A flower carpet for Antwerp

Position Paper | Year 2016
A flower carpet for Antwerp
Class of the Arts


This position paper is not a direct stance regarding the cultural policy in our country. It is in the first place the presentation of a work of art in the capacity of a viewpoint. The work of art itself, the flower carpet realized by Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven in 2015 on the Antwerp market square, is presented and interpreted as a stance regarding its urban and societal context. Contrary to the usual Flemish flower carpets, the Antwerp one was in no way a pastiche of an oriental carpet, executed with cut flowers. It was an original modern painting made of living flowers en herbs. The enormous painting showed a dynamic whirling of bright, mutually contrasting colour planes hovering around the Brabo statue. The colour planes themselves consisted in an interweaving of different colours which reinforced each other by their very contrast. Carried out with living material, the clustering of the vivid colour planes evoked the image of a city plan, the plan of a multicoloured city whose districts and neighbourhoods, though manifestly different, constitute a dynamic harmony: unity in diversity based on
complementary contrast and mutual receptivity of each other’s carpet embodied an optimistic view of the city. It offered a cheerful image of urban society, partly utopian, partly a picture of the already existing situation.It conferred a new, exhilarating meaning to the ‘flower power’ concept of the sixties.

Available documents


  • Francis Strauven
  • Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven