Taking glass into the landscape.

“Red on Green” an installation by Anya Gallacio

I am just back from a fabulous fortnight with glass artists at Northlands Glass Centre in Caithness, eight hours north of Edinburgh by train. On the way north I stayed in Fife with my sister and we went to Jupiter Artland, a summer sculpture exhibition in parklands on the edge of Edinburgh. It was fabulous to see sculptures in the landscape, I especially liked the Andy Goldsworthys and Cornelia Parker.

Dinner at Jeff’s. Photo by Tina Norris

The night before I went up to Caithness we met up with Michael Rogers who taught me on my masterclass at Northlands last year and went for dinner with Jeff Zimmer, his partner, Mark, and dynamic glass artist Carrie Fertig. It was great to catch up with everybody, Jeff and Mark were perfect hosts and excellent cooks, and their flat became a tardis and expanded to accommodate us all! Thanks to Tina for the photo.

Exploring glass in the landscape in Caithness.

My time in Caithness was my prize in the Warm Glass Competition. It was an amazing experience to be part of a group of artists from around the world and to have time and space to reflect on my work. I ended up collaborating in surprising ways with Emma Wooffenden, a contemporary artist based in London who works in glass. Our collaboration started out with me helping her to document some work she was doing based on ideas relating to the figure in landscape, and ended up as more like a shared performance piece on a beach 365 steps down from the cliff top at Whalligoe.

Having time away from my usual practice has allowed me to think about how my painting relates to my glass work and how I could combine the two in the future. Maybe two dimensions isn’t all bad after all!

A cast Bullseye glass, knitted copper wire and Lybster pebble piece I made at Northlands.

It was an intense period of work and a brilliant opportunity to share ideas and get feedback on my work from an immensely talented and experienced group of artists. The symposium was organised and facilitated by Jane Bruce, an internationally well known glass artist who lives in Manhattan. The food, as ever, was fabulous and we were well looked after. The weather was less than endearing, but, then I am used to a bit of rain!

Now that I am back home I have been photographing some of the sculptures I have been working on for my (Arts Council of Wales funded) Rosebush project. It is really exciting to put the work in the landscape and see my ideas coming together. I am looking forward to having some time in my studio!