Tijs Rooijakkers

'Leap into the deep', 2016

Location: near entrance of Flux building

Tijs Rooijakkers (1975) designed 'Leap into the Deep' for a site near Flux. It is a seven meters high and wide line sculpture that alludes to the work of artists as well as scientists.

Tijs Rooijakkers has a fascination for the phenomenon of whirling. That also provided the idea for 'Supertoll', an earlier work which he displayed in the Van Abbe Museum in Eindhoven. 'Leap into the Deep' symbolizes the work of both artists and scientists, and the zeal which they show in it: research is a leap into the deep.

Rooijakkers: “That's where new insights may be gained. What I did for TU/e is raise a swirl above the water and transform it into this line sculpture. What you see is really stationary movement. Within the sculpture I play with gravity.”

'Leap into the Deep' is an iron construction like a large spiral. Rooijakkers selected this shape for various reasons. "Whirling has fascinated me ever since I was a kid. The Flux building and its surroundings offer a very angular image. I wanted to offset this by placing an organic form in front of it." 

Professor Gerrit Kroesen, dean of the Applied Physics department and at the time chairman of the TU/e art commission, sees many a reference to Applied Physics and Electrical Engineering, the two departments that are now located in Flux: "A turbulent swirl and a winding of copper thread. The triple helix alludes to TU/e and its surrounding ecosystem: industry, goverment and the university. And besides: I just think it's really beautiful."

Rooijakkers also has a message for the TU/e community. "My work is not called 'Leap into the Deep' for nothing. I hope that teachers and students will leap into the unknown. Because that's where they may gain new insights."

Tijs Rooijakkers studied at the Sint Joost Academy of Arts at Den Bosch, graduating in 2004. He held exhibitions in the Van Abbe Museum and at the MU Institute at Eindhoven, and took part in art festivals like Bosch Parade in Den Bosch and Oerol on the island of Terschelling. Another example of his work, 'Woensel Supertoll', stands near the bus station at the north end of Montgomery Lane, opposite the Woensel shopping center in Eindhoven.