Gaudi with a twist of Delft Blue

There's a curiously shaped sofa-cum-art installation with Delft Blue tiles in the garden of Museum Het Prinsenhof. This sculpture is a tribute to two artist traditions – the nature-inspired art of 19th Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi and iconic Delft Blue Pottery.

Called ‘Homage to Gaudi’, it was made by Dutch artist Marianne Burgers in 1988.

"I always knew I wanted to do something unusual with Delft Blue tiles. At first I thought of lining one of the canals with tiles. While on a holiday in Spain, I encountered the work of Gaudi and was really inspired by it," said Burgers. She started on a self-funded project, sourced durable material for the sofa and worked with a number of pottery painters to make the tiles. One of those artists was Netherlands-based American artist Chris Dagradi. Once completed, Burgers created a presentation about her project to the counselor of art, hoping to get a small return on her expenditure. "But they were so happy with it that they funded the whole thing eventually," she recalled. About 15 years ago, Burgers and Dagradi were asked to renovate the sofa and the new version has original Delft Blue artwork by Dagradi.

A few years ago, the museum garden was closed at night and students would jump the fence to use the sculpture as a "love seat". "It makes me very happy to see how the sofa has become so important to the city. So many wedding photographs and photoshoots and selfies are shot there, it's really nice to see" said Burgers.