Timeless, art photograph Urbex, Wil Westerweel, Zwolle, 60 x 60 cm. Bought at the exhibition De schoonheid van het verval (The Beauty of the Decline), July 12 – September 23, 2016, in the Castle Zeist.
Plaats: Sinteranlage, fabriek in Essen, Duitsland. Beelddrager: dibond met epoxy. Hdr-foto geprint op Epson Premium fotopapier. Bewerking: Photomatix en Photoshop. Beperkte oplage: maximaal worden 8 foto’s afgedrukt.
Photography Urbex is an art form that is rising strongly. It is a specialty of Wil Westerweel. He visited in total some 450 locations in the country and abroad to take his shots. Mostly empty buildings, in which in the mean time decline has set in, such as monasteries, industrial plants or hangars, but also car wracks in the field or a locomotive ready for demolition. His concern thereby is to make that one unique photograph. Entering forbidden spaces, the so-called “forbidden places”, gave him thereby an extra stimulating adrenaline kick. By the way, he never committed burglary or did any thing untoward. The unwritten rule in the world of Urbex photography then is also: “Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints”.
William Adrian of Orange-Nassau (1632-1705), grandson of Prince Maurits and count of Nassau-Odijk, was the first baron of Zeist en built the castle with pleasure garden, architect Daniel Marot, in the style of the Dutch Classicism, after Palladio. Went to the Evangelical Brother Community or Hernhutters. They built on the terrain in front of the castle a square with a sister- en brother wing. This has been rented out systematically from 1808 to 1880. Then Baron Huydecoper of Maarsseveen bought and restored it in the Empire style but with a French landscape garden. Occupied by owners and renters they finally fell in disrepair and were going to be demolished.
It was bought by the town of Zeist, originally exclusively for cultural purposes, and they are still the owners. Later several town commissions and offices occupied it. Occupied by the Germans in the World War II, then prison for political prisoners and home for the Canadian military entertainment commission. In 1957 it was restored under the guidance of Jan Ruys and renovated again in 1906. After that renovation it was completely freshened up and adapted to modern insights of security and present day usage.
Now it is under the management of the family Ruys and has a restaurant, a theatre and yearly events.