Nom de Plume: Abdi
The meaning of the name is; ‘servant of the most merciful’. It is also the name of a 16 years old student I once taught and who is now lost, travelling alone in the world due to immigration problems.
His demeanor always happy, royal with elegance and always keen to make me smile. The resilience he showed to his situation, each day at a time, but also his painful loneliness will stay with me forever.
Title of the artwork: ‘Xidig’
The inspiration for this artwork is a remarkable book. Antoine de Saint Exupéry’s- ‘The Little Prince’ written in 1943, a children’s book, or… also for adults? The Little Prince teaches the pilot in the story that the most important value in his life is not about material things, in a way only a child can answer to questions asked by grown-ups.
The chosen title of the artwork is ‘Xidig’ it means ‘star’. In the story, it is where the Little Prince’s rose lives. It is his ‘home-connection’. In addition to have a short but meaningful acquaintance with a very Prince-like student, it is this ‘home-connection’, one you can invent yourself, just by looking ‘up’ even if you are far from where you want to be, that made me think of this story.
It is this clear insight that made me realize that the materials used should be dark and heavy, but the outcome of the art glowing, mysterious and happy. Glass; if it breaks it shines – Stars in real live tend to shine and sparkle, like laughter. So back to an almost forgotten technique.
Ah. The young! You want them to be fine, to live prosperous, to not know any harm. You want to keep them from loneliness in any way shape or form. You want them to explore and live a happy, healthy life. But health, like your birthplace, is not a given. It is in fact, a gift.
To be ill is an often very desolate process. What is clear about the assignment is the longing for curing a disease that affects also the young, helping them to recovery if possible. If anything at all, it is mercy for having to be ill, to be alone, that we need to show to our youth.
Technical statement ‘Xidig’
Technique: Dalles-de verre, faceting.
This sample panel is made as a dalles-de verre in epoxy. It is part of a construction made out of 7 panels together forming a small constellation. The panel is made out of a stainless steel frame, a dalle-de-verre panel and behind that a Led panel of 5000 Kelvin which can be dimmed. One panel without frame weighs about 12,5 kilograms and is 3cm thick.
The design is hand made. To make the dalle-panels I cut the dalles with a diamond saw. The dalles used are Lamberts Glass from Glashuette Lamberts, Waldsassen Germany. It takes approximately 5 dalles to make one panel. After cutting them, I facet them using a chisel and a hammer, also little pieces are cut with a Martellina. (I purposely used some ‘bubbly’ dalles, so that was quite exciting). Pouring is done on sand in handmade molds using concrete plex plate. The molds are prepared with a release agent. To protect against contamination during pouring the ( backside) of the glass is covered with Skulpey. The Skulpey has to be removed after curing. Curing of the panels takes 48 hours. Cleaning is done by hand and takes a surprising amount of time.
Stevens Competition 2019
Sample panel (shown) 465x465x80 mm.
Actual design 1500×1000 mm.