand

I perceive the skin of my face differently after the strong wind.