Can art save lifes? Installation art as suicide prevention at Dijklander hospital Hoorn


Hoorn 2018 – Can art save lifes? Commissioned by the Dijklander hospital in Hoorn, Tijs Rooijakkers created three edge protectors for a big parking garage. This project was a major challenge because the artwork actually has an application, namely securing the edge. It has considerably broadened my gaze in seeing possibilities in the applicability of art in the public space. And it tastes like more!


National Agenda Suicide Prevention 113

The new national agenda 2021-2025 of 113 Suicide Prevention and many partners has been established at the end of 2020. Safe buildings are high on that agenda. We know that the built environment can form a suicide risk. But we also know that wise design and use of buildings can greatly improve safety, both in mental health care, and in public and semi-public buildings such as museums, libraries and hospitals.


Life saving art

In the past I have already made some fall protection. As a visual artist, I think it is very interesting to think along how we can make large open and high spaces safer and provide an intervention that occurs or falling. Not only pure practical – the disadvantage of this is that people are confronted with it. I stand for an approach that prevents and makes the space more pleasant. People who are suicidal are ambivalent in their death wish until the very last moment. Art can help them get them out of their tunnel and seek help.


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Commissioned by: Westfriesgasthuis, Hoorn
Project manager: Mart van Cleef
Technical designer: AVM design
Contractor: Jan Kuipers