Over the past twenty-three years working with glass I have come to love the material even more than when I started.
Its unpredictability is infuriating and challenging but if pursued, eventually rewarding. Many of the commissions I have been involved in have been large-scale works adding to architectural situations in a noticeable way. I have always enjoyed and felt comfortable working on a large-scale and my most recent commissions, for Canary Wharf in London, are set within this form of architectural framework.
What was important in creating the two works at Canary Wharf was the opportunity to enhance two major spaces, adding to their importance as special places within the overall plan. In a development with the intensity of Canary Wharf, art works become important visual markers and signposts and I wanted my works to become captivating for the moments in which a person passes through them. Both works have underlying themes that stem from my love of nature, but rather than being descriptive they are evocative. In development there were crucial decisions to be made about their make up as structural aspects of the buildings, as well as being light sources for the areas they inhabited. New techniques were developed which tied together modern technologies with ancient crafts. In the upper level work, the glass has a visually more static quality where changes of colour and texture are tied into a grid of antique coloured glass bonded to plates of toughened glass. The lower level work has the linearity of the predetermined glazing grid broken down with rhythmic passages of shapes and tonalities of colour. Both works are artificially illuminated, which is computer controlled, allowing for levels of light intensity in given areas to change. The overall effect is one where darker passages move across the glass surfaces creating a new dynamic.
At present I am preparing work for a major one-person show in the Deutsches Glasmalerei Museum in Linnich Germany. Here I will take the opportunity to show works that are to do with personal preoccupations as well as architectural ones.
First published: a-n Magazine May 2002 as Evocative passages
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