Glasrijk Tubbergen

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Profile by Linda Norris

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.

 

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.

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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”.

Emerging from 13th Century!

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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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It has been such an amazing 10 days at the International Festival of Glass that don’t know where to begin…

Firstly, I had four days in Wolverhampton doing a masterclass with Antoine Leperlier. Antoine is a French artist whose use of glass casting techniques derives from working with his grandfather,François Décorchemont, who, in turn had learned from his father, Emile Décorchemont (b.1850), who was studio assistant for Gerome. This depth of heritage resonates through his work. Glass is his language, and he uses the peculiar properties of glass to explore his primary themes which are an exploration of the human condition in relation to the fourth dimension, time.

Obviously, in four days you can not hope to learn so much, but the experience of working with Antoine and absorbing his seriousness of purpose was incredible.

In the evenings we attended various exhibitions and openings connected with the International Festival of Glass. A visit to the Glass Afloat show at Bodenham Arboretum was particularly memorable. It was fascinating to see how other glass artists have made work for a site specific external location. In particular I was impressed by Jacque Pavlosky’s piece made from cut glass found work. Jacque was a fellow student on Antoine’s course.

Following on from this masterclass, I went to Stourbridge to attend the International Festival of Glass. This event centres around the British Glass Biennale which showcases work from among the best in British studio glass.

Gorgeous piece by Cathryn Shilling.

Piece by Louis Thompson which won the Best in Show Award.

James Lethbridge’s breathtaking ‘Midas Jar’.

‘Titan’ a beautiful piece by Bruno Romanelli