Exhibitions | 30-01-2021

Artists selected for Glass, Meet the Future 2021 film festival

Six art works exploring new ways of engaging with the materiality of glass in the digital era have been commissioned as part of the ‘Glass, Meet the Future’ (GMTF) film festival 2021.

The seven artists awarded are Alison Lowry and Jayne Cherry (Northern Ireland), Flora de Bechi (Scotland), Griet Beyaert (England), Juli Bolaños-Durman (Scotland/Costa Rica), Madeline Rile Smith (USA) and Simone Fezer (Germany).

Their contributions will form part of the core GMTF schedule alongside new film entries, a publication and podcast.

Unique in approach, each project has been selected for its resonance with core human emotions and the intangible relationship with the material of glass and film.

Alison Lowry and Jayne Cherry’s work will reflect on the numerous State- and religious-run institutions that operated in Ireland between the 18th and late 20th centuries, incarcerating mothers and their children. Their collaborative, site-responsive work will be a visceral experience, using a glasswork as the investment object to provide a cognitive dissonance for the viewer.

Flora de Bechi’s work, entitled ‘Glass into the mould, light into the camera, body into space’ is rooted in research and experiences gathered whilst on residency at North Lands Creative in 2019. The film features a poetic imagining of the hollow space of the Grey Cairns of Camster as both a camera and mould. A digital artist’s book will accompany the work.

Griet Beyaert’s ‘Remote Glass Sound Workshop’ will explore the question, ‘What do you hear when you think about the future?’ This will later be realised as a short film and glass sound piece using the collaborative soundbite submissions of participants.

Juli Bolaños-Durman will explore how the visceral bond between the maker, community and material permeates the creative process, guiding it to become something raw and precious at the same time. Juli is interested to explore human curiosity and the instinctual need to play and create.

A performance-based work by Madeline Rile Smith will highlight communal acts of creation and collective action involving hot glass and textile-inspired processes. This unspoken film will document a story of social currency, communal effort, and interpersonal connection in the glass studio.

The performance work will form a narrative exploring The universal existence of structures and the interaction of human beings with them, their similarities and differences, and the connectedness of everything, will be the narrative behind a performance work of Simone Fezer. It will focus on restriction, adaptation, reflection, perspectives, and the complex layering of reality.

Speaking about the artists’ work selected for GMTF 2021, Karen Phillips, Director of North Lands Creative, said, “The festival commissions feel genuinely human, different and empathetic. It’s this fighting spirit and determination from the artists to gain back some cohesion that we can all resonate with right now.

“We are following what is happening all over the world related to Covid-19 and the impact it has on artists, the arts, the cultural landscape and to life globally. With physical mobility still on pause, in response we see proposals for solidarity arising. The six key commissions chosen have deep-reaching, hard-hitting, topical themes at the heart of their projects, and a COVID-19-adjacent element.

“Proving that out of adversity comes creativity, Glass, Meet the Future 2021, hopes to invite dialogue, prompt questions, and drive analysis and contemplation of life and the world as we know it, the artists commissions will be particularly interesting in the festival’s second year given the unique challenges and limitations faced by all.

“We are delighted that we could provide artists with the opportunity to produce new work covering a range of geographical areas, approaches and audiences.”

Supported through British Council Scotland and Creative Scotland as part of the UK in Japan and working alongside North Lands Creative, GMTF 2021 will deliver a programme of physical and online events taking place internationally throughout the year. Project partners are the Toyama Institute of Glass Art with Toyama Glass Art Museum in Japan and the Museum of Arts and Design, New York.

Alongside the new commissioned work, GMTF 2021 will showcase a cross section of international diverse short films using glass as the predominant feature.

The Glass, Meet the Future Festival 2021 takes place from 20 March-4 April 2021, and continues in Japan in October 2021.

Read more on the North Lands Creative website.

Feature image: Griet Beyaert. ‘Fabric of my Skin’ still.

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