We may have all come on different ships but we are in the same boat now | Sarah van Sonsbeeck, 2017

Arts and heritage
Artist Sarah van Sonsbeeck covered the floor of the Oude Kerk with 333 golden life blankets. All the gold brought a warm glow to the Oude Kerk. In a way, that glow is at home there; for centuries, monstrances and altarpieces coloured the building gold and thrilled people. With the installation, however, Van Sonsbeeck brought about something else. It brought back the Oude Kerk's interconnectedness with the sea and linked it to the current issue of migration. In its early days, the Oude Kerk was a harbour church where ships were baptised, where prayers were said for safe return home and where numerous sailors and socalled sea heroes found their final resting place. The subtle yet poignant gesture of the many rescue blankets brought the refugee issue close and palpable. Media images regularly show refugees wrapped in gold, as abstracted forms, after a terrible crossing at sea. It is precisely on this golden, protective material, both garish and wafer-thin, that Van Sonsbeeck wanted to reflect in the Oude Kerk, an ancient building that also originally provided protection and housing.