Thursday, 24 November 2011

Back to the Future: Contemporary West Midlands Glass Artists To Celebrate 400 Years of Stourbridge Glass


2012 will be the 400th anniversary of glass making in the Stourbridge area and a group of West Midlands’s glass artists and designers will be making sure the occasion does not go unnoticed.  

Back to the Future – an exhibition of contemporary work inspired by the world famous glass collections and archives of Dudley Borough – will open in August 2012 during the International Festival of Glass and run until the end of January 2013.

The driving forces behind the exhibition are glass artist Jackie Cooley and Kari Moodie and Roger Dodsworth from Broadfield House Glass Museum (where the exhibition will take place) with the support of The Friends of Broadfield House Glass Museum and Interiors & Lifestyle Futures.   

Glass artists on one of the guided tours 

“We are interested in creating a connection or dialogue between the contemporary makers/designers in the West Midlands and their historical counterparts,” says Kari Moodie. “We held a series of open days, during November, for artists interested in applying for the exhibition at Broadfield House, the Museum’s stores and library at Himley Hall, and Dudley Archives & Local History Service in Coseley.”

The aim is that inspiration for new work could come from glass objects, archival materials such as pattern books and other historical documents, or even the architectural features of Broadfield House.

"A dialogue between contemporary makers/designers and their historical counterparts"
Although an artist might be inspired by a piece produced using a similar technique to their own, we would encourage artists to look at items outside of their normal working techniques,” adds Jackie Cooley.

 “For example, a kiln former could look at a blown object or a cold worker might look at a lamp-worked piece. We are also encouraging artists to think about changes of scale as well as technique. The new work shouldn’t be an accurate copy of the original but could feature something of its essence.”

Successful applicants will be chosen by a panel in February 2012 and pieces that are selected as their collaborative inspiration will be exhibited alongside the new work or the new work will be exhibited alongside existing displays or features.

Celebrating 400 years of West Midlands glass making