Chris Peterson FRSS / Sculptor | Sandstone sculpture to be made for ‘Straße des Friedens – Straße der Skulpturen’ (DE), a sculpture route through Europe as a gesture against war.


Sandstone sculpture to be made for ‘Straße des Friedens – Straße der Skulpturen’ (DE), a sculpture route through Europe as a gesture against war.

28 Nov 2022, Posted by chris in Uncategorized

Next year I will make a large scale sandstone sculpture for the ‘Straße des Friedens – Straße der Skulpturen’ in Germany. A sculpture route through Europe, designed as a sculptural gesture against war.

The title of the work is ‘VOGELVRIJ’ which in Dutch contains the word ‘vogel’ meaning ‘bird’ and the word ‘vrij’ meaning ‘free’. The exact definition of the word is: “Being declared an outlaw is an originally medieval punishment for capital crimes. This meant that someone was placed outside the protection of the law.” The word, regardless of its exact meaning, I found visually strong because of the words ‘bird’ and ‘free’. They are associated with flight, freedom, roaming the world freely without any apparent structure. When we dream of birds, in general, the meaning of that dream can be traced back to the subject of freedom.

Freedom and democracy cannot be taken for granted. Both exist by the grace of its limitation. We can only determine the degree of freedom or democracy if it decreases or increases and we are able to take a critical look at developments in this area. In these trying times, freedom and democracy sometimes become very abstract data. People in Western society increasingly think they have a right to everything and people all too often invoke freedom of expression without being strictly accountable. Both freedom and democracy can be eroded very quickly.

The sculpture will exist of a small building made entirely of sandstone, that one person can enter. On one side I will incorporate the word ‘VOGELVRIJ’ as braille. A tactile reading and writing system that opens up the written word to blind and visually impaired people. In this particular case, the braille will not be written as elevated bumps but as holes through which one can see the outer space. From within the restrictions of the sculptural space, one becomes aware of the freedom outside of the sculpture. The person who enters the sculpture will feel the limitations of the structure and see what lies beyond, through a language of the blind. Braille supplies freedom to the blind as language is perhaps the most important instrument of freedom. Now it supplies vision of a free landscape, to those confined in the sculpture.

The sculpture will be made in the summer of 2023.