Material – Spray paint on concrete
Year – 2016
Photography – Edwin Wiekens
Video – Stein de Bont
This triple railway underpass connects the city center and the Belcrum district, known for it’s residential area and former industrial side. The river Mark runs through the center underpass giving way to small boats heading for the city marina. On the Belcrumweg there are underpasses for cars, cyclists and pedestrians. Here every day thousands of people pass on their way to the city. The other site is called Markkade. This quay is far less busy nowadays, as factories it led to have all closed.
Back in 1776 -when the city was still small- this entire area was still a polder and home to lots of birds. In 1855 the first Breda Railway station was build near the Markkade. The railway and river made the site a hotspot in the rise of the industrial revolution. From this period up to the late 1990’s many notorious factories, like Kwatta (chocolate) MOMO (limonade), Centrale Suiker Maatschappij (sugar refinery), Etna (stoves), Electron (mechanics), Backer & Rueb (steam engines), Hollandsche Kunstzijde Industrie (silk), were located in this area.
When the railway was extended to Tilburg in 1862 a bridge over the river Mark was build. In the 1920’s the polder next to the railway was turned into a residential area allowing workers to live close to factories. The streets were named after the birds chased away by the expansion. As both the city and railway use grew the current bridge was build in 1972.
In the twentieth century the railway marked the division between the ‘rich’ center of town and the ‘working class’ north. In recent years Belcrum turned into a hotspot. Young families live there next to theaters, exhibitions spaces, studios, skate hall, and even a beach in the old docks. The new station (opening September 2016) has two entrances; city and north have become equal.
To celebrate the new station renowned street artist Ben Eine (London, 1970) was invited to work on the underpass. Eine claims there is a clear distinction between graffiti and street art. To his opinion graffiti makes the streets ugly ,while street art beautifies it. He knows from experience as he had been tagging trains and walls since the age of 14.
At some point Eine felt existing graffiti artists were creating designs that were entirely similar and therefore lacked interest. He wanted to do something different. He was always interested in letters and how they could change shape when combined into words, so this is the direction he took.
Eine’s typographical works appear in Tokyo, New York, Los Angeles, Berlin and other metropolitan cities. For his mural in Breda he got inspiration from the old and vanished industry at the site. Instead of referring to history the words “Meaningful”, “Imagineer”, “Mesmerising”, “Storytelling” celebrate the present and future industry of Breda. The city is known as ‘City of Imagineers’ a home for many educational, cultural and commercial institutions in the creative industry.