LATEST UPDATE : Februari 13th, 2010

2008.12.01 In the evening I pack a package. It's a box that is going to make a very long journey, from Utrecht to Uruzgan.
The box contains amoungst other things my latest piece of
wild art "STRANGE FISH". 

What is Wild Art? Well, Wild Art is fun and adventure. The formula is very simple: take a painting, place it in a public
space or send it to a friend, write a small manual on the
back of the painting, say goodbye and wait what happens!

This time the project is extra adventurous for I sent it straight
to Kamp Holland. What will happen to the strange fish, so
far away in Afghanistan with soldiers that stay in the dessert
for months?


2008.12.15 A small message on my hyves page on internet acknowledges receipt of the fish in Kamp Holland.

Major DJ sends a picture, showing the fish on the wall of his room. What will happen next? I am so curious !

Questions that pop up are:
- what is the function of art in a war zone?
- is art consiliating?
- does this fish have a future in the dessert?
- how will the fish spend Christmas?
- who will have the honor of being the next (temporary)
- will the fish ever return to the place where he was created?
- what about the fish and the dust?

I hope I will receive some answers in the next couple of months!


2008.12.16 Sooooo funny! Take a good look at the photo! The fish is decorating one of the Aghaan trucks! Today, the fish
had an exclusive guided tour over the camp site. Amazing
how many spots the fish visited. I didn't like the sight
 of my little fish laying behind the dixie, but I know I can't complain.

Major Dik-Jan wrote:
"Yesterday I received art. A "Strange fish' of a painting artist
from Amersfoort. Although the beach is very large over here,
I haven't been able to find the sea shore, but did find a fish
that drifted ashore. Amazing! How is this possible? The formula of wild art, is that someone who finds the piece of art,
gives it a temporary shelter. Above all, the finder has to write an e-mail message to the artist and has to send a photo so the artist
can track the painting during the journey it makes around
the world. After a while, the finder has to forward the painting to someone else, or leave it in a public space so somebody
else can find it...etc.etc.etc.

The artist from Amersfoort already threatened to send me this wild art, but I never imagined to actually receive it overhere in
Tarin Kowt.
Today, I took the fish for a tour around to confront it with the art on this base. "Is there any art on that site? I hear
you think? Yes there is!  If one is creative and thinks out of the box, one will meet art over here!

The pictures of the fish in different spots show all kinds of art objects like the truck, the chemical toilet, the sea containers,
the waste bin or the wheelbarrow with bullets,

Dear artist, you can be satisfied with the art your piece of art encountered. Tonight it will stay in my armoured home with Christmas lights,
but tomorrow I will forward the painting to someone else. Hopefully the fish won't be swimming in the
shit pit (we do have one over here).

Serious incidents happened here (you might have heard the in the media, so the fun part is over for now).

2008.12.25 Major Dik-Jan sends another message: I handed
the fish over to A female collegue. She will soon send you a message with the new whereabouts of the fish.

2008.12.30 Dutch Newspaper Volkskrant publishes an article about the journey so far.

2009.01.03 At 17:51 hours I receive an e-mail message from Kamp Holland, this time from Emmelie, who works as an
assistent manager in the ECHOS home "The Wind Mill".
Emmelie writes:

"Hallo Anja! Here some pictures of your lovely painting in Afghanistan. It decorates the wall of our ECHOS Home over Christmas
(behind the tree) where I am sure it's having a great time. Next week I will give it to some Aussie's to take it with them to Australia.
I hope they do continue the project. Kind regards from Tarin Kowt! Emmelie

2009.01.08 Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad interviews the artist.

That same evening Radio Roulette FM broadcasts an interview with the painter. Click the link and go to 14:15 minutes
after the start of the programme to here the interview Campusradio.


2009.04.01 Finally, after months I receive a new message about the strange fish. It's from Colin, Australia:


My name is Colin and I live in Sydney, Australia. I was sent "Strange Fish" by my friend Emmelie who I met in
Afghanistan a couple of years ago. Once I take some more pictures of it in a few other places here I plan to
forward it on to my friend in Baucau, East Timor.........At the end of it's journey this will be one well travelled piece of art.

The attached photos are from the Blue Mountains which lie about 2 hours west of Sydney. The Blue Mountains
reach a height of 1100m, and have been given their name due to the blue haze that hovered above the mountains
produced by the oil from the Eucalyptus trees. It's a really nice part of NSW and very popular with tourists both
Australian and overseas."


2009.04.05 Again I receive great news from Colin. It's so funny!

MEET The Newcastle Digger's Swimming Club.
They are a club that started as purely WW2 veterans in 1966 and were joined by a few Vietnam, and more recently East Timor and Afghanistan, veterans; however, with the march of time their original numbers have dwindled but luckily the influx of non-veterans have bolstered them. My father, a Vietnam Veteran, has been swimming with them since 1971 and we (my two brothers and I) started out as the first kids swimming with them in 1981, but today we swim as veterans/servicemen in our own right. Today was the Form Strokes (breast stroke, butterfly etc) Championships swim and "Strange Fish" came along but unfortunately couldn't get off the blocks.....

My reaction to Colin:

HAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHHA Great pictures Colin ! I couldnít stop laughing. Youíre the best ! I thought nothing could beat the strange fish in Uruzgan, but you just proved that possible. Especially the veterans, adopting my fish (which of course is a little bit yours as well) is a great picture!

Really unbelievable the fish couldnít get off the blocks. Might he have developed a fear of water whilst eating dust in the Afghaan dessert? Or maybe he isnít water proof (please donít try).

I can't wait to hear from you again!


2009.04.08 Colin took the fish to the beach, which was really a nice thing. He wrote:

Just some pictures of some of the beaches at Newcastle from the weekend. The fish looks like it was enjoying itself.....

Newcastle is located on the eastern seaboard of Australia at the mouth of the Hunter River. Founded as a penal colony
coal deposits quickly led to Newcastle becoming a shipping and commercial centre by the 1860s. Industrialisation
increased after iron and steel mills were built in 1915. Newcastle today is a modern thriving centre and is Australia's
sixth most populated city and the port is the largest coal port in the World. Built around a large working harbour,
Newcastle boasts a famous university, ten magnificent beaches and picturesque parks offering ample recreational
opportunities including surfing, beach fishing and swimming in the fabled Ocean Baths.

Hope you like these.

My reaction to Colin: "YES Colin, I do like your photo's!"


2009.04.21 : What do we know about Patong Beach?

Well, I have visited Patong beach a long time ago, in 1990 with my former boyfriend who unfortunately
isn't amongst us anymore. It is one of the oldest tourist resorts on Phuket, Thailand. And in 2005
Patong Beach got hit by a tsunami. It was and still is a beautiful resort where 'the strange fish' decided
to take a holiday. And as we can see, it is taking a well earned rest. A single bed won't do, no this fish
sleeps in a triple bed, has its own sun chair with refreshing mineral water but also likes a beer every
now and then in one of the beach clubs. The fish travelled with Colin, our Australian host, who has
been taking real good care of the strange fish for several weeks now.

Colin writes:
G'day Anja, Well "Strange Fish" recently returned from a 10-day trip to Patong Beach, Thailand.
Seemed to have a thing for Tiger Beer.
I have attached a few pictures of the fish on holidays for you.
Hope you like them. Regards, Colin

Again we have to conclude: you have been a great host ! Anxious to hear from the
next adventure, Kind regards, Anja

2009.08.18 Meet Plonker! Plonker is not some criminal, but decided to cover his face on the photo. That's his full right! Plonker climbed Mount Ramelau on East Timor.

Plonker's email message didn't receive me, but fortunately Colin also received a message. Colin writes:

G'day Anja,

I passed Strange Fish onto my mate Plonker who is attached to Falintil - Forsa Defesa Timor Leste (essentially East Timor Defence Force) at Baucau East Timor.

He forwarded me this picture and was going to send it through to you. I checked your website and didn't see it so I thought I would send you the picture just in case.

I have also provided a little backgound about Baucau for you:

Baucau District is situated 129 kilometres east of Dili and is the second largest district in Timor Leste with a population of 104, 571.
Formerly an administrative and trading centre under the Portuguese, Baucau town is the second largest city after Dili, with a population of approximately 16,000. Baucau is also a major religious centre and the home of the Bishop Basilio Nascimento,
a legendary Timorese regional and national leader. The town of Baucau has the country's largest airport as well as a major port facility.
The architecture in Baucau reflects the colonial period of the Portuguese as well as the era of the Indonesian occupation.
Sadly, during reprisals following the 1999 referendum for independence, much of Baucau's basic infrastructure and assets
were destroyed as many buildings and schools were looted, damaged and burnt.

He (Plonker) has more photos planned to be taken before the little fella is passed onto the Seppos.  Hope you're having a great day.

Regards, Colin

Thank you so much Colin! And Plonker: do send more pictures, will you?  Kind regards, Anja


2010.02.13 - The United States of America !

Our little friend is already travelling the world for over a year. Much to my surprise today I received this small chat message on my Facebookpage, stating the American Navy brought our little friend to a new continent.

Who'd expected this?

  2013.10.19 - Timor Leste