Olivia Sophie van Leeuwen is a partner at Halal and head of the documentary film department, Halal Docs. Halal is an established Amsterdam based film production company & photography agency with a big creative team, connected to people and networks all across the world
At the end of tramline 7 and 14 there is a huge bridge on concrete pillars. These pillars are one of the few places in Amsterdam where it’s legal to spray graffiti. My work is very much influenced by graffiti, so I love to come here and see what’s going on. It’s a very dynamic place, so one day it can be awful and the next day amazing but it’s never boring.
The fence around De Nederlandsche Bank on the Frederiksplein is a true optical experience. While passing the building, a rhythmic, dynamic pattern appears and disappears in the trellis of the fence. The figures on the sides of the rails were designed in 1992 by artist Peter Struycken, a pioneer in the area of environmental art and generating computer-program based image, light and colour compositions.
Surrounded by the growing business area of Amsterdam Zuid, this modernist historic monument from the 60's oozes freedom. The clash of strict, grey, practical architecture of Gerrit Rietveld with the chaotic, colourful, anarchic bustle of art students working in these spaces is amazing. The 5 years I spend here as a student changed my life and shaped me to a great extend to who I am today. Now, temporarily walking these corridors again as a guest teacher, I realise how much I had missed this place since graduating 8 years ago. This is not a common art school. It's a family, a movement with a very personal and radical approach. Many students coming for a temporary exchange end up staying, because after wandering through this twisted Mondrian painting you will never be the same…