Breath Taking presents new work by 17 pioneering and innovative contemporary British makers alongside five exemplary works from the Crafts Council Collection.
The works on display are all created by virtue of the interaction of human breath and hot glass. The breath that has created these new works resonates in the themes and concepts it explores. It continues to animate them even once the original breath has dissipated. Using this sense of breath as a starting point, life, death, sound and movement are considered and manifested in objects as fascinating and unexpected as a glass trombone, hand-grenade and an apartment designed for futuristic living.
This exhibition is timely in a climate that has seen a reduction in the formal learning opportunities to discover the art of hot glass-blowing. There are challenges for makers in running a studio furnace due to rising fuel prices and an increased responsibility and awareness of the environmental impact and carbon footprint of the process. However, there is a burgeoning wave of makers who, whilst cognisant of these issues, are passionate about the process and desirous to develop new work.
The works on show are produced by employing traditional and historical techniques that are over 5000 years old. However, it is the contemporary variation developed from these traditional processes, combined with intellectual and creative inspiration, that is new and has the power to excite, to question and to challenge and together present the new wave in British glassblowing.