Roel Teeuwen

Nature-Culture (1982, concrete)
Interior garden former Prisma Building

Roel Teeuwen - Natuur-cultuur (1982)

In the early 1980s, the then-called "social cluster" was built, the new home for the School of Social Sciences. Architect Geerts van Kraaijvanger architecten placed a patio in the lower part of the building. You come across such a courtyard garden more often on campus; Cobbenhagen Building, the building of TIAS Business School and CUBE also have courtyard gardens. They refer to monastery gardens and to the inner gardens of classical antiquity, places where people studied and philosophized.

For that courtyard garden, sculptor Roel Teeuwen (b. 1945) designed a sculpture consisting of concrete elements that are organic in form. The sculpture was given the title Nature-Culture and it is an excellent example of the work Teeuwen created for many public spaces at home and abroad. In his own words: "From a language of form derived from nature, we search for generally applicable principles of organic design. These general principles lead to archetypes, primal principles of design, which you encounter in the most diverse forms of life and in which both visual and tactile elements are essential. As a result of this general validity, you encounter these pictorial signs in all cultures, where, as a result of their function, they always carry a different meaning. From their origin, these forms become, beyond all cultural determinacy, symbols of connection of humankind with earth."

The work was given a place in front of Academia Building because it fits in well with the university's collection, where the relationship between nature and culture is addressed in several ways. This is partly because many of the artworks in public spaces are inspired by this relationship, and partly because it can be traced back to a classic adage that has lost none of its significance: Natura Artis Magistra. Nature as the teacher of the arts and sciences.

In 2021, the work will be moved to the courtyard of former Prisma Building.

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.