The city of Antwerp commissioned local street artist Joachim to paint two walls located in the Diamond district. The theme suggested to Joachim for the murals was of course Diamonds, however the more Joachim read up on Diamonds he felt he wanted to explore other directions.
“I decided to paint two animals inspired by cave drawings, essentially the first art made by humans! One of the mediums used for ancient cave drawings was charcoal, which consists of carbon. Diamonds, put simply, is carbon that is put under enormous heat and pressure and goes through a process over millions of years, until it becomes a sparkling diamond… so you could say that primitive people used diamonds to make their drawings! this way the link with the diamond is still there.” Joachim
Joachim wanted the Antwerp project to involve the local community and turn his art commission into a social project involving the neighbourhood.
“I came up with the idea of inviting children from two local schools, one of which was a Jewish school as the murals were in the Jewish community. I asked them to colour in the animals with their handprints, just as the primeval people often used their hands to make drawings, so that way everything came together.” Joachim
“Also in Antwerp we have a local special cookie, in the shape of a hand. It’s very famous and is dubbed ‘the Antwerp hand’, it just so happens that it was a Jewish baker who invented that cookie! So because the murals are located in the middle of the Jewish quarter, I feel that this was a nice coincidence.” Joachim
“I was very warmly welcomed in the neighbourhood, the people showed a lot of interest, the reactions were all positive and the Jewish butcher a little further down the street brought me coffee every day!” Joachim
Photo Credit Joachim