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Belgian Limburg – bInspired

Landscape Portraits

An inventive art project which uses the environment as a backdrop is just another reason to visit Limburg in Belgium

As Western Europe’s largest fruit-growing region, Haspengouw in South Limburg, Belgium, is bursting full of natural beauty, with sprawling orchards, rolling hills and rustic hamlets making it a distinctively charming part of the country to explore. An outdoor art project from Z33 – House of Contemporary Art plays with this backdrop to give visitors the chance to view it from a different perspective. The exhibition, entitled pit, is a collection of huge structures dotted throughout the area which visitors are encouraged to interact with as they explore the surroundings. Perhaps the most well-known installation is Reading Between the Lines – a 10-metre-high, 30 tonne, seethrough church. Designed by Belgian architect duo Pieterjan Gijs and Arnout Van Vaerenbergh, the sculpture was influenced by many of the places of worship that can be found throughout Haspengouw. As you approach the structure, its appearance changes, depending on the amount of sunlight filtering through the gaps. An inventive art project which uses the environment as a backdrop is just another reason to visit Limburg in Belgium Another piece, Untitled #158, also takes inspiration from local history. It’s a circular, wooden pavilion built by UK artist Aeneas Wilder. Visitors can enter the structure and walk a full loop through its narrow walkway, with the artist hoping that the views will evoke a sense of peaceful contemplation, inspired by the nearby Monastery of Colen. Other installations let visitors reconnect with nature; four tear-shaped tree tents have been set up in an area of forest by Dutch artist Dré Wapenaar, which can be booked out by those who fancy a night in the great Limburg outdoors. Nearby, there are resting and barbecue facilities made out of fruit crates, handmade by Ardie Van Bommel, built with the express purpose of letting fellow campers socialise with each other. The series of open-air installations can be enjoyed via various hiking routes setting out from the centre of the town of Borgloon, or on a saddle through Limburg’s ingenious cycle network. toerismelimburg.be

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Ronan O'Shea

Ronan J. O'Shea Freelance

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