A path guides the visitors through the dimly lit room, leading to the body of a magical creature crafted from hand-blown transparent glass spheres. Cut in half and placed across the two rooms of the old smithy, the full figure can only be fully perceived when standing in the threshold between the spaces. Rather than dividing its form into two halves, the wall functions as a connector.
The title Qaf Runddel references two distinct elements: Qaf alluding to Mount Qaf, a legendary mountain in Sufi cosmology, where the natural and super-natural realms converge, establishing a link between the terrestrial and celestial worlds. And Runddel brings a rational urban element to a circular infinite concept that challenges linearity.
Samara Sallam’s interest in exploring different levels of consciousness has led her to study Hypnosis. Hypnotic phenomena possess in its core a liminal nature. Hypnotised individuals report visions that blur the boundaries between fact and fiction, as well as external and internal processes, thereby expanding our inter-pretation of concepts typically perceived as binary, such as body and mind.
The artist, originally from Palestine, makes use of imagery and knowledge of Arabic folklore and its connections to spirituality, transitions, wisdom, and how they offer solace for daily anxieties through poetic tales. Likewise, the creature within Qaf Runddel inhabits a liminal space, existing between reality and magic, where nuanced layers await those who wish to unravel them. In the pursuit of these liminal spaces, the artist embraces the spiritual, the magical, and the unknown, forging connections ignited by the intricate physics of harnessing fire as a transformative tool, moulding liquid glass into solid matter.
The sculpture’s fabrication is the result of a collaboration between the artist and glass master Per-René Larsen. At the core of this collaboration, their shared experiences seamlessly merge into a shape that solely exists within this unique context, inviting dreams and fantasies to ignite, akin to a nexus where everything converges at Qaf Runddel.
Samara Sallam, Palestinian born in Damascus in 1991, trained as a visual artist, journalist, and hypnotherapist. Through multi-layered narratives, Sallam investigates the social, cultural, and political intersections of language, biopolitics, psyche, and storytelling. Some artworks can be interpreted through the concept of interactivity as her objects and installations depend on the viewer to interact by touching, ea- ting, or moving the artwork to comple- te the idea. Sallam holds an MFA from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen and BA from the Funen Art Academy. Furthermore, Sallam has studied visual arts at L’école Supérieure des Beaux-arts in Algeria and journa- lism at Damascus University in Syria.
Read more about Sallams work.