Piet Slegers

Landscape project with floating form (1982, steel, stone)
Cobbenhagen Building

Piet Slegers - Landschapsproject met drijfvorm (1982, staal, steen)

In the campus landscape on the east side of Cobbenhagen Building is an elongated pond divided in two by a narrow path. That austere water feature and the natural environment are connected by a sculpture, made of stone and stainless steel. The sculpture was placed in 1982 and is by the hand of artist Piet Slegers (1923-2016). The work was donated by the Tilburg Municipality, on the occasion of the 55th anniversary of the university—which was then called Katholieke Hogeschool Tilburg.

Slegers (who attended the art academy in Arnhem) was engaged in land art and was, what was often called at the time, an environmental artist. The elements often play an important role in his work and his main theme is the relationship between nature and culture. The sculpture he designed for the campus aims to make a connection between the land and the water, in this case by having an elongated form of steel and stone rise from the landscape and extend it into the pond where the form then seems to float, rather than emerge from the earth. The light shining on the work makes it appear tenuous and transparent, and this impression is reinforced by the reflection of the light in the water.

It is a unique sculpture, remotely reminiscent of a work of art that Slegers submitted in 1979 for the exhibition Dutch sculpture at the Dutch Embassy in the then German capital of Bonn. That same year, the artwork was displayed in the sculpture park of the Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo, which later purchased it as well. 1982)

The relationship between nature and culture is a theme that recurs in several works on campus and can often be traced to a classic adage: natura artis magistra. Nature as the teacher of the arts, but also those other arts: the sciences.

More about history and academic heritage

The Tilburg University academic heritage is a very diverse set of archives, visual materials, collections, devices, recorded stories, et cetera that relate to the history of the university.