Letters of Utrecht - Doug Johnson

Here's three new photos from my "Hands" project.


The first photo shows an old guy (note the tips of his scraggly, white, tummy-touching beard) making coasters/ornaments (2€ each or 3 for 5€) from empty soda cans.


The second shows a fishmonger serving up a handful of just-caught sardines.


The third turned out to be a lot more interesting than I expected. I was walking along the Oudegracht ("old canal") in Utrecht when I saw this guy meticulously incising the letter 'R' on a paving stone -- a no-brainer for my "Hands" project. I stopped to ask permission and while I was taking pictures, a young girl handed me a leaflet that (I assumed) explained what he was doing. Since I know hardly any Dutch, I noted the web address, planning to read the Google translation sometime later.


Turns out, I had stumbled upon the "Letters of Utrecht" -- an evolving poem, carved in stone, one stone per week, one letter per stone. Every Saturday, the reigning poet reveals the next letter to a volunteer stonemason who chisels and sets the stone -- slowly creating a work of art for future generations, five meters per year, three years per sentence, decades per verse. How cool is that!


Soda Cans

Soda Can Crafts

Sardines

Fish Monger

Letters of Utrecht

The Letters of Utrecht
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