Vissen is a long-running art project of Maroeska Metz. Starting in her late 20s as Visgezichten, she discovered her passion for making fish from old lead that had been used as roofing material for buildings.

‘Material reuse’

Today, we are not surprised when artists use waste materials to create art. Sustainability and the increasing awareness of material life cycles make the use of waste a political statement. When Maroeska started her project, however, it was not a political statement, but rather a love for weathered material.

She started with a series of about 25 lead fish in the 1980’s. As of March 2023 she has taken up production again and has already made over 100+ new fish.


The documentation for the fish consists of an elegant elongated paper box containing a story by the artist Maroeska. In addition, there are about 50 cards printed on both sides with a selection of the lead fish images from the collection.


How are the lead fish made? First, the body is made from waste wood. Then there is a shape cut out of the lead. The tail and fins are modeled and finally the glass eye makes the fish come to life.

‘Seeing a fish in the lead’

Maroeska does not think in advance what the fish will look like. She is inspired in the moment by the material itself. She looks at old lead and suddenly sees a fish. From than image she continues.

Making off movie

How is a lead fish made and what does Maroeska think about fishing? Check the video to see how lead fish are made.

‘Each fish is unique’

The fish are made of waste wood covered with old roof lead due to erosion, each piece of lead has been given its own drawing, each fish is unique.

Vissen is an independent art project and a collaboration between Maroeska Metz and her daughter Mimi Oldenhave.

Mimi: production _ photo editing _video_design.

Maroeska: artist _ concept development _ design.