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”.
Whilst making these windows I have been coming to realise the power of making to move people. I have always made things, but somehow the making aspect of this project is more accessible to people than it is in my painting, where the “art” appears to get in the way. People have often asked me how long it takes me to do a painting (that old question that Whistler answered so perfectly – a lifetime!), but here, in the glass, the time, effort and skill we are spending on it is plain to see. That, combined with the beauty of the glass and the complex stories and referencing within the piece, are proving to be very popular.
This week I have made an item for the Welsh language TV programme, Wedi Saith (which will go out on S4C at 7pm on monday 13th February) and hosted visits from Maenclochog primary school and various friends and neighbours. In response to this interest, Rachel and I have decided to open the studio for an hour on Sunday (4-5pm) in an attempt to give people a chance to see the work before it goes to Swansea on Tuesday to be leaded.
Meanwhile we have plenty to do getting the final firings in the kiln, doing the calligraphy and balancing out the colour and tone of the whole piece.
This is the final piece I made at Michael Roger’s Masterclass. The experience at Northlands was very intense, living, breathing, eating, drinking and working with a great bunch of artists, being away from domestic and family commitments and being able to live steeped in glass for two weeks has given a huge boost to my work.
It takes a while to arrive back home, to settle in to the studio here, to walk alone in this landscape, to adjust to the teen scene that is part of my life, and to begin to unpack some of the things I have learned at Northlands.
I return with new resolve to be focussed on my Rosebush project and have begun to make a moulds for a casting idea I have for that. Also I have been shortlisted for a commission at Conwy Castle, so I have a trip to North Wales next week to research for that. The gallery is in a quiet period just now, we are in the last few weeks of regular opening hours and from October are open by appointment.