Jean-Pierre Schetz, Un coin au soleil / A Corner in the Sun
About the Artist/Site
Jean-Pierre Schetz was born in Reppel, a small community in northeastern Belgium. During the 1920s the family moved some fifty kilometers south to settle in Liège, one of Belgium's biggest cities, located along the river Meuse.
After his primary education Schetz took a job as a mason in the road department of the city. He married in 1952 and after some years the couple moved into a rental house in a newly-built residential area in Jupille, at that time an independent municipality on the right bank of the Maas river, near Liège (after 1963 it was incorporated within the Liège city limits and renamed Jupille-sur-Meuse).
Although undoubtedly happy with his new housing, Schetz did not like the absence of greenery in this new urban area, so he added a layer of soil around the exterior of his corner house and began creating a garden with many flowers, plants and bushes. He named his site Un coin au soleil (A Corner in the Sun).
After he was satisfied with his plantings, he slowly began transforming his garden into an art environment, adding sculptures and structures he created from concrete, recycled materials, and a variety of found objects, including small figurines. His sculptures, mostly of small size due to the limited size of the site, included depictions of seated persons, individual heads, a figure of a young girl, and animals. The structures often consisted of human-scaled buildings of stacked floors, sometimes filled with a variety of small figurines or birdhouse-like structures. Many of his creations were adorned with shells or small scale multicolored mosaics.
Schetz actively worked to embellish his garden for over twenty years. He died in 1986 while working in the garden. His wife continued to take care of the site until she died in 2006.
After her death, the house was rented and the housing corporation demolished the garden that same year. A very few number of works were able to be saved by private individuals; in addition, a few small sculptures became part of the permanent collection of the private museum La Fabuloserie in France.
~Henk van Es
Map & Site Information
Liège, Walloon Region, 4020 be
Latitude/Longitude: 50.64547 / 5.63488
Bassenge, Walloon Region