“I see my knitted work as a metaphor for social structure. Individual strands are weak and brittle on their own, but deceptively strong when bound together. The connections are what bring strength and integrity to the whole and what keep it intact.” This is how the Canadian artist Carol Milne describes her unusual work. She is a pioneer in the field of “knitted glass”, experimenting with her material and persistently pushing its boundaries.
Carol Milne is one of the artists we discovered on our travels through Europe in 2017. Her work was on view in an exhibition in Hasselt, Belgium, where we also encountered the fantastic glass cloth objects made by UK artist Cathryn Shilling. The dazzling surfaces of her three-dimensional artworks give the impression of vibrating dynamics: through the unexpected interplay of texture, light and colour, Shilling succeeds in creating a stylised feeling of human movement without literally representing the human shape in the fabric. Though separate, the individual forms are connected by an almost dance-like flow of movement.
Our constant quest for special works in glass also took us to the exhibition HuGlass 2017 in Budapest, where we were amazed by what we saw, for example the sculpture “Big Fish Eats Small Fish” by the Hungarian artist Balázs Sipos. Sipos creates wonderfully detailed figures, often inspired by everyday life, the problems of our times and the inner struggles that can result. He sees himself as a glass sculptor, but his real tools are a caustic sense of humour and a predilection for the grotesque which allow him to venture a straightforward social critique.
We naturally did not neglect well-known artists in 2017 either. Anna Torfs, for example, impressed us with her breathtakingly beautiful vessel “Parts High”. The ability of glass to capture, reflect and absorb light is at the centre of the work of this Belgian-born artist and designer, who has lived and worked in Prague for many years. With sharp cuts, she reveals layer by layer how the respective work is structured. She thus lays bare airy, luminous depths through which energy and sensuality virtually pulsate.
Last but not least, we would like to draw your attention to the next exhibition after “New Acquisitions 2017”. In the summer of 2018, we will be presenting current work by students and professors at the Kamenický Šenov Glass School in the Czech Republic.
Photos from the left:
Anna Torfs, Parts High – Crystal Gold, 2017 – Photo Jaroslav Kvíz
Agnieszka Leśniak Banasiak, Enigma II, 2015 – Photo Krzysztof Pachurka
Carol Milne, Purple Reigns, 2016 – Photo Carol Milne
Cathryn Shilling, Hidden Gestures II, 2014 – Photo Ester Segarra
Cathryn Shilling u. Anthony Scala, Fragile Nature of Earthly Pleasures, 2016 – Photo Ester Segarra
Peter Bremers, Perception 4, 2011 – Photo Paul Niessen
Zuzsanna Kóródi, PF I, 2017 – Photo Zsuzsanna Kóródi
Gordana Drinković, Iyalawo, 2016 – Photo Mario Krištofić
Photo above: Carol Milne, Purple Reigns, 2016 – Photo Carol Milne