November 25, 2009

Peter Jensen, Peterspladsen/Peter's Square

This post is about Denmark's Peter as he lovingly is called by his fellow countrymen.

Life and works

Born in Bjergby, Peter Jensen (1898-1984) became a blacksmith by profession.

In 1934 he constructed the house he would live in for the rest of his life. There is a story saying that he wanted some decorations on the walls and decided to paint these himself.

picture (2011) licensed under Creative Commons 

However, Peter Jensen  also began making other creations. From all kinds of scrap material and reinforced concrete, he created sculptures of animals, such as a horse, a giraffe (some 6 meters high), a huge elephant, birds, and so on, using pictures from newspapers and glossies to see how he had to model them.

All together he has made some 39 sculptures, which he displayed on a plot of land near where he lived.

picture courtesy of Ann Pedersen 

The site has been saved for the future

After Peter Jensen's death (as far as I know in 1984, but there are sources saying it was in 1985), there have been some public actions to preserve the sculptures preserved for the future. For example the art historian and writer Rudolf Broby-Johansen, who was a fan of the site, made a movie and raised nationwide publicity.

As a result the sculpture garden nowadays is rather well maintained.

The municipality of Hjerring, whereof Bjergby is a part, allocated a substantial amount of money for the renovation of the sculptures, a project that in 2002 was executed by the professional sculptor Marit Benthe Norheim.

Also a nation wide organisation was founded, named Peterspladsen Venner (Friends of Peterspladsen) that supports the site by raising money for its maintenance.

The site has facilities for parking and enjoying a picnic. In the holiday season it attracts a lot of visitors.

Peter Jensen
Bjergby, Denmark  
open for the public

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