A View of Delft

When I saw Vermeer’s ‘View of Delft’, I felt that I could throw a stone into the water and watch the ripples die away....

This work was made for ‘Tomorrow is Yesterday’ at the Museum Het Prinsenhof, a 15th century former monastery in Delft in 1990. There, in a room opposite the 13th century Old Church, I constructed a Dutch interior.

At one end of the room were folding chairs leaning against the wall ready for action. At the other they were piled, as though used up.

A chair and a cassette recorder were placed at either end of the long table, at one end of which was a book open at a page showing Vermeer’s painting. Beyond were photographs of an open hand and a stone released from it above water. The tape recorder played a loop of the bells of the Old Church.

In the centre of the table a drip from a bucket suspended from the ceiling made ripples, as if from the impact of the stone, in a mirrored tray of water lined by two rows of china model houses. The mirror extended beyond the tank and reflected the clock-tower of the old church next to its model.

At the other end of the table was a contemporary photograph of the scene in the painting next to a bowl of gently rotting fruit, and a tape recorder playing a loop of the bells of the 14th Century New Church, at the other end of the town.