With them the seed of Wisdom did I sow,

And with mine own hand wrought to make it grow;

And this was all the Harvest that I reap'd -

"I came like Water, and like Wind I go".

 

Omar Khayyam, 1120 A.C.

 

 

THE SOUND OF STONE

 

The sound repeats itself, rhythmic, almost hypnotic, like a bell, or an instrument for measuring  time and space. It exists outside the daily round, in a wider dimension, different, in some way remarkable. Through the creative act, the magic takes place, the transformation of matter into a
work of art, of thought into form. That pure sound, whose clarity testifies to the quality of the stone, is constant yet always changing, depending on the angle of the tip, on the type of material that it must impact upon, and on the power and energy of the artist.


As Damjan Komel works in the open, surrounded by nature, his every gesture has a precise meaning, decisive, faultless. The sound linked to his work is both the effect of his gesture and the response of the material; its repetition is like a dialogue between his deepest self and what he has in front of him, which takes shape in response to his intention. Perhaps it is precisely from nature that he draws the strength and the resolve of his sculpting, in the awareness of being part of the whole that surrounds him, envelops him and accompanies him, that inspires him.
It is from nature, in fact, that he draws inspiration for his works entitled "Seeds of Light" that look to maple seeds flying away from the tree, carried by the wind, free to be reborn elsewhere, after settling into layers and passing through a period of cold. Damjan Komel's seeds reinterpret that flight, twirling within themselves and pushing upwards, joining their wings in a single form, a single ideal. They include also an element of reflection, a moment in which, through the selection of his subject, the maker comes to glimpse its soul, its inner light, its ability to germinate and transmute. And so begins the rebirth, the transformation of a seed into a new life, focusing first in the form of the spiral from which it draws all its energy, to then rise to the heavens. In this way, once again, the artist begins from nature to reach abstraction: the line begins from a single point to then wrap into itself and into increasingly larger circles. This form is indeed a recurring motif in different natural events but is also seen in the most ancient examples of human expression. Perfect spirals are present in seashells, snail shells, flowers,
sunflowers; in the first cave drawings, in the earliest pots and the carved capitals of ancient Greeks columns; in the depiction of paradise in Byzantine mosaics or Gustav Klimt’s Tree of Life; in the works of Leonardo da Vinci, and all the way to Land Art, or the Spiral Jetty by Robert Smithson.


Together with the idea of creation, the spiral is also linked to concepts of emission, extension, development and cyclical continuity. In this sense, in this proceeding from the inside out, you can also understand the dances that are inspired by spiral movement, where humanity comes into harmony with the whole, and is in touch with its true deep inner self. Damjan Komel's sculptures with their dynamism, with their measured expansion into space, also allude to movement, to an endless dance that moves in harmony with the space, and with its surroundings. Like an arabesque, like the first numeral of an ancient script from which everything develops, his seeds are a line that takes form, a material that becomes longing, in a desire for purity, truth, honesty, love, peace, wisdom. The porosity of the travertine, the marble smoothness of Carrara or stone from Sivec, the sheen of the bronze all invite the gaze to become touch, gesture to become a gentle and
sympathetic physical contact, in a continuous flow of images and sensations that lead the viewer to contemplate a better future, in tune with the universe.
Like the lightness and elegance of the wings and the garments of the Nike of Samothrace, or the beauty and purity of the volumes of Constantin Brancusi's work, Damjan Komel’s work has a natural ability to impress and enchant those who experience it, like the flowing
water of a stream, like a gust of wind that makes the leaves dance. And as often happens in the work of Brancusi the different materials of which these seeds are made communicate with each other, the pedestal becomes an integral part of the work and from that base springs all the expressive power of the sculpture, which seems to be born and grow upwards from exactly that interaction. And with all the simplicity,
naturalness and clarity which are its own, its growth includes both the exterior form and its inner soul, in a feeling of elevation where the concrete becomes abstract, the physical becomes spiritual.

 

Franca Marri

 

 

THE SEED OF LIGHT


In his artistic vision Damjan Komel captures the moment in nature that his eye cannot fully comprehend, yet is seen by his inner, third eye and sensed by his soul. This can recognize other dimensions of human existence and materialize the magic of the deed into miraculous shapes. These are usually condensed into abstract interlacements of lines, volumes, and light at play that evoke feelings of beauty, pleasure and admiration. The sculptor’s hands bring to life a new form, which carries both the artist’s as well as universal messages. Recently these

messages seem to originate in nature, where a seed chains the artist’s idea to itself in a metaphor of rebirth; seed – scattered from the branches, sprigs, and leaves of the maple tree by the winds of the Bora, be it from the Karst of Vipava region –, falling to the ground in a dance of rhythmical movements, rotations and whirls in order to once again unite with the soil, with Mother Earth. So a new tree may spring from it, a new life in which the seed of light might grow: in the sculptor’s artistic vision as a stone, bronze, or wooden vertical attached to a pedestal - monumental, radiant and smooth in its search for light, but at the same time slender and delicate, interlaced with the gentle undulation of transitions. Sculpture titled The Seed of Light, marble and wood, 2015


Sculptor Damjan Komel uses his hands, tools and machines to create shapes that are full of vital energy and evoke feelings of a timeless beauty. His inner musings, in relation to nature and people surrounding him, are brought to life using classic sculpting materials. These call for great expertise in handling them as well as an abundance of love for classic sculpture forms and messages. Devotion, patience, and inner strength all play a role in his creative process due to the fact he uses unforgiving materials that do not allow for error or carelessness. That is especially true of stone, marble and wood, which permit subtracting, chiselling or cutting away but only rarely adding. He brought this particular sculpture into existence in marble and wood. With valour, honesty and warmth, aware of the fact he is breathing life into a new seed of light that each of us carries within. His intention is to spur on aspirations and cravings and show us that once we connect to our most authentic selves the sky is the limit.

 

Nelida Nemec