This new series of paintings are based on small, fragile glass vessels from the 3rd and 4th century, which I discovered recently in the Istanbul Archaeological Museum. These small glass objects have miraculously outlived centuries of conflict. Their shapes, originally Roman in form, have informed the making of glass and ceramics through the centuries, mutating, each iteration enhanced with another layer of history, culture and tradition.
With mathematic precision, the layers have been peeled back to reveal the original forms. By dramatically increasing the scale, their curved surfaces act as the composition on a canvas which is then painted with hand coloured clay slips. The paintings explore themes of history, religion and war and the fragility of the medium mirrors the fragile complexity of the current global political situation.
Archaeological evidence suggests the first glass blowing techniques were developed in 50BC in an area that includes the Hatay province of Turkey where I worked with the Karam Foundation in 2015. Inspired by the process, I will blow inside the negative space of the forms to present Gathering, a sound based installation, for Sutton Gallery’s entrance space.
The new works speak of time, weight and form, the scale is provocative and the imagery deceptively decorative and at a closer look, sobering. The installation of these works is almost shrine-like and promotes silence and contemplation of one’s own beliefs and homeland.