Glass sculpture can be imaginative and demonstrate great fluidity and virtuosity; it can provide huge contrasts and variety from the brilliantly clear to opaque; from white to coloured from solid to translucent, from bold to exquisitely detailed and it allows the light to flow through in amazingly different ways. Glasstress: White Light | White Heat was shown at the Venice Biennale from May to November 2013 at the Palazzo Cavalli Franchetti on the Grand Canal and at the Berengo Centre for Contemporary Art and Glass. Part of the exhibition, a unique collaboration between the Berengo Glass Studio, Venice, the London College of Fashion (part of the University of the Arts London) and the Wallace Collection, is now on display in London at the Wallace Collection and the London College of Fashion. It features the work of several major contemporary artists and designers, including Tracey Emin, Charlotte Hodes and Polly Apfelbaum, many of whom had never worked in glass before.
The Venice exhibition included a display of sixty-five artists including Tracy Emin responding to the theme of light and heat, “the components of fire, the fundamental elements involved in the formation of the universe and also the essence of glassblowing. Light is integral to our perception of glass, while heat is required to shape it”.
It is a stunning display that illustrates the sheer virtuosity of the material and the imagination of the artists.