Our Dutch friend and brother Henk van Putten left his body on Saturday 16 February, at the age of 82. He had been taken to PIMS due to an asthma induced lung complication that flared up after his recent return from Holland. His son Jeroen and nephew Dirk were with him at the moment of passing.
Henk, and his late wife Agnus Gastmans, came to Auroville since 2001 and joined in 2004 for good. Both accomplished artists, they settled in Petite Ferme where they created their art as well. Henk was a quite known designer and sculptor, who worked with various materials such as steel, stone, bronze and wood to form the building blocks of his sculptures and multi-dimensional objects. One finds a good number of his large structures in Auroville, in Visitors’ Centre, along the roads, in gardens and other places. Not a very socially active person, Henk was totally dedicated to his work and was a much-asked artist participating in exhibitions and art fairs across Europe. In 2014 his work ‘Stretching’ won the Liu Kaiqu Excellence Award, Wuhu, China.
After a few days in the Farewell Centre, Henk’s remains were buried at the Auroville burial grounds in the afternoon of 19 February.
Saluting Henk and thanking him for his beautiful art that may enliven Auroville’s landscapes for eons to come, our warmest condolences go out to his son Jeroen and daughter Marjolein in Holland, as well as to Walter and Tina and the wider Gastmans family here on site.
A short interview of Henk talking about his work: