A Giant Sculpture designed by Gijs Van Vaerenbergh, marks the highest point of the ‘Hoge Mouw’ nature reserve in Belgium, and connects with the natural and cultural history of the region.
A varied landscape with coniferous forests on sandy soil, with moors, fens, open sand drifts, hollow roads and streams. This unique nature reserve is rich in mystical stories dating back to pre-Christian cultures. Gijs Van Vaerenbergh placed A Giant Sculpture on the highest point of the ridge, on the 30-metre high land dune of the Hoge Mouw.
The works is conceived as a faceted head, yet its shape also reminds of a dome. It is made up of 2115 welded 6 mm-thick metal triangles. In a number of spots, pieces have been left out, making it possible to enter the hollow space of the sculpture on one side. The colossus measures 6x5x3 meters and weighs about 2 tons. Despite its size, the sculpture does not reveal itself straight away. From the forest, the visitor enters the open, sunken spot where the monumental head lies. The head, appearing as if it has just been uncovered while the rest of the body remains hidden under the surface, rises from the parabola dune like a vestige of ancient times. Its face has the classical features of goddesses found in Greek sculpture, and is also reminiscent of excavated fragments of ancient sculptures of gigantic dimensions.
The work is exemplary of Gijs Van Vaerenbergh’s characteristic play with meaning; whether in an art-historical respect, or as an allusion to the site-specific stories that are rooted in the extraordinary nature of the place. The placement of this new, uncanny element furthers the mythicalisation of this very particular landscape.