Freedom, vision and sovereignity are essential to follow an independent path. The glass department at the Instituut voor Kunst en Ambacht im belgischen Mechelen meets this challenge at a high level. In the course of this, it has achieved a pioneering work because there was no tradition in the free glass art and glass development prior to its foundation in the year 1985 and consequently no highly developed glass history and studio glass movement. It is admirable that the teachers and students at the IKA treat the artistic medium glass freely and self-consciously and are not bogged down – neither in classical craftsmanship traditions nor in artistic experiments. And it is not amazing that an „IKA Style“ has not developed as yet. Flemish glass shows today a vivid cheerfulness, openness and variety.
Promoting the particular artistic potential of each student constitutes the center of attention of the training. Candidates from different countries, among them also already trained artists, enroll themselves at the IKA. An innovative, inspiring atmosphere has developed in this way in which ideas, backgrounds and working methods mix together and cross-fertilise mutually. At the technical craftsmanship level the IKA conveys an unusual well-founded training. Currently, all essential disciplines in the hot glass range are being taught (e.g. blowing, molding or fusing) and in the cold processing (among others engraving, grinding, polishing).
The students in Mechelen are confronted with the demanding artistic task to find and to define the delicate equilibrium between aesthetics, expression and technology. How extraordinarily they master this balancing work is demonstrated by their works. Installations, sculptures, flat glass or mixed media designs, blown and molded objects – all of them reflect the high technical and aesthetic standard of the IKA.
The Foundation is therefore delighted to present to you in the new exhibition „Een eigenzinnige weg“ works of 14 students and graduates of the glass department of the IKA Mechelen. They will be accompanied by Sandra De Clerk, who has been supervising the glass department since 2002.
Sylvie Van den Bosch, Manu´tribute seed, 2009 – Photo AHH
Olivier Devos, Fluide, 2008 – Photo AHH
Paul Funcken, Casa Vetro 1, 2008 – Photo Studio Hentschel
Mai Renders, o.T., 2008 – Photo Mai Renders