The light in the head


The light in the head
reinforced concrete, glass, lamp
In response to the National Glass Museum, Leerdam.
Originally Iranian, Aïda Bakhtiari (1986) emigrated in 2001 to Germany and graduated in 2014 from the Art Academy in Munich. She was guest exhibitor at the National Glass Museum in Leerdam in July 2015. Leerdam is known for its glass industry. In the glassworks Aïda made glass sculptures for the museum, where ambient light plays an important role. I was asked to help Aïda with a few concrete pedestals. Glass and concrete make a great combination.
The museum consists of two historic buildings separated by four tubular connections anda bridge on each floor. The bridges mainly house the permanent collection, especially glassware, ready for use. There are many works by the famous glass designer Coupier, including a Coupierbrug. And I even saw something by H. P. Berlage, the architect, an abstract composition from 1926. During my training in Breda, we also learned about Berlage. We learned design, and in 1980, I did a drawing which depicts the design process. The viscious circle in two directions. The light in the head triggers the brain. The brain triggers the hands with which the image is formed. The eyes see a form and via the optic nerve the idea in the head can be further developed. Conversely: Due to the light in the head (the idea) you see the picture already before you, which you make with your hands. During the shaping you come up with new ideas which in turn become the light in the head again.
Curator Hélène Besançon had arranged that we could make something in the glassworks together with the glassblowers, in exchange for the pedestals. A Czech glassmaker made the cones. It is a pleasure to see how well-skilled they are.
Glass is somewhere between seeing and not seeing. You can see through walls, windows, glasses, terrariums and aquariums. The intention of this material is that you see it as little as possible. The nuances between seeing and not seeing. Visual artists should be able to see in three ways: to know how everything appears, to be able to see exactly what you are making, and to look ahead to know how it will become. Imagine what you are going to form.
The light in the head, the idea, formed after thirty-five years.

Photo 2: With Aïda Bakhtiari in the garden of the National Glass Museum
Photo 3: H.P. Berlage: Abstract Composition 1926