Coming from Groningen by boat, one must pass the lock in Eelde to enter the province of Drenthe. On either side of the northern entrance, two stately human sculptures made of solid steel stand on the outer pillars of the lock. Directly opposite each other, arms close to their bodies, they look straight ahead and seem to wait for the ships that will pass the lock. Like two gatekeepers, the sculptures guard the ships that pass by over the canal. Despite their human scale, the sculptures remind us of large mythological guards from ancient times.
These associations are enhanced by the miniature vessels that are ‘sailing’ over the bodies of the guards. Small ships are attached to the figures’ neck, chest, back, arms and legs. For the passengers who sail between the sculptures, passing the lock is not just a practical activity; they are reminded that traveling is also an inner adventure, a rite of passage.