Standvastige dame/Fiere vrouw
De Bockstraat, Den Haag
52.065203535361, 4.3016468764435 View on map
There is a proud female figure on the little square of De Bockstraat. At least, if you look through your eyelashes at the soft yellow ceramic figure with a little imagination. She stands with her arms crossed. Standing firmly and sturdily, leaning forward a little. As if she is bending with something, but stays upright herself. This is how sculptor Peter van Loon wanted to characterise the strength of two women who once introduced the phenomenon of nightwalking to the Schilderswijk neighbourhood.
The ladies in question are Janny Lispet and Ellie Houweling. They joined forces in 1992. The Schilderswijk, where they had lived for many years, was in danger of becoming run-down. In order to make the neighbourhood liveable again, they came up with the plan to walk around at night, together with their neighbours, to track down junkies, dealers and troublemakers. If they came across anything that could not be tolerated, they would call in the neighbourhood police.
Lispet and Houweling's night-time prevention approach was so successful that it was adopted by other neighbourhoods in Europe. They even received a royal award for it. They had previously been awarded the Hein Roethof Prize (2001), a prize for the best crime prevention project.
To underline the importance of the ladies of the night prevention for the Schilderswijk, the Stichting Kunst in Beeld commissioned Van Loon to make a tribute to them. Although he is increasingly concentrating on his music machines, the material and formal language for this statue is recognisable from the abstract ceramic objects he has made elsewhere in The Hague. Like at the children's farm on Tivolistraat.
Of course, the statue was placed opposite the building of the Night Watch on De Bockstraat. Even though new houses have been built here in the meantime, the proud woman herself still stands firm.