April 7 - May 8

Open sat-sun 13-17

Free entrance



Ode to Home

The Chronicle of Overschild





In 2016 the quiet village of Overschild became front page news.

Three-quarters of the homes in the surrounding area needed to be demolished due to earthquake damage caused by gas extraction. 

The consequences are dramatic. Overschild, which sits ten kilometers away from Europe's largest gas field, and where eighty percent of the one hundred and eighty homes had suffered enough earthquake damage to have been condemned to demolition. eighty ht percent of the homes were needed to be demolished, then rebuilt. In the surrounding area, where approximately half of the Overschild population resides, the situation has been unclear. For the last five years no one has known what to expect.

Over recent years, the 'Schildjers" have been lost in a morass of measures, budgets, constantly-changing rules, and uncercertainties. Literally and figuratively, the residents have lost the ground under their feet.

Longtime residents, including many who have lived in Overschild all their lives, have been forced to leave their homes due to safety considerations. Since 2019, Gus Drake spent  time with the families,  listening to their stories, their experiences - learning that their homes were not just replaceable bricks and material, buildings that could just be rebuilt. The memories held within those homes couldn’t just be packed into a suitcase and relocated. Home, and the feelings that live within it - dreams and desires, familiarity, trust, love: this is what they were leaving behind.

'Ode to Home' offers a glimpse of what 'home means to these families. The visitors enter a time capsule of these memories. These images offer a window into the soul of their homes. 

Ode to Home is on display at Meerweg 6 in Overschild, the former home from Gert and Ellen De Vries, who have been living there previously for thirty years. Photographs intertwine with conversations that Gus Drake recorded with the families. The home of Meerweg 6 acts as something of a central nervous system for the memories from the families living on the Meerweg.

Ode to Home is, in a sense, a 'letting go'- an attempt to process the material loss and the memories left behind. The day after the exhibition closes, the house will be demolished, including all contents, and exhibited images.

In the book 'Kroniek van Overschild*, author Martin Hillenga writes: "A house is more than a pile of stones." A house is a storehouse of memories and often bears visible traces of these memories: a difficult renovation; a nursery that grew up along with a daughter or son; the 'growth lines' scratched into the paint of a door frame; the creaking of that one step; the memories of a beloved pet buried in the garden. 'Chronicle of Overschild' paints a penetrating picture of what is wiped out by this demolition, this tragedy. The book (with photos by Gus Drake) is available at the 'Ode to Home' exhibition.


Gus Drake

Gus Drake (1995) is an Amsterdam-based visual artist with a deep love for Groningen. He graduated from the Royal Academy of Art in the Hague in 2022.His work focuses on the relationship of people to their environment, revealing new perspectives on contemporary consumer culture. In this way, his work attempts to contribute to cultural and ecological issues regarding the collective heritage of the landscape.