Witte Anjer Award 2020
The white carnation is worn as a symbol of appreciation for all Dutch veterans who served in the Military. The White Carnation Award has been introduced to honor and thank the people who play an important role in the lives of veterans: before, during, or after their mission.
To me, the military is service, commitment, selflessness, and sacrifice. It’s a service because veterans do what is asked without hesitation. It’s a commitment because it cannot be done half-heartedly. It’s selflessness because less than 1 percent of the population will choose to serve the country. It’s a sacrifice because so many will give up anything for the sake of a better cause.
Developing my design for the Witte Anjer Prize a few keywords and decisions were essential to me in order to represent what this prize means. Representing the strength of the veterans in the material was one of the key elements. No matter how well equipped a soldier is, the strength of a fight comes from the soldier. Therefore the material I choose to execute my idea is metal. Fights are won by people, not by countries, not by robots. People put their life at risk for a better cause. The personal aspect of a fight or a deployment is represented in the handcrafted piece. By sculpting a wax piece with my own two hands I wanted to show my appreciation and create a piece that is personal, it never can be reproduced the same way again. Nothing can be achieved without the support of each other and our communities, this especially applies to the military. The support of each veteran, the friendships, the hard moments, and the feeling together we are stronger are represented in the fingerprints of the veterans. After casting the wax piece veterans were asked to touch the piece and leave their supporting hand marks. I hope the winner of the award will feel the support and the community that stands behind the greater achievements. Creating an object which is strong, easily grabbable with personal details my main objective was to create a proud object. White carnation is a symbol of purity and luck and since 2005 it has been used as an expression of the appreciation of Dutch veterans. The visual reference to the white carnation is a reminder to be proud and appreciate the community of our veterans. I hope the winner will feel the appreciation, the support, and the community that stands behind this award gives the motivation to continue the work to contribute to our society and to our world.
Material | Aluminium Cast
Size | 35 x 39 x 8 cm
Weight | 3 kg
Photos and video | Medina Rešić
Production | Bronsgieterij Atelier 80
The National Veterans Day Committee, through jury chairman Angelien Eijsink and Inspector General of the Armed Forces Frank van Sprang, awarded the White Carnation Prize 2020 to Dennis and Mariska van der Kraats in a special online broadcast. The Van der Kraats couple from Etten Leur are the founder and driving force behind the Veterans Search Team (VST). Since the establishment of the VST (in December 2017 after the team’s search for the missing Anne Faber), the volunteer organization has grown into a team that can call on the deployment of more than 1,600 former soldiers and veterans. In less than three years, the VST has launched more than 60 searches at the request of the police.