Sint-Pieters-Leeuw teamed up with artist collective Treepack to realize two monumental murals. They in turn called in artists Simon Mannaerts and Toon Van Ishoven to create a work of art in Ruisbroek and Negenmanneke. Over the past few weeks, Sint-Pieters-Leeuw has been brightened up with art in the public space to impress you. Central to this is the focus on the future of young people and the role they play in the growing society of the Flemish suburbs.
After the municipality of Sint-Pieters-Leeuw presented the idea to Treepack in 2021 to brighten up the outside wall of the Sint-Stevensschool Negenmanneke with street art, a unique design was developed called ‘Packed for the Future’. Sustainability, mobility and the future are what it’s all about. After enthusiastic approval from the mayor and the local school board, artist Toon Van Ishoven set to work on this challenging project.
The striking blue backpack symbolizes the school as a place where ‘luggage’ can be acquired and where knowledge plus experiences are acquired that arm children for the future. The paper airplanes that fly out of the bag, with playful children’s drawings on them, seem to blend in completely with the environment. A key ring is attached to the backpack that refers to the ‘Negenmannekes’ coin, which is well known in the municipality. In this way an interesting overlap of the past and the present forms. The future, growth and nature are evoked in the form of a large sunflower growing out of the backpack. By using the hook on which the school bag hangs and the effect with drop shadows from below, the whole comes across as spatial and hyper-realistic.
Toon Van Ishoven is a multimedia artist who has found his passion creating stylish murals. Especially in the open air, he takes on the challenge of creating fantastic works and thus taking off as one of the more successful Belgian muralists. “I love to start painting again and again,” says Toon van Ishoven.
School director Kathy Vanlinthout is also wildly enthusiastic about the new painting on her facade. “As a school, we are grateful that our wall was chosen by the municipality as one of the Street-Art locations. We think the design is very successful and we are full of praise for the implementation by Treepack and Toon Van Ishoven. The large, yellow sunflower radiates warmth and that is exactly what we as a school want to be: a warm school where children can feel at home and where they receive the necessary baggage for the future! This mural is also the start of the school year and a number of renovations at the school.”
Children of the future.
In addition to the impressive statue in St-Stevensschool, a second facade was decorated with a beautiful mural. The young artist Simon Mannaerts took up the challenge to create an activating and connecting design that encourages children and young people to take on the many challenges of the future.
The future, sustainability and mobility are central to this artwork by Simon Mannaerts. In addition to the clear visualization by means of the bicycle as a means of transport, the sustainable character is translated by our youth.
Youth is the personification of the future and the challenges facing future generations. But the childish fantasy can be an added value here. Young people are full of inventive ideas and motivation to make their environment a pleasant, safe and solidarity place. This fantasy and innovation is illustrated by using abstract round areas of color (the sun, bicycle wheel, fantasy/brain of the child) that radiate positivity.
The bicycle is centrally located. This is to clearly show the efforts made by the local government in Ruisbroek to make the central axis Fabriekstraat/Karel Gilsonstraat safer for traffic, and by extension the whole of Ruisbroek. Due to the proximity of the school Jan Ruusbroec (and Wegwijzer) it was chosen to depict a child.
Jan Desmeth, mayor and responsible for culture, took the initiative to work out a street art project together with Treepack. “With the first phase of this street art project, we want to achieve three objectives: to brighten up the street scene, offer culture and give a message. The first two locations were chosen in the center of Ruisbroek and the Negenmanneke district. I am quite satisfied with the very successful end results. It will certainly prompt us to think about the next step soon.” According to mayor Jan Desmeth.
The mural in Ruisbroek will be officially inaugurated by the mayor on Tuesday 6 September at 1:00 PM. The inauguration in Sint-Stevensschool will follow at 3:00 PM, followed by a drink and snack. All local residents, journalists and enthusiasts are welcome to attend the festivities. Additional information about the project can be obtained from artist collective Treepack.
Treepack is specialized in decorating public spaces. In recent years, they transformed numerous buildings and public places with murals and street art, into beautiful works of art. More and more they use the power of current themes to create accessible art for a wide audience.