Kerkhoflaan, Den Haag
52.093778167787, 4.2995477888161 View on map
Relocated from Newton Street to Kerkhoflaan near the entrance to the St. Peter's Banden R.C. cemetery, the sculpture actually now stands in a much more appropriate spot. Namely, it is a bronze sculpture of the Phoenix. This mythological firebird burned itself to death in old age to rise from its own ashes as a young bird. This symbol of rejuvenation and resurrection was created in 1981 by The Hague sculptor Dick Loef.
There are several sculptures by Loef in The Hague, all in bronze. This is remarkable because Loef, especially in the sixties, was best known as a ceramist. Besides dishes, vases and bowls, he also made large reliefs. In 1963, for example, he made the ceramic tiles for a work of art for the tax office in Zeist, based on a design by graphic artist Ootje Oxenaar. When the building was demolished in 2005, the wall was cut loose and housed in The Dutch Tile Museum in Otterlo.
Ceramic or bronze: Loef's sculptures are stylized figurative. They are always recognizable, but the forms simplified. This is certainly the case with his Phoenix, where the effect is almost abstract. For example, the birds' wings are set into the body with a point, whereas in reality bird wings are attached to the body with a long side. Loef thus emphasizes the geometric shape of the wing, the triangle. The triangle also features strongly in the pyramid shape of the sculpture. Within this shape, birds flutter around, rising from a fire. What is original is that Loef does not depict the Phoenix with one bird, but lets it consist of several birds that together are one. At the very top, a bird detaches itself from the group to ascend into the sky.