Glass Lab Exhibition 26-29 August 2022

Glass Lab Exhibition 26-29 August 2022

We are proud to announce the Glass Lab Exhibition of 2022 which will be showing as part of the International Festival of Glass this summer in Stourbridge 26th - 29th August.

The Glass Lab is the research and development wing of the Stroud-based Glass Foundry, run by acclaimed glass artist Fiaz Elson. The programme launched in 2021 with applicants from across the globe applying for residences and scholarships to explore and experiment. Six Artists in Residence were selected exploring new applications of glass in sculpture, fashion and design, fine art, performance art and photography, alongside 12 Artist Scholarships.  This exhibition is the culmination of works bringing a fresh perspective of how glass can be manipulated and used to create art.  

The three alchemical principles of the Glass Lab are collaboration, innovation and diversity and the longer term aim is to develop a community of practice that revives the spirit of Sam Herman’s Glasshouse for a new generation of glassmakers.  

We are grateful for the support of Arts Council England and the International Year of Glass 2022 for supporting The Glass Lab exhibition.  The exhibition is a parallel event to the International Glass Festival at Stourbridge, which is running between  26th August - 1st October 2022.


Artists in Residence -

Halima Cassell

Born in 1975 in Pakistan, brought up in Lancashire and now living in Shropshire, Halima's varied, multi-cultural background is tangibly present in her work.

Halima’s work fuses her Asian roots with a fascination for African pattern work and her deep passion for architectural geometry. It is intense yet playful, structured yet creative; substantial yet dynamic and invariably compelling in its originality.

“The glass residency, for me, has been a great opportunity to further understand the material that I have longed to build a deeper relationship with and to realise the level of its possibilities.

Being in an inspiring workspace, with other creative people and an amazingly talented tutor made the time during the residency an even more valuable experience.

The ideas behind the work that I have created during the residency, are linked with my own practice. This is to see how I can integrate this wonderful material by making connections with my thinking methods and a new way of possibly working. Had an invaluable time.”

 

Virna Pasquinelli

Virna Pasquinelli is a multidisciplinary creative whose work extends from millinery and mixed media textiles to set design and installations, drawing inspiration from urban life and the fringe subcultures within it whilst grounded by the sophistication, majesty and mystician of her of her more classical Roman upbringing.

Her work with the Glass Lab Residency was largely influenced by the motives and impact of fast-fashion with representations of the fragility of the ego and our susceptibility to trends along with our addiction to mobile phones and social media, highlighting the effect these in turn have on our own vision of the self, esteem and mental health.

“I felt the concept perfectly reflected the duality of glass as a medium, completely different from the fabrics I usually work with, outwardly hard yet fragile, unique and often indeterminable.  Repeating and perfecting the form over and over, seemingly working toward a final fixed piece but still without guarantee and susceptible to the unexpected, as with our ‘self’.”

The time at The Glass Foundry marked a significant new chapter and creative approach, inspiring the use of different mediums and techniques, allowing the materials to have more say in the design and creative process, sensing their form and making space for their own unique movements and nature of being, allowing them to help realise and express their true ‘self’.”

 

Camilla Hanney

Working through ceramics, sculpture and installation Camilla Hanney’s practice explores themes of time, sexuality, cultural identity and the corporeal, often referencing the body in both humorous and challenging ways.
By subverting traditional, genteel crafts she attempts to transgress and contemplate conventional modes of femininity, deconstructing archaic identities and rebuilding new figures from the detritus of the past.

"The series of work I developed during my residency at the glass lab drew inspiration from the use of glass in display cases and vitrines. In many cases when we interact and engage with other species, objects and artifacts, it will be through a pane of glass. In these instances glass becomes a barrier that separates us from wonder and curious beauty. These works endeavour to break down this barrier and use the language of glass to create sculptural forms that could see the body merge with other species and encapsulate it’s fluidity, it’s animality and ability to decay."

 

Jonny Briggs

Jonny Briggs’ art is an anthropology of the self, a gentle excavation, digging for lost fragments of childhood and re-assembling them anew into photographs using ingeniously designed props.  

“At The Glass Foundry I've been making panes of glass with glass ears coming out of them. I've also been working on a spherical mask with my dad's nose and chin growing out of it, that's worn by my foot. This will be out of lead crystal, and will weigh my foot to the ground, restricting my movement. The piece references my childhood aspiration of being like Cinderella, and the crystal ball as an attempt to look to the future. 

I've been struck by the processes of construction - destruction - reconstruction while working with glass (making a sculpture, then making a silicone negative mould, then a wax positive cast, then destroying the silicone mould to release the wax, then a plaster negative mould, then destroying the wax inside, then making a glass positive cast, then destroying the plaster mould), These translations between positive and negative bring me intimately close with the object being made. 

I've worked with these props for a new series of photographs, to play with object/image relations exploring my upbringing.”

 

Estabrak

A collector of skills, Estabrak's an award winning cross-disciplinary artist, film maker, facilitator and researcher committed to experimentation, inclusivity and a participatory arts practice.

Named one of “five incredible underwater artists” by the BBC, Estabrak's works have explored the intersections between human behaviour, water and our environments; centering racial, social, humanitarian and climate justice. Her process often references the external global and internal individual connectivity to each other, and of water.

Multi sensory in approach, she uses live techniques, film, projection, sound, performance, paint, installation, (underwater) photography, words and public participation to help highlight and dismantle ignored sociopolitical realities.

Water and beauty are tools for Estabrak to honestly focus on themes of love, trauma and belonging, whilst inviting community engagement to navigate the ever evolving and ephemeral human condition. Often prioritising the process of making not just the outcome.

Based in London and working internationally, she is originally from Iraq, born in Iran and raised in London, after having come to the UK with her family as a child refugee.

Estabrak has showcased on an international basis in such places as New York, Dubai and Berlin, along the way exhibiting at the Royal Academy of Arts, & Tate Britain. She has been supported by agencies including; the Wellcome Trust, Arts Council England, Unlimited, Invisible Dust, Bagri Foundation, Red Bull and the Ocean Global Foundation. Her work has also been presented to the UN.

Through The Glass Foundry, Estabrak's entry into working with glass casting, pâte de ver and the lost wax process has led the artist to a new body of work that serves as a turning point in her diverse career. Sometimes interactive and other times static, this collection brings in different states of water as well as personal everyday elements such as hair and domestic objects, into a navigation of a familiar yet fine line between danger and beauty. By choosing to work into glass accessible items of the everyday, viewers are invited to question the complexities of domestic, sometimes even violent human experiences. Helping straddle a conversation between that which is personal and that which is public. In this activated field of autobiographical installation, glass art and spatial socio-politics, her work attempts to explore why it's ultimately we who govern each others behaviour when all that we can ever be in control of is ourselves.

It’s the unpredictability of glass and its own natural improvisation of settlement which really excites me and translates well to the line of my work when it comes to working with water.”

 

Chuting Lee

Chuting is a performance artist and maker/sculptor , who’s practise is centralised on narrative identity, through the exploration of cultural influence and conflict of self. Graduating from the Royal College of Art in 2015, where she specialised in Footwear Design, her interest in traditional craftsmanship, which led her to delve into her own identity through the making process and develop an individual artistic language. 

Chuting is from Taiwan, currently based in the UK.

“At the Glass Foundry residency, I have learned about the secret of wax and mould making, which later led me to explore the use of wax in my practice. I was four months pregnant when the residency happened; it was a turning point in my life to start the first residency in my artistic career. The Glass Foundry is a fantastic place where you can be brave to play around with your idea with glass from any skill level! 

In this sculpture installation, Blu wax in rope shape is stitched through the surface, appearing and disappearing in the space; when the lights are off, the wax will glow in the dark, creating this intimate, immersive experience for audiences. There are also rope weaving shapes in glass sculptures that I see as Mother and child pieces; they are installed together with the wax installation.”

Scholarship Artists Exhibiting

Gill Hobson

Antonio Fois

Alexandra Searle

Nissa Nishikawa