News and events Tilburg University

Exhibition film-maker and photographer Godfrey van den Heuvel

Published: 12th March 2020 Last updated: 12th March 2020

On March 10, 2019, the Tilburg artist and teacher Godfrey van den Heuvel (1945) died. Part of his artistic legay has been made available to Tilburg University and will be on temporary display in the foyer of Cobbenhagen Building. The exhibition will be opened on Friday, March 20 at 15:30 hrs. by Rob van Hensberg, Secretary of the Executive Board.

Godfrey van den Heuvel was a versatile photographer and film-maker, educated in part at St. Joost’s in Breda, but in Tilburg he was best known as a teacher. He was one of the driving forces behind the Duvelhok (the devil’s shack), a former factory building which after its closure in 1968 had been transformed into an artists’ workshop that was also used for courses. Following a renovation, the building, managed by the Stichting Musische Vorming (the musical education foundation), was reopened on August 31, 1984. It was the day on which Godfrey van den Heuvel, one of the foundation’s leading figures, demonstrated his rhetorical skills to then Queen Beatrix.

Nature

His own photographic work was known only to a small circle of people: it was part of the highly regarded collection of the Tilburg art lending library, and was on display in several galleries in the 1980s. He also received a number of commissions for video projects and films. The photographic work on display at the university shows that Godfrey van den Heuvel had a predilection for nature. When he was older, he would frequently roam Moerenburg, the small nature reserve on the eastern fringe of the city, where he would take sober, subdued photographs that evince a keen sense for color, composition, and technique. The exhibition also features older, black-and-white photographs he took in France, of elderly men playing pétanque. He visited this country on numerous study trips, as he did Italy and Middle America.

Culture

It is a side of Godfrey van den Heuvel that is not widely known; the main interests of his professional career were teaching and the organizational aspects of cultural life. For example, he developed programs at FAXX, the platform for contemporary art, and he served on several consultative bodies, including the program committee of the municipal theater’s cultural center (Kultureel Sentrum). He also coordinated the graduation phase at Fontys School of Fine and Performing Arts, where he worked as a photography teacher until his retirement.

The exhibition is in the foyer of Cobbenhagen Building and runs from Friday, March 20 until Friday, June 19 (on weekdays). After its conclusion, the exhibited works will be included in the University’s internal lending collection.

opening Duvelhok 1984

Photograph: Godfrey van den Heuvel in 1984, with then Queen Beatrix at the reopening of the Duvelhok as a course location.

For more information: Pieter Siebers, p.h.c.siebers@tilburguniversity.edu.