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Hailing from across the globe, an exciting group of twenty artists have come together to showcase their work at ‘Glass @ The Forge’. The showcase will be on display during London Design Week and Open House weekend from 15th – 23rd September 2018. The Forge is part of a historically significant 19th century ironworks where the steel for Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s ground-breaking steamship The Great Eastern was constructed and launched just across the road at Masthouse Terrace Pier.
Intrigued by the history of the site Maria Zulueta has further investigated the Brunel family and has drawn her inspiration from the steam powered saw mills invented by I.K. Brunel for her floating log series. In a reference to the establishment of Greenwich Mean Time, originally created in order to cope with the railway developments brought about by I.K. Brunel’s inventions, Hannah Gibson has used old watch parts in her large, recycled glass Lego figures ‘Time and Tide wait for no man’. The naval heritage of the area and the historical necessity of navigation using star maps draws links with the large astrolabe called the Yantra Raj, from India, that has inspired the recent circular works of Philip O’Reilly. Tami Ishida and Hannah Facey have referenced the Cutty Sark and her use as a tea clipper by creating ‘Japanese Tea Bowls’ and whimsical ‘High Tea’ pieces respectively. Hannah’s work also references the importance of humour in keeping us going in difficult times.
Caroline O’Connor’s previous work focused on ‘Sound & Vision’ takes inspiration from the lives of the ‘dockers’ in her piece ‘Gone to the Dogs’ and ‘Buddy – Smell the Roses’.
Many of the featured artists have been inspired in some way by water and the sea. Anum Khan uses the qualities of cast glass to bring the relaxing elements of water indoors whilst Disha Trivedi draws on the nightmares of being a sailors’ wife in imagining the ferocity of the oceans. Both Maarja Mäemets and Rait Lõhmus are free divers and this is shown through their work. Maarja also examines constantly morphing feelings and her own fragility, whereas, Rait ponders the depths of his mind in relation to the deep water he regularly inhabits.
Turning away from the open water and examining the coastal regions of this country is what inspires Caroline Reed to make her delicate Pate de Verre pieces while Emma Nightingale examines the wonderful landscape, flora and fauna of Northern Portugal. Joanna Lloyd uses her knowledge as an archaeologist to creatively reference what is beneath our feet, using historical fragments within her glass. The use of natural objects, as well as ice, provides Cat Noble with a never-ending source of inspiration for her colourful pieces.
While examining the force of a lightning strike on the human body Sheryl Vaughan became fascinated by the micro and macro similarities in nature and created her pieces in response to this. In making her flameworked figures, Shuai Yuan is concerned with creating a discussion about our assertion that we are the most intelligent creatures on the planet whilst Ellie Burton draws our attention to urban decay and the way Mother Nature reclaims human interventions. For some of the artists the relationship between materials is most important.
Diana Williams creates stunning sculptural mixed media glass installations that juxtapose the tension between the ethereal and utilitarian. Yuki Kokai likewise creates sculptural works using steel reminiscent of the steel girders that remain at the Forge. She examines the geometry, nature of Japanese culture in her art.
Geometry is also a key element for Kyran Wallace as the playful blend of chance, fluidity and angles are used to create his highly polished sculptures for this up and coming artist.
15 September 10am - 11pm (preview evening from 7pm)
16-23 of September 10am - 9pm daily