300 heroes from six different cities in Brabant are highlighted in the Heroic Chain project. Joshua van Iersel has the honor of honoring the 50 heroes from Eindhoven.
One may visit the Heroic Chain in Roosendaal, Tilburg, Breda, Den Bosch, Helmond, and Eindhoven. It is a project of Het Zuidelijk Toneel. They commissioned young artists in the cities of Brabant to make fifty portraits. In this way, 300 modern-day heroes are given a place in their own theater throughout North Brabant.
Although, the heroes in the exhibition are normally less visible, but all have a positive influence on the city in their own way. Joshua has portrayed, amongst others, former mayor Rob van Gijzel, city poet Iris Penning, night mayor Siem Nozza and designer BCY Marques.
“It’s about small acts of heroism that keep the society going,” Van Iersel says. “They themselves don’t always realize that they are so important. They just do their thing.”
He has chosen Siem Nozza for his night mayor status. “As night mayor, he ensures a diverse and successful nightlife,” Van Iersel begins.
“It’s very cool to see your life in one square meter. I myself never really gave much thought to what I’m doing,” says the night mayor.
Joshua has also captured BCY Marques’ life story. As a 12-year-old boy, he came to the Netherlands from Mozambique. Dancing and painting were an outlet for him, but he wanted to do more. He combined his love for art with his own clothing brand Steven Blanco. “With my hand-painted shirts and bags, I want to show that art is for everyone. Age, gender, culture, race, those do not matter,” Marques says.
In the portraits, Joshua uses paint that reacts to black light, because Eindhoven is, of course, the city of light. The exhibition is free to visit and shall run until December 2021 in the Park Theatre.
Translation: Chaitali Sengupta. She also gives online INBURGERING classes.