‘Focus on community gardens’

By Jan-Carel Koster

‘Focus on community gardens’ project

“In the description below of the artwork to be created, as a Multi-dimensional sculptor I will express my vision of this sculpture, in which the fourth and fifth dimensions will play an important role in the imagination process of the artwork. The height, width and depth are logically depicted in the first 3 dimensions. The 4th dimension is the meaning behind this sculpture, with the 5th dimension being the deeper meaning of some elements in this work of art.

First, I would like to explain my interpretation of the assignment:”

Beeldhouwer Jan-Carel Koster - Focus op Volkstuinen 5

Plaque next to the artwork

The assignment

“My feeling about this assignment is that an important factor in the bigger picture is characterized by the Theme ‘Focus on Community Gardens’, but in my opinion there is much more than that behind it. Behind this theme, the connection and the natural aspect play a major role and I see this as a main condition to be reflected in the design. Of course there are more aspects that I will try to process and express in this sculpture. Or rather, I should say work of art, because this sculpture becomes a work of art, while a work of art is not always a sculpture. However, this one is both, partly because of the many aspects that I want to depict in this.”

1st sculpture (wood)

“In this first visible wooden sculpture of approximately 2 x 2 meters in diameter, not only a tree stump is initially visible. A kind of braid has been carved into this tree stump in an abstract and organic way. In this braid, man symbolizes one strand and nature symbolizes the other strand. Think of it as a kind of solar plexus that everyone carries within them. This solar plexus is the channel of energies between man and nature. My intention with this design is that this channeling of energies between humans and nature is experienced more consciously. People, not only here in Utrecht, but all gardeners who practice their hobby here will experience that a balance is found here (rather) to experience peace and tranquility. This happens through the channeling of energies between people and nature, which makes this hobby a way of life that is becoming increasingly popular among the population in 2014. They are consciously or unconsciously helped by energies that nature provides.”

“I not only want to use different materials in this sculpture to represent multifunctionality and connectedness, but I also want to show that everything around us is one. Everything is connected and is a logical consequence of the other. As you already indicated, to combine stone and wood and to combine and depict that connection. Of course it is very difficult to depict all the aspects you mentioned in this work of art. Yet this seems to me to be a nice challenge to incorporate multiple aspects and details. For that reason, in this design I have chosen to use a large stump of a tree as a base, with an abstract organic sculpture sculpted into it (1st wooden sculpture), whereby the roots of the stump are largely left intact. The tree is, as it were, a fallen (dead) tree that during its existence provided a home and protection for many kinds of animals, plants and organisms. Now that the tree has fallen and lived its life, it has once again taken on the function of housing many animals, plants and organisms, now only integrated into this work of art that was partly made by man (me in this case). In this way, Flora and Fauna once again have the opportunity to use the functionality of this tree, which as a last resort in its physical existence reflects the cycle of life in nature. The plants and animals that once again find housing, nutrition and protection in this work of art make grateful use of the work of art that was created in collaboration between humans and nature. In this case, as an artist I symbolize humanity as a whole.”

“I also look for places at a few strategic points in the stump where holes will be drilled on the sunny side (south side) of the sculpture in which creatures can nest. I want this not only because you told me this, but especially to symbolize the unity between man and nature. By this I mean that this work of art will be created by man with the natural aspect incorporated as one of the main themes. Because in principle man is one with nature (although this is poorly reflected in many). But because of all the associations with their members and all the umbrella organizations, it can be deduced with certainty that many (at least the 27,000 members) do attach importance to this, which is why I look for the right combination between people and nature. Later in the explanation I will return to the connection through the wood and stone.”

“Even more than why I chose a tree stump; the roots and part of the tree symbolize that this is the base of the tree, the roots were the conductors of life during the tree’s existence. In this work of art, these roots will actually have the same function and the strong one also serves as the basis of the whole (the work of art). The roots will ‘live’ again because I will subtly hollow out lengthwise sections in certain parts of the roots so that elongated shaped parts are created in which sedum* can be planted. The work of art must form a basis in which the loop of life is symbolized, the cycle in miniature. The tree has assured life during its existence as a tree, and must also provide life again after that functionality as a basis for plants and animals, where an optimal balance between flora and fauna must be strived for.”

“I want to place the stump on a roughly masonry base of bricks, it should have a kind of ruin-like appearance, from which what has been built by man is managed by nature (for further details see the placement section).”

sculptor Jan-Carel Koster - sketch AVVN houten sculptuur

1st wooden sculpture (chestnut)

2nd sculpture (stone)

“A second stone sculpture is placed on the brick base, under the tree stump. The stone is, as it were, hidden under the stump, but is clearly visible. The type of stone I want to use for this is a piece of gemstone (Sodalite) on which, (due to its appearance), the focus should be in the artwork. The stone is blue by nature and by polishing this stone the stone should attract the attention of the viewer. The blue also has a deeper meaning and should not only represent the sky, which symbolically represents what trees give us, namely oxygen. Sodalite is a (semi) gemstone that hides a deeper meaning that takes us to the 5th dimension. The stone is an enlightening stone and brings balance to our lives and brings a deep sense of peace. By using this blue stone, I not only manage to focus on the physical appearance of the stone in this work of art, but also to create a link to the deeper feeling of all gardeners who know how to put their soul and bliss into their piece of earth. lay. This gives many people a sense of peace, tranquility and more balance in their own lives. This in turn radiates throughout the entire district, where the balance between the office buildings and the naturally landscaped gardens form a bridge between people and nature. The final reference to the bigger picture in this noble sculpture are the white veins in this stone.”

“These symbolize evoking communication between distant elements. I see this as the call for solidarity and making contacts between all participants and all associations (including all members) in all different countries and also the connecting line between sculpture 1 and 2, wood and stone (office (human, stone) and green (nature, wood).”

“The design of the 2nd sculpture has everything to do with the theme “Focus on Community Gardens” because the abstract organic shape shows features with a kind of eye in which the opening in the sculpture represents the pupil through which the viewer can look at the surroundings. The stone sculpture is, as it were, the heart of the work of art, just as the building of this association forms the heart of the neighborhood.”

Sodalite sculpture sketch

2nd stone sculpture (Blue Sodalite)

The location

“I had devised the location of the artwork to be positioned between the parking lot and the building. There are picnic tables here so that the artwork integrates nicely with the people who arrive walking, driving or sitting down to eat. The artwork is also clearly visible from the building. I think this location looks best on the edge of the terrace and the grass. As a result, the artwork is placed between 2 picnic tables, 1 on the north side and 1 on the south side, with the additional addition of the flower bed against it with the pink flowering sedum spectabile. (See attachment (map) with the red dot as location).”

“The artwork should be positioned so that the stump is lying (like a fallen or fallen tree) with the stump in which the wooden sculpture is sculpted pointing almost south and the root part towards the lawn with the picnic tables and the parking lot.
As a result, the 2nd sculpture is initially hidden by the root part from the arriving spectator coming from the direction of the driveway. As Herman already indicated, this creates a kind of discovery when the unsuspecting visitor arrives and, through the diversity of the work of art, discovers new aspects of the work from different points of view, with the highlight being the gemstone, which is half hidden under the protection of the tree that supports the is the bearer of our lives.”

“Taken together, all the above aspects, each in its own value, contribute to the fact that the whole is not only more than the sum of its parts, but that the whole is the multiplication of the sum of its parts. This work of art is not just about the 27,000 members who practice their hobby here at the “Hoge Weide”, but rather about the bigger picture. For them it is not just a hobby, but a way of life that is reflected in the appearance of the gardens. Everyone does this in their own personal way so that they find balance and peace in their way of gardening. Every aspect in this sculpture contributes to expressing this garden feeling that gardeners carry with them not only in the Netherlands and Europe, but worldwide”


Placement of sculpture 'Focus on community gardens'

Placing the artwork at Park Groenwoud


“As mentioned earlier, there will be a rough masonry kind of pedestal under the stump. This is not necessarily square or round, but somewhat takes the shape of the stump so that it looks as if the wooden sculpture is growing from the stone wall. This is also necessary to emphasize the channeling of energies between humans and nature. A light foundation will be placed under this plinth, which can also be in the form of several gravel tiles stacked on top of each other or something similar. (The whole thing will weigh about 200 kilos). First the foundation is placed below ground level, after which the first wooden sculpture is placed. Afterwards, brickwork is laid around and against it by means of: rough masonry with old bricks. Finally, the 2nd noble sculpture is placed under the wooden sculpture / stump. This is confirmed by a stainless steel rod in the foundation.”

“The whole is decorated with sedum in some places (very subtle), which in turn blends nicely with the border next to it with the pink sedum spectabile. The spots of the Sedum can be recognized in the sketch on the left and right of the side branches. Possibly also in a single location at the rear.

The installation of the whole thing might be fun to do together with a few interested parties.”

“*Sedum: determine the species in consultation, whereby I aim for some species that bloom in a staggered manner and mainly attract bees and butterflies. The sedum spectabile in the adjacent bed blooms in September/October. It is therefore best to choose sedum that blooms for this purpose so that there is a nice line in the flowering periods of this sedum.”

Beeldhouwer Jan-Carel Koster - Focus op Volkstuinen 11

Mayor van Zanen (Utrecht )reveals the artwork


Are you interested in having a bespoke artwork made for you? There is a wide variety of possibilities, from type of wood used, dimensions and personalizations. Don’t hesitate to reach out to Jan-Carel to find out what’s possible.

Beeldhouwer Jan-Carel Koster - 1


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