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Nature Reflected

4 May 2023 - 27 May 2023

The Scottish Gallery presents Nature Reflected, an exhibition featuring five glass artists who each celebrate the natural world.

Find out more and enjoy studio films from each artist in our film blog here.

The exhibition features engraved work by Katharine Coleman and Nancy Sutcliffe, alongside lampwork by Emma Bourke and constructed sculptural pieces by Juli Bolaños-Durman and Choi Keeryong.

Photography by Suki Dhanda
Born: 1984
Place of Birth: Costa Rica

Juli Bolaños-Durman studied at Veritas University, San José before undertaking an MFA in glass at Edinburgh College of Art in 2011. During her time at ECA Juli gained work experience with renowned glass artists Keiko Mukaide and Heather Gillespie. Juli was the Winner of the Jerwood Makers Open 2017 and the Inches Carr Scottish Craft Award 2017.

‘The primary theme within my creative process is the exploration of preciousness and how intuitive play jumpstarts the creation of new ideas within the studio practice. Preciousness is not only the value or quality of the materials themselves but more so the journey of transformation they represent. I find myself favouring and treasuring objects that act as storytellers and constitute experiences that are a link to emotional connections. Therefore, it is essential for the creative process to give the artwork the same significance. I want to create raw pieces that are put together intuitively through the joyfulness of play, explore the different materials to create new meaning and invite the audience to become part of the journey.’ – Juli Bolaños-Durman.

Public Collections include: Museum of Contemporary Design and Applied Arts (MUDAC) Collection, Lausanne, France; Manchester Metropolitan University Special Collections Museum; National Glass Centre Collection 2021

Significant Commissions include: Chancellor’s Fellowship Award Commission presented by the Chancellor of the University Princess Anne, HRH The Princess Royal.

Photography by Alice Ward
Born: 1984
Place of Birth: Co. Mayo, Ireland

Based in Westport, Co. Mayo, Ireland, Emma graduated with a BDes Glass from the National College of Art and Design, Dublin in 2009. An Artist Residency followed at Strokestown House, Ireland in 2012, before completing an MFA from the University of Sunderland in 2013.

Emma Bourke is interested in tangible relationships to history, mythology, and folklore. Her work pushes the technical boundaries of lampworking, and her new work is based on the definition of Biophilia; the innate human tendency to seek connections with nature. Emma has created enclosed gardens of wild plants that have many traditional and contemporary uses.

‘I’m interested in the symbiotic relationship between people and plants, from seed migration to cultivation to medicinal uses; from local to global contexts.  Speedwell is a good example, while this pretty blue flower is said to be a ‘cure-all’ it is mainly used as an expectorant for respiratory problems, stomach ailments and skin irritants.  I took a scientific approach when creating the petals and branches in glass, to scrutinise the physicality, scale and fragility of the original plant.’

Emma’s work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally and in 2021 she received the Agility Award from the Crafts Council of Ireland. The National Museum of Ireland has a piece of Bourke’s work in their Collection and Emma’s thesis; Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka and their glass models of sea creatures was also acquired by the Corning Museum of Glass, as part of the Rakow Library’s Blaschka Archive.

Public Collections include:
Trinity College Collection, Chemistry Department, Trinity College, Ireland; Maurice Ward Art Handlers Collection, Ireland; Mayo County Council Collection, Aras na Contae, Ireland; Museum of Ireland Collection, Museum of Decorative Arts & History, Ireland

Born: 1949
Place of Birth: Sutton Coldfield

Katharine Coleman studied engraving techniques with Peter Dreiser 1984-6 and was shortlisted for the Jerwood Applied Arts Prize 2003 (Glass), awarded an Honorary Mention Prize at the Coburg Glass Prize 2006 and the Glass Sellers inaugural prize for Engraving on Glass 2007. In 2009 Katharine was awarded an MBE for services to glass engraving. She engraves on clear lead crystal forms, overlaid with coloured glass, blown to her design. Once blown and annealed, the top surface of the glass is cut and polished to allow one to see inside the piece, which is then engraved. The engraved decoration reflects and refracts onto the inner surface, creating an illusion of one body floating inside another. The inspiration for her work ranges from natural history to the modern urban landscape.

‘For many years, I have been interested in the optical properties of glass and how engraving on the glass surface may produce unexpected and fascinating effects on and in the glass itself. I rely heavily on the skills of glassblowers Potter Morgan Glass to realise my designs in colour overlaid crystal and enjoy the challenge of joining hot glass design with cold working. Japanese art and design, the famous engravings of Ernst Haeckel and modern architecture have all informed the subject matter of my work, as has what the American philosopher Thomas Moore so eloquently described as “the beautiful ordinary”.’ – Katharine Coleman

Public collections include:
National Museums Scotland, Edinburgh; Victoria & Albert Museum, London; Kunstsammlungen der Veste Coburg, Germany; Alexander Tutsek, Munich; Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge; Shipley Art Gallery; Kamenicky Senov, Czech Republic; Corning Museum of Glass, New York

In December 2015, The Gallery hosted All The Year Round, a solo exhibition from Katharine Coleman. Twelve new works in glass were specially created for this exhibition, one to represent each month of the year.

Katharine Coleman’s solo exhibition A Fine Line took place in November 2019. An accompanying publication can be viewed and purchased here.

Photography by Jaro Mikos
Born: 1976
Place of Birth: South Korea

Originally from South Korea, Choi Keeryong came to Britain to complete a Master of Design at Edinburgh College of Art and in 2010, continued to embark on a PhD in Glass and Architectural Glass. Keeryong has exhibited widely across the UK whilst investigating the similarities and differences between cultural groups in terms of their aesthetic perceptions of visual experiences, particularly in relation to unfamiliar materials and surface imagery.

Choi’s motivation for creating this body of work is to explore how the ambiguity of an individual’s cultural interpretation can help to create the state of “uncanni-ness” in the audience’s visual experiences. He believes that this ‘uncanni-ness’ provokes emotions and feelings and Choi manipulates this powerful tool within his artistic practice to promote the awareness of stereotypes in an individual’s cultural understanding. Developing inlaid colouring techniques inspired by the ancient Korean “Saggam” pottery allows him to explore the state of ambiguity in visual experience by delineating geometric patterns and counterfeit letters onto glass artworks and encapsulating them in between the layers of transparent glass. The use of historical symbolism of tea and the popularity of English manufactured ceramic teapots are the metaphor for the cultural stereotype in both West and East.

‘My artistic approach is inspired by my personal experiences of being in-between-ness in terms of my current cultural location.’

Choi’s work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally including SOFA Chicago, USA, International Glass Prize 2015, Belgium, and Collect, London, UK.  Choi received the Glass Biennale 2015 National Glass Centre (NGC) Residency Award and has been selected as a Loewe Craft Prize 2023 finalist.

Public Collections include: Museums and Galleries Edinburgh (City of Edinburgh Council); Oriental Museum, Durham University.

Born: 1957
Place of Birth: Brighouse, West Yorkshire

Nancy Sutcliffe is a graduate of North Staffordshire Polytechnic, Stoke-on-Trent, where she graduated in Design in 1979 and displayed an exceptional talent for drawing. Working as a medical and technical illustrator after graduating, and later as a freelance illustrator, it wasn’t until 1994 that she began working with glass – initially as a glass painter. In 2004 she attended a short engraving course at West Dean College taught by Tracey Sheppard, which in turn led Nancy to specialise in glass engraving. Engraving, gilding and painting are the key elements in her artistic practice, and she uses these techniques in various combinations to produce her work. Nancy works from her studio in Herefordshire. Nancy exhibits internationally and has been a selected finalist in significant exhibitions such as the International Glass Prize Exhibition at Toyama Glass Museum, Japan 2018 and the Coburg Glaspreis exhibition, Germany 2014 and 2022. She has been included in five of the British Glass Biennale exhibitions, most recently in 2022. In 2018 Nancy was named Wimbledon Championship Artist alongside glassblower Katie Huskie, and the collaboration produced 2 large sculptures for the main staircase in the clubhouse.

“I became a glass engraver after a career as a scientific and medical illustrator. I find I have come full circle, and my subject matter today is informed by that training in precision and attention to naturalistic detail. I use a hand held drill in much the same way as I used to use a pencil, though now using diamonds and stones I am able to carve deeply into the crystal bringing the illusion of 3D. The addition of gilding has become a characteristic of my current work – precious metal leaf in rich patterns inspired by my time living in the middle east.”

Private Collections include:
Broadfield House Glass Museum, Stourbridge, UK; Glasmuseum Frauenau, Germany

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