Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Botanical Panels

Cherry Blossom

Botanical Panels Continued...

Swiss Cheese Plant





Botanical Panels

Umbrella Plant

Christmas Cactus

Artist’s Statement

As a little girl I used to spend the weekends in my grannies house where she lived with my uncle. The house was always in disrepair, the garden a jungle, no hot water, no heating. Rooms ran into other rooms and there I could get lost as my mother did before me. The memories that stand out to me the most are those of my uncle. How he took me up on the roof to show me stars; how he watched the football with the TV on mute because the radio commentary was better; how he used to play with the hairs on his arm by wetting his fingers and flattening them down; how he loved to draw bunnies and was never too busy to play with me.
I remember that the house was so cold the inside of the windows would frost. I remember his love of trees. How one year he went into the garden and collected all the seeds that had fallen and planted each one in its own pot and every pot inside a window. I remember how he fooled around with me at his fathers funeral. How shortly after he too succumbed to cancer. How he left behind him all his trees.
Each of us took a few home to remember him by. For years mine lined the bedroom window and when I left home they came with me. The day before I started art college the very first drawing I did in my new sketchbook was of my last remaining tree, his tree, a rowan. And when it died I felt him die again.
I’ve chosen to make these panels as a way of remembering him, so that little tree can live on and so can he. Glass is fragile the way we all are, and life is fleeting and impermanent. I have chosen to depict plants in my panels in a way that will show this. The backgrounds are dark and the sandblasted engravings leave them as white silhouettes. I have constructed them in this way so they appear ghostlike. We do not look at the plant itself but the absence of it. So many creatures of this world are dwindling, so many are ready extinct and as my father says ‘we are the generation that ate the planet’. I wanted these panels to be reminiscent of ancient fossils, where a trace of life remains, or amber where insects are trapped and an echo of that life can be seen long after the life itself is extinguished. These ghost plants are symbolic of death and the destruction man has left in his wake.
The tree with its transparent leaves is to carry the same message, it is the autumn of our years on this earth, with its leaves turning and falling to the ground. I love nature and I wanted to capture a little bit of it. Like taking a snapshot then watching it diminished, before it is finally and eternally gone.

The Echo

The Echo (detail)

Glass Leaves

I made 133 glass leaves for my tree piece 'The Echo' in my Degree Show. These are a few examples of them.

Toothbrush Panel Continued...

Seven individual panels, each three layers deep, painted and sandblasted to create this almost cartoon stripy graphic design. It was inspired by my own ritualistic dental hygiene routine. Brush, floss, tepe, mouthwash. Not the worst obsession to have...

Toothbrush Panel

Glass Corset Continued...

I coated my body in mud rock in order to make a mould of it that I could slump glass over. This glass was drilled to form holes which I later laced with ribbon, before being heated in a kiln to take the shape of my body. I'm really happy with the result. I worked even better than expected. I sandblasted the inside to give it a fuller more sculptural quality. 2006.

Glass Corset

Mechanical Tree

The Scottish Glass Society Annual Exhibition 2009

As a student of Design and Applied Arts I work mainly in Architectural Glass, by which I mean two dimensional free standing or hanging panels. I construct these to be seen in gallery spaces, but they could just as easily be used as windows in an interior setting. I combine the use of ceramic, oil and glass paints with sandblasting, engraving and fusing to create images. My pieces achieve depth through a process of layering glass, each layer with separate complimentary forms which when brought together create new imagery. I use a lot of copper foiling and soldering in my work often contrasting the soft, bright, wispy glass design with dark painted wood, which is not just used as a method to frame my glass but becomes part of the art itself.

I take inspiration from a lot of different sources when it comes to my glass work. I am a very visual person and every second of every day my eyes are picking up on the subtle nuances of the world around me and channelling them subconsciously back into my art. Recently I have been hugely stimulated by a mixture of industrial machinery and organic form, the juxtaposition of which has heavily influenced a great deal of the glass I’ve done over the last year. When starting a new piece I often spend a week or two just drawing in order to generate new ideas and to help me focus in on what I want to make. I will draw from human form or walk around the city stopping to capture street scenes or lamp posts or dead leafs that grab my attention. I go to the library or onto the Internet and find images of similar things and try to mimic the mood or essence of a photo or a day.

Currently I am obsessed with curved organic lines and their juxtaposition with hard industrial shapes. I love the linear quality found in the work of artists such as Egon Schiele and H. R. Giger and the flowing form of Barbara Hepworth. When I’m starting a new project I look at the work of artists like these and from them take huge inspiration.

My uncle used to grow trees from seed, and hundreds of little pots would line all his window sills. When he died I kept a few. Recently the last of those few, a rowan tree, has withered and I drew it sad in its pot. That drawing became a print that now sits on my window sill where I see it every day. I still draw a lot of inspiration from it, and its contours and carved lines can defiantly be seen running through my glass work. My influences continually change and evolve, focusing on whatever aspect of my life most excites me at the time.

Exhibition Proposal
‘The Wandering’ shows the epic journey of a tree uprooted and forced to roam the land looking for a new home. I tried to capture this sense of movement and isolation as it journeys for a new land to lay down its roots. I wanted it to seem half living, half mechanical forced to migrate as a lone creature wandering with nowhere to go. I wanted to explore my own sense of identity and how I feel rooted to Scottish soil, what it means to feel Scottish and what it would mean to be forced to leave.

The Panel itself is comprised of a large wooden frame with glass inlaid into it and lights behind it. The glass tree is made of three layers of float glass. The first and second layers are painted with tracing black and the bottom layer is sandblasted and painted with red oil paint. These layers were then copperfoiled and soldered together before being held in place by silicone glue and builders caulk. The MDF frame was jig-sawed into the shape of the tree and will be attached to a lightbox and held to the wall with mirror plates. The work will be an installation.
Approximate Size: 167.7 x 100 x 18 cm

Small Botanical Panels

Rhododendron: sandblasted, painted, silverstained. 2008.

Fused painted glass with trapped bubbles to create an organic tar like design. 2008.

Beech: Painted and silverstained. 2008.

Pine: Painted and sandblasted design. Two layers. 2008.

Rhododendron: Painted and sandblasted design. Two layers. 2008.