As a little boy I often stayed with my grandfather, who I admired deerly. Karel taught me the love for nature and especially what I did not understood at that time, was the value and respect for pure water and food. Facts I now do fully understand !
Karel never told any heroic stories, but rather tales and links towards his memories about the importance of trust and friendship between the front soldiers.
At the age of 17, he left his village travelling through Holland & England, to arrive at Flanders Fields where he fought 4 years in all hardship and deprivation of dignity.
As long as he lived, November the 11th became together with his family 'his holiday', he always called it the most beautiful day in his life. Despite a severe lung disease as a result of several gas attacks, he continued his life as normal as possible.
In 2014, after a year of planning and preparations, my daughter and I started exploring the front lines of WW1 from Nieuwpoort (BE) till Verdun (FR). Surveying and visiting memorials along these tracks, one just cannot describe the madness and shear crazyness of war.
In addition to countless cemeteries, monuments and museums, one also meets ordinary people who still have to deal with the war on a daily basis.
That's how I ended up at 'the Pond Farm' and Stijn Butaye, the inspirer of the museum and WW 1 tank in Langemark-Poelkapelle.
Here my idea kicked-off, to incorporate archeological artefacts like helmets into glass art together with trench art bombshells.
For 45 years, I was a physiotherapist-osteopath, of which 25 years I spend on creating the finest artefacts in glass.
Today, time has come to honour my grandfather with my glass work.
Currently we are exploring the region of Stavelot and Bastogne, where we are in contact with several people, sharing their experience of "the battle of the Ardennes" also called 'the batlle of the Bulge'.
On these notes , new inspirations are never far away, where past and future can be remembered by this artwork in glass.
Robert Breyne / 11 oct 1947 / Grandson of Karel De Ceulaer