Into Nature - Time Horizons

Borger-Odoorn (NL)

Installation view Into Nature, NL
3.151 [Hills that sunk]. Locally sourced sand and clay, HDPE, water. 630 x 700 cm.
3.151 [Hills that sunk]. Locally sourced sand and clay, HDPE, water. 630 x 700 cm.

Lahuis' installation for Time Horizons was inspired by Pingo ruins. These were formed at the end of the last Ice Age, the Weichselian. This is when ice lenses formed on the earth's surface, which grew into small hills called Pingos. About 15.000 years ago, due to climate change, these ice lenses melted. This left (often circular) depressions in the landscape that are visible to this day. Some Pingoruins not only contain water but also a complete package of peat, sometimes more than 10,000 years old. Much information is stored in peat, which is what makes these sites so special and valuable.

The province of Drenthe (NL) has perhaps the highest density of pingo ruins in the world. Drouwen, which is where the artwork is located, lies on the edge of an area that is home to an enormous amount of these ruins, even by Drenthe standards. Lahuis came up with the idea for his work when he found an online, interactive map showing the exact location of each Pingo ruin in the area. On the map, the number of Pingo ruin sites in Drenthe appears to be 3.150. Lahuis therefore assigned his own variant the number 3.151.

The drawing below the water shows a rendering of the artwork's surroundings derived from the interactive map, superimposed on this drawing is a text: 3.151 Hills that sunk. The text stems from the fact that the word Pingo is one of the few words in Dutch that was adopted from Inuktitut (the language of the Inuit). One of the characteristics of this language is that one word can represent a sentence. Pingo, for example, means something like "hill that grows". For the word Pingo ruin, however, Lahuis was unable to discover the Inuktitut word. This is the reason why he came up with a translation himself: hills that sunk.