Exhibitions | 30-10-2023

Glass World exhibition opens at NGC

Sunderland’s place in the international network of artists working in glass is celebrated in a new exhibition at National Glass Centre (NGC), called ‘Glass World’.

The exhibition presents a range of objects created by artists from, or based, in countries ranging from Canada to New Zealand and Argentina to Japan.

Many of the exhibits have been made at NGC by international visiting artists, academics and graduates from University of Sunderland who have gone on to work in other countries.

Julia Stephenson, Head of Arts at NGC, said, “We’re delighted to be presenting an exhibition of work created by glass artists from such a wide range of countries. Many of the pieces have been created here in Sunderland, or the artists involved will have a connection with NGC.

“Glass World reflects NGC’s place within the global glass community and our networks. The exhibition is about internationalism rather than nationalism, so work is being shown in relation to the country where the artist’s practice has had the greatest influence, rather than just their country of birth or current residence.

“Some of the artists have strong connections with two or three countries – or even continents. For instance, Sam Herman was a pioneer of the Studio Glass movement in the United States, Britain and Australia and directly and indirectly influenced many of the next generation of artists working in glass.”

The artworks on display come from NGC’s own collection and many pieces reflect the characteristics of the glass produced in particular countries.

Julia explained, “There are geographic distinctions, such as the work of Göran Wärff of Sweden and Oiva Toikka of Finland, who both designed for production rather than focusing on one-off pieces – an established approach in both countries.

“Martin Janecký’s skill in sculpting hot glass reflects the Czech investment in glass education from an early age, while the pieces by Archimede Seguso stand as a monument to the skills in hot glass handed down over centuries on the island of Murano in Italy.”

Glass World is one of three exhibitions currently showing at NGC. The other two are The Bernard Lloyd Collection (some of which is included in Glass World) and a collection of work from University of Sunderland graduate Hassina Khan.

All three exhibitions are free and will be on display at NGC until 10 March 2024.

National Glass Centre (NGC) is at Liberty Way, Sunderland, SR6 0GL, UK. For more information visit the website.

Image: Dale Chihuly’s ‘Blue Sea Form’ (1990) from the Bernard Lloyd Collection. Photo: David Williams

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