Anyone passing the headquarters of the brick manufacturer Vandersanden in Bilzen, Belgium, today simply cannot miss it: An eye-catching sculpture by artist Frits Jeuris adorns the entrance to the Vandersanden headquarters. A gigantic head made of over 800 bricks is now the absolute eye-catcher. Incidentally, the number of bricks used was not left to chance: Vandersanden employs over 800 people, with each brick representing one employee.
Frits Jeuris, who himself comes from Diepenbeek in Belgium, set to work on the occasion of the departure of CEO Pirre Wuytack and CFO Guy Wauters. After a career spanning more than 40 years - 33 of them at the helm of the family business - Pirre Wuytack took his leave as CEO last year. Rudi Peeters, former CIO of KBC, took the helm and Guy Wauters was succeeded by Tijs Mebis.
The Belgian town of Spouwen-Bilzen has a new work of art: a two-part head made of over 800 bricks adorns the headquarters of the brick manufacturer Vandersanden
Symbol of creative spirit and collaboration
The artwork is approximately 1.4 m high, 1.4 m long and 1.0 m wide and consists of two separate parts. The creation fits perfectly into Frits Jeuris' "Think Ahead" series: iconic heads that appear in many unexpected places.
Artist Frits Jeuris on the realisation of the artwork: "As an artist, I was able to look into the minds of Pirre and Guy and discover their creative processes over many years through conversations with staff at the factory and visits to the offices at the headquarters. I could see how they worked together and ran a family business. As in any relationship, I see two opposites strengthening each other and creating a good balance. And that's what I started working with."
Characteristic of the sculpture is likewise a circle made up of three parts. These parts stand for Circulate, Collaborate, Contribute. This slogan by Jeuris fits seamlessly with Vandersanden's motto, "Together we create the best".
"The Think Ahead series symbolises the creative process, which I also strongly recognised with Guy and Pirre. You have a dream, you visualise it, you manifest it into the future, you trust in it. And then this dream becomes reality. That is the engine for our future and evolution. I would like to thank Pirre and Guy very much for giving me an insight into their way of thinking. And I would like to wish them good luck, because creative thinking never stops," says artist Frits Jeuris.
Artwork reflects Vandersanden's core values
The idea for the artwork came from a specially established working group at Vandersanden. Lore Wuytack, daughter of Pirre Wuytack, is a member of this working group and suggested Frits Jeuris as the artist. Incidentally, she has also been working for Vandersanden for a year. As a member of the Vandersanden family, Lore is part of the new generation that will lead the family business in the coming years.
No coincidence: the gigantic head consists of over 800 bricks, with each individual brick representing a Vandersanden employee
"With this artwork, we wanted to visualise and recall in an original way the foundations laid by the previous Vandersanden generation. The artwork characterises the Vandersanden genes, where cooperation and caring for the well-being in immediate and more distant surroundings are important values," says Lore Wuytack.
Under the leadership of Pirre Wuytack and Guy Wauters, Vandersanden developed from a locally operating company into a European market leader in the brick industry. The company also distinguished itself as a pioneer in innovation and sustainability.
The handover of the artwork took place during the three-day Vandersanden Experience, which was attended by a total of more than 3,300 international customers, partners and employees of Vandersanden.