December 26, 2008

Jean-Pierre Schetz, Un coin au soleil / A corner in the sun

picture by MAD musée, Liège
Life and works

Jean-Pierre Schetz (1921-1986) was born in Reppel in the Limbourg area of Belgium. His family moved in the 1920s to Liège, one of Belgium's big cities, located in the north-east of the country.

After his primary education Schetz got a job as a mason in the road department of the city. Married in 1952, after some years the couple got a house in a newly built quarter of Liège named Jupille. A brand new house in a brand new street and a lot of stonework all around....
Schetz who apparently did not like the absence of greenery in the new urban development, provided the front of his house with a layer of soil and began creating a garden, which he named Un coin au soleil (A corner in the sun).

Gradually the garden was transformed into an art environment with sculptures and colored ornaments, all composed of objets trouvés and recycled materials. Schetz has been active in embellishing the site for over twenty years.

He died in 1986 while working in the garden. His wife continued to care for the site.

The site has been demolished

When she passed away in 2006 there was no one to replace her in taking care of the garden.

The house was rented and the housing corporation, a social institution, demolished the garden the same year. Only some elements could be saved thanks to some private persons, among whom a nephew who lived in another part of the country. Some small sculptures ended up in the collection of the private museum La Fabuloserie in France.

In 2007, from September 15 - November 17 the MAD museum (Musée d'art differencié) in Liège had an exhibition in honor of Jean-Pierre Schetz, curated by Brigitte van den Bossche.

Schetz' creations in La Fabuloserie
picture (2014) courtesy of Raija Kallioinen

* Article in Bruno Montpied's weblog Le poignard subtil, September 2007
* During the demolition of the garden the C-paje organisation in Liège made a video (13'06", Daily motion, June 2007). The video is also available on YouTube.

first published December 2008, last revised October 2018

Jean-Pierre Schetz
Un coin au soleil
(formerly) Jupille, Belgium
site demolished in 2007

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