Saddek Wasil is a Saudi sculptor whose main medium is metal and discarded metallic material. His powerful sculptures exuberate a rejection of binding stereotypes and an iron will to defeat material subjugation for the sake of spiritual freedom. His artwork is not to be understood as a present state, as it holds the promise of future success in overcoming chains, locks and closed boundaries.
Wasil was born in Makkah Al-Mukarrama in 1973. His mother was a seamstress and his father was a mechanic. Thus, Saddek became accustomed to working with his hands and spent much of his youth in his father’s garage, where he learned how to weld and work with metal, mainly iron. During his free time, he often salvaged discarded car parts and metal scraps to create amorphous figures, distorted bodies and human masks from his imagination: “I’m a hoarder, I don’t like to throw anything away. I don’t like the idea of discarding things. Nowadays, everything or everyone is dispensable. I suppose I try to show that you can find value in anything, or anyone”. As with many artists, Saddek is influenced by his surroundings and the happenings of the world around him, with particular focus on humans and human emotions. In Makkah, Wasil is a witness to the daily struggles of his fellow man, as well as an observer of their innermost struggles at the moment when they are at their most vulnerable, in the house of God. His work is in no way judgemental, as he rejects the role of the judge; it is merely a recognition of diversity in all its forms and colours. His work is about nderstanding, acceptance, and tolerance and foremost, it is about the acknowledgement of seen and unseen realities. Saddek is not a sculptor in any traditional sense, as he has had no formal training, does not work with clay or with moulds, his work is not produced in a foundry and does not come in editions. He works with his hands, and by himself. His primary material is metal, in various shapes and forms. He equates metal, with strength, and his patience and ability to break down its intransigence and to manipulate it to his will, is what gives him his sense of empowerment and achievement. Wasil received his formal education in Environmental Studies and Agricultural Sciences from King Abdulaziz University. He is a member of a number of arts societies. Namely, the Contemporary Artist’s Home, The Association of Culture and the Arts and the Saudi Society of Fine Arts. He currently holds the position of Director of the Arts and Culture Department in Mecca.