welcome... ...stranger
Sarah van Sonsbeeck: Keep up the good work!

Sarah van Sonsbeeck, Keep Up the Good Work!, install Artvark/Tom Jaspers, photo: Gert Jan van Rooij

Sarah van Sonsbeeck argues that your home extends beyond your house. For Welcome Stranger, she focuses on her view. By way of sunlight reflecting off the windows of the Benno Premsela building opposite to her - a municipal monument occupied by the Hogeschool van Amsterdam - the neighbours across the street send her a message in

morse code: ‘Keep up the good work!’ Capturing this fleeting moment, she extends the encouragement it gives her by sharing the message with the many passers-by on Spinozastraat and the neighbouring Wibautstraat, telling everyone to take heart.

In her work, Sarah van Sonsbeeck collects personal experiences and situations related to her relationship with other people and the world around her. For instance, she once wrote a letter to the neighbours about the noise coming into her house through the walls. Her work is two-sided: on the one hand, she tries to define, defend and expand private space; on the other, she simultaneously shows the impossibility and perhaps undesirability of being completely cut off from the world.

‘I believe your home is your head. For me, art can originate anywhere and a house is a portrait of its occupant. In this, the view fascinates me as a special part of the interior. Many people know what their view looks like better than their facade and are disturbed when something in their view is changed. But who owns that view?’


Sarah Van Sonsbeeck (°1976) studied architecture at TU Delft (MA) and did a bachelor of fine arts at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy. From 2008 to 2009, she was one of the residents at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam. Her work has been shown at Annet Gelink Gallery, Amsterdam (2017 & 2013); the Nederlandsche Bank, Amsterdam (2013); Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam (2013); Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (2012); Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach (2011); De Paviljoens, Almere (2009), Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2009) and the Kröller Müller Museum (2023), among others.

‘The sun is so big we can’t actually imagine it, it makes all life on earth possible but only because of the exact distance at which it stands; closer or further away and we would not be here.’

Since 2020, Welcome Stranger has invited several Amsterdam based artists to make new, temporary artworks on the facades of their homes. In doing so, they are revealing something personal in public space within their own neighborhood. The facades create an environment for new observations, where every passer-by is welcome to experience strange encounters through different parts of the city.

More info you will find here or via the map below.