Hunting for the power of the stars in the courtyard of the Stedelijk Museum, Breda |  Breda

Hunting for the power of the stars in the courtyard of the Stedelijk Museum, Breda | Breda

The revolutionary nuclear fusion reactor is the basis for a wonderful sculpture by Breda artist Rick van Mill, which can now be seen in the courtyard of the Breda Stedelijk Museum.

Science and art have always been at odds with each other. It is part of the profession of the scientist and artist to experiment with new shapes and styles. Boundaries are there to be explored and broken.

36-year-old Breda artist, Rick van Mill, is very fascinated by the scientists’ expedition of exploration. In its mysterious, sometimes life-size objects, you can see the hidden splendor of many scientific designs. Constructions that amaze and wonder. Scientists make up all kinds of things, while we mere mortals hardly know about them.

Van Meel delves so deeply into the matter that he manages to find an unexpected beauty. He created a new and large sculpture in the courtyard of the Stedelijk Museum Breda. A real eye-catcher with its unusual shape. TJ-II Van Meel calls its impressive construction of snow-white plywood.


When you study the laws of nature, life suddenly seems so small

Rick Van Mill

At first, I thought of a runaway ventilation system describing a circuit like a crazy rollercoaster. If you take a look at one of the open tubes, you will discover a masterful undulating cycle that resembles a whole.

Van Miel can smile at all the associations his five by five meters wooden build evokes. “I see it as a kind of vertebra that rotates on its axis. It is a partially square object and at the same time a circle. Chaos and symmetry come together ”, suggests the artist.

“I am fascinated not only by the beauty of this form, but also by the beauty of searching for this revolutionary functional form upon which my image is built.”

10 million degrees

Van Meel made a great one-to-one version of the usually hidden core of the Stellarator TJ-II. This is a pioneering nuclear fusion reactor located at Laboratorio Nacional de Fusion in Madrid. Plasma is generated in this reactor at extremely high temperatures. A new form of nuclear fusion could generate cleaner energy in the future.

Compare it to the energy generated by the sun and other stars. The special, doughnut-like shape of the TJ-II and strong magnetic fields should make the superheated plasma controllable. Recently they set another record: plasma was kept for five seconds at a temperature of 10 million degrees. “

One-to-one copy of the normally hidden nucleus of the TJ-II stellar complex © Jan Stads / Pix4Profs

Van Mill’s sculpture is a real force. He previously built a six-meter-high version of the Juno space probe at DordtYart Dordrecht. Van Meel erected statues of hidden pioneers such as Juno and TJ-II.

My work mainly revolves around existential questions. When you study the laws of nature, life suddenly seems very poor. It is good to see how curiosity drives our entire society and progress. Just look at a magical box like our smartphone. Much of the science actually remains hidden magic. As an artist, I pursue this magic.”

sculpture TJ-II They can be seen until November 13 at Stedelijk Museum Breda.

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