One of Denmark’s few landscape sculptures is located in a former gravel pit at Tørskind near Egtved.
Denmark’s “Great Robert”, the visual artist Robert Jacobsen, who lived in Tågelund near Tørskind, and his French colleague Jean Clareboudt, created the landscape sculpture in the late 1980s.
Clareboudt had overall responsibility for the planning of the gravel pit and organised nature so that when walking in the area you can follow the sun’s passage from rising in the east to setting in the west. The landscape sculpture was inaugurated on 1 July 1991.
Clareboudt and Jacobsen’s monumental sculptures place us as small people in the greatness of nature and in dialogue with heaven and earth. All sculptures are made of natural materials: Concrete, iron, granite stone and wood. The nine sculptures should be experienced as one large, unified work of art which includes nature and the surrounding space. The locations of the sculptures make it possible to experience their interaction with each other from different vantage points.
Both the gravel pit and the view of the nearby Vejle Ådal provide new experiences with each visit, depending on the time of day and year. As Robert Jacobsen himself put it, the nature of Tørskind is “not for wimps”.
Read more about the 9 sculptures that make up Robert Jacobsen and Jean Clareboudt’s enormous artwork in Tørskind Gravel Pit.
Robert Jacobsen began carving wood in the 1930s and switched to stone in the 1940s, but when he settled in France in 1947, iron became his favourite material. Robert Jacobsen wanted to express the lightness of sculpture by “drawing lines in the air”.
Later, the sculptures gained a closer structure, in which he created opposites: positive form versus negative and rough structure versus the finely polished.
At first, Robert Jacobsen was dismissive of the sculpture project in Tørskind Gravel Pit. Instead, he suggested artist Jean Clareboudt. With Clareboudt at the forefront of the project, Robert Jacobsen agreed to create four of the nine sculptures in Tørskind Gravel Pit.
From 1969 until his death, Robert Jacobsen was a resident of Egtved near Tørskind Gravel Pit.
Jean Clareboudt was a Frenchman, educated at several art academies. He met Robert Jacobsen in 1962 when, as an 18-year-old, he sought out the Danish artist in Paris. He became a kind of unofficial student of Robert Jacobsen’s, and they had a lifelong friendship despite the age difference.
Clareboudt was a widely used Land Art artist worldwide. His works are abstract. It therefore made sense to suggest Clareboudt when Robert Jacobsen was asked to create sculptures in Tørskind Gravel Pit.
Clareboudt was given overall responsibility for planning the complete landscape sculpture. Clareboudt created five of the nine sculptures, all made of natural materials: concrete, iron, stone and wood.
Some of the wood is 400-year-old oak, while modern glulam techniques are used in other places.
Unlike Land Art – where the works of art are supposed to dissolve in the cycle of nature and slowly disintegrate – Tørskind Gravel Pit is a permanent landscape sculpture park.