“To have another language is to possess a second soul” –Charlemagne
Sculptor, Stefan Blom, has his own visual language which he keeps tight-fisted and close to his chest, as impenetrable as the sealed off hideaway in between the bedroom cupboard and the roof of his childhood home. He explains that it was here where he “cut a little lid in such a way that when you opened it, you could not see it” that he could express himself to himself alone.
Blom is dyslexic, and the effects of dyslexia may have marked his psyche like the secret pictogram language tattooed on his forearm and run under the skin of his figure sculptures. At 8 years old he started drawing little symbols that described events “just to remind myself – because there was nowhere else I could tell a story”.
Blom was extremely self-conscious of his “inability to write”. “It was quite painful for me. There was absolutely nothing I could do about it. Despite the fact that I was trying to learn more, it just wouldn’t get better. So, for every single event whether good or bad, I started making little symbols”.
The dyslexia may have prevented Blom from using words to write his story, but he later started combining the symbols, which reminded him of creating things, or emotions, he was able to record his story with drawings. Blom has always drawn and painted, and first started sculpting by carving woody roots of plants that grew in the veldt near his parent’s home into small figures and lizards.