This year I was invited to show my work at the oldest glass festival in Holland, which is held in Tubbergen, Eastern Netherlands. Thanks to support from the Glasrijk Festival organisers and a grant from Wales Arts International, I am attending and showing my work alongside artists working in glass from across Europe in a major show on the theme of Mirror, Mirror…which takes over the whole town for 6 days.
The work I am showing features 120 mirrors in the shape of iPhones, each of which carries the image of someone who is my Friend on Facebook. Each of the ‘phones’ is connected by a line to everyone who is connected to that person on Facebook.
Installation by Linda Anneveld
Work by Ioana Stelea from Romania
Installation in the Protestant Church by Zwier Cornellisen
Windows reflected in the work of André van Lier
By Karen Browning
The photos above show just a small selection of the work on view. As well as seeing lots of new glass work I am also meeting many artists and running a workshop for the public.
Continuing my portraiture theme, for the workshop I have prepared a range of portraits which the participants will be able to stick on to glass and then colour using vinyl, thereby creating instant “stained glass”.
Firstly apologies for not posting here for quite a while.
My work Profile was installed in the British Glass Biennale and here are a few photos of it in situ.
In 2018 I made two new windows for Skokholm Island Bird Observatory, once again in the prime position of one of the island’s toilets! These windows take the form of double glazed mirrored panels and are based on starlings roosting in trees, an otherwise rare sight on the island!
Studio Melyn, my collaborative architectural glass practice with Rachel Phillips is now busy on another commission for a 12th Century building, this time the Church of St Michael in Blewbury, Oxfordshire. Rachel will be making a window in celebration of bellringing, and together we are making a mirrored glass installation to amplify the window and the light in the space. The design of the installation is based on the bell ringers notation of the tune Cambridge Surprise.
I am currently curating Never Done, an exhibition showing my new work in glass alongside that of 15 women from Wales, Japan, USA, England and Shetland in celebration of International Women’s Week in my gallery here in Wales in March. The exhibition runs alongside Hidden Women • Merched Cudd, an event in my village to celebrate the lives of women in our community where Rachel and I will give a presentation about our work as Studio Melyn.
I will be opening the gallery here in Pembrokeshire this year showing some new paintings and glass work as part of North Pembrokeshire Open Studios August 24th – September 8th. I welcome visitors at any other time so please feel free to get in touch if you would like to visit.
To make room for all these new endeavours I am currently offering a 20% discount on all my work until March 2019.
Sale 33 (unframed)
Alongside developing my own practice I am now teaching Art and Craft at Coleg Plas Dwbl in Pembrokeshire. Plas Dwbl is part of Ruskin Mill Trust and provides Steiner based educational opportunities for young people with a range of complex learning needs including autism. Here are a few photographs of my students work.
A few weeks back, Rachel Phillips and I installed our five stained glass windows in Beaumaris Castle on Anglesey. The castle was built in the late 1200’s by Edward 1st, and our work celebrates the design and the masons who built it, while referencing manuscripts pertaining to the use, ownership and state of the castle through the centuries.
We have been living and breathing this work for the past 8 months, and are delighted to see it in situ, casting light and colour back into the building.
I have also been making some glass squares for Strata Florida Abbey in Mid Wales. These pieces have been incorporated into a metal gate and were commissioned by sculptor, Rubin Eynon. They are based on encaustic tiles found at the abbey and also contain fragments of manuscripts written by the Welsh poet, Gwilym ap Dafydd and other scribes who wrote at the abbey.
In other news, I have had a piece accepted for the British Glass Biennale, which takes place in Stourbridge in August. This piece is about global interconnectivity on social media and will be an installations of ‘iPhones’, which I am making from mirror, each of which feature the silhouette portrait of one of my Friends on Facebook. Anyone who is my Friend on Facebook can take part and I want to feature as many people as possible. All you have to do is send me a photo of yourself in profile, head and shoulders, taken against a light background, and I will do the rest!
Now I am taking a well deserved break in preparation for all my new projects!
Rachel Phillips and I are busy making five stained glass windows for Beaumaris Castle on Anglesey. The windows are commissioned by Cadw and are based on the floorplan of the castle and contain references to manuscripts, heraldry and other elements which tell the story of the castle. They also contain specially commissioned text from Welsh poet, Damian Walford Davies. The windows will be installed in the castle in March 2017.
Thanks to The Arts Council of Wales who awarded me a Professional Development Grant I was able to attend a 9 day masterclass with artist Richard Wentworth at North Lands Creative Glass in Lybster, Caithness. This was an absolutely fabulous opportunity to work alongside Wentworth and 9 fellow students, each of whom is an independent artist in their own right and who travelled from as far afield as Australia and Brazil to attend.
We were ably assisted in the hotshop by Louis Thompson and James Devereux, fabulously talented artists who work with hot glass. It was a great chance to try out new things without any pressure to produce finished pieces, and has given me an insight into the possibilities of hot glass and the beginnings of a totally new approach to my work. It was an intense time, we were in the studio from 9am until 11pm every day!
Following the masterclass I went to Edinburgh to attend A Luddite Convention – North Lands Creative Glass Celebration of its 20th anniversary. It was an immensely stimulating few days meeting up with artist friends and curators, meeting new people and hearing some fantastic speakers talking about the relevance of the handmade in the digital age – such a rich topic. We were treated to a mind-boggling talk and performance by Jerzsy Seymour from Amsterdam who talked about his socially engaged radical design practice, Dries van Bruggen from Studio Unfold in Antwerp who talked about the digital artisan and democratisation of the design and technology which is made possible by open-source digital 3d printing. In addition artists Sibylle Peretti, Jane Bruce and Geoff Mann talked about their work.
There was a fabulous exhibition at The Dovecot Studios to celebrate 20yrs of North Lands Glass, and a brilliant installation in St Marys Cathedral or work by Phillip Baldwin and Monica Guggisberg who have recently moved from Paris to Presteigne, which is great news for glass in Wales!
It will take me a while to process everything I heard and saw during the conference.
Since returning home after this epic adventure Rachel Phillips and I have been commissioned by CADW to make 5 stained glass windows for Beaumaris Castle on Anglesey in North Wales. This is a fabulous opportunity and will keep me very busy until the installation date which is scheduled for March next year. Rachel and I have worked together on a number of commissions and 5 years ago made windows fro The Royal Chapel at Conwy Castle. It is an absolute joy to collaborate and to have this work ahead of us now.
Gruel is cast in glass from the wooden ladle used to feed the poor and destitute in Narberth Workhouse. It was commissioned by The Contemporary Art Society for Wales and is part of the CASW Gift Award exhibition currently on show at Narberth Museum, the exhibition also includes work by Jobina Tinnemans, Riitta Sinkkonen Davies and Sian Lester.
The exhibition runs until August 26th at Narberth Museum
Open Tuesday to Saturday 10-5
Artist Talks – an evening of presentations from artists working with museum collections.
August 5th 7-9pm • Narberth Museum • £5 please bring a plate of food to share.
The exhibition of my work from ob•serve, my residency on Skokholm Island, is now on show. I am grateful to Arts Council of Wales, The Wildlife Trust South and West Wales, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, Oriel y Parc, Dale Sailing Company and Richard and Giselle, Skokholm Island wardens, for their support of this project.