Conference 2013. ‘The Real Thing: Beyond Stereotyping’

This year’s Conference will be held on Saturday 7, Sunday 8 September. It explores cultural identities and features Master Class leaders along with notable international speakers from the world of arts and culture.

What delegates from the 2012 Conference said:

‘Esoteric, informative, thought provoking…your whole program inspires creative thinking’ – Susan Stinsmuehlen-Amend

‘Thoroughly enjoyed, highly informative and diverse lectures’ – Amanda Simmons

‘There was brilliant combination of speakers with diverse points of view’ – Jacqueline Poncelet

‘Each time I welcome the mix of speakers and particularly enjoyed the theme this year…the conference is very worthwhile and I find that the themes are relevant to me and that I gain a greater insight not only into what is happening in glass but in the wider art scene’ – Rose Watban

‘It is intellectually and artistically stimulating. Plus a great chance to network with other professionals and catch up with friends’ – Victoria Scholes

You can book your place through our website

Here is the full programme:

SATURDAY
9.15 Welcome, Opening Remarks
9.30 ‘Jewellery in the Age of Queen Victoria: A Mirror to the World’ – Keynote Presentation.
Judy Rudoe FSA has worked at the British Museum since 1974, specialising in jewellery, together with 19th and 20th century decorative arts. This lecture, drawn from her latest book Jewellery in the Age of Queen Victoria: A Mirror to the World, is the result of 30 years research, together with Charlotte Gere. Web resources produced a vast amount of totally unexpected information on jewellery with fish scales or live glow-worms or electrical batteries that enabled a death’s head to gnash its teeth and roll its eyes and why there was a craze for Colorado beetles in 1877. Queen Victoria’s own choice of jewellery was enormously influential, so what might seem a narrow subject acts as a key to our understanding of the Victorian age – its mourning rituals, its politics, its nationalism – all are embodied in its jewellery. Judy will focus on what jewellery meant to the people who wore it, in both public and private spheres, on the layers of meaning that jewellery could convey and on its function as a symbol of national identity, in particular the recreation of tradition in Scotland.
10.30 Morning Coffee
11.15 ‘Change and the Solitude of Detail’. Deborah Cocks (Master Class Leader) says: ‘As participants know, when a workshop begins there is a flurry of learning new techniques, acquiring new ideas and new friends. Then sometime, usually on day three, a quiet descends on the room as each of us works within our own space and thoughts; solitude within a group. It is a wonderful meditation where the new is added to the old. I think life is like this. We embrace or reject change, reflect on what has passed and retreat into the detail to make sense of it all. I hope what I make reflects this intricacy. I think this is where my talk will start.’
12.15 ‘Standing in the Maze’. Judy Tuwaletstiwa is a writer and a mixed media painter. Her paintings have been exhibited internationally and are part of numerous private, corporate and public collections. She says: ‘I grew up with immigrant Jewish grandparents in multi-cultural East Los Angeles. I lived many years in the woods of Northern California and on The Hopi Indian Reservation in Arizona. I now live in New Mexico. In the elemental landscape of the vast southwestern desert, a thin membrane separates the daily world from the world of the unconscious. I shall talk about that world and how I use what we all share…personal memory, cultural memory, biological memory, ethnic memory, mythic memory…to create the vocabulary that forms my art. I shall also discuss how glass has become an essential part of that vocabulary during the past year as Exchange Artist with Bullseye Glass.’
13.15 Lunch
14.30 ‘A Future for Mali’s Past’. The typical mud brick architecture of the city of Djenné is highly important for the cultural identity of the local Malian people and also recognised as of worldwide importance by UNESCO. It is listed as a World Heritage Site. Thus Djenné is not only awarded the international status it deserves, but the preservation of its monumental architecture becomes a common responsibility. In order to preserve this vulnerable architecture, constant maintenance and restoration work is essential. In addition, it is important that local knowledge of mud brick construction is not lost, and that the local people are made aware of the significance of their unique heritage. The Museum of Ethnology and the Malian Ministry of Culture have been working together since 1996 on the restoration of the architectural heritage in Djenné. Through restoring this historical architecture and providing work for local masons, the future of this remarkable cultural heritage is ensured for both Malian and foreign visitors to Djenné. Dr. Annette Schmidt studied Prehistory at the University of Leiden. She led an international excavation in Dia (Mali) and since 2002 she has been Curator of Africa at the Museum of Ethnology, Leiden.
15.30 ‘Weaving glass’. Anne-Lise Riond Sibony (Master Class Leader) says: ’Deep down, my work is not about glass, it is about weaving. My threads are material and immaterial. They are, for instance, emotions, memories, paintings, colours, volumes and many techniques… I weave together these threads that are of fundamentally different natures. As my work proceeds, some get the upper hand and others fade out, but all contribute to the fabric of glass and of meaning from which my pieces are made.’
16.30 Tea at Waterlines Visitor Centre, Lybster Harbour
18.00 Exhibition Preview: ‘Made In Lybster’. An exhibition of new works from the North Lands Creative Glass Collection of Contemporary Glass.
20.00 Dinner and Conference Party

SUNDAY

9.15 ‘From Mantelpiece to White Cube, Progression or Circumstance?’ Richard Slee (Master Class Leader) says: ‘This presentation will trace the ambitions and circumstances during my now long creative career. During this time I have travelled from producing a mural in Macedonia to initiating an ornament amnesty art event at an art fair in Middlesbrough. Have I shaped my practice or has my practice shaped me? In an art world where diversity is celebrated is the specialist maker still special?’
10.15 Morning Coffee
10.45 ‘The Art of Modern Tapestry’. Since it was founded in 1912, with weavers from William Morris’s workshops, Edinburgh’s Dovecot Studios have produced tapestries and rugs ranging from traditional wall hangings to experimental textile art. Often these have been made in partnership with famous painters. The success of this collaboration between artist and weaver has varied throughout the century. An artist might expect a design or painting to be ‘simply’ translated into textile, by matching colours and echoing brushwork. At best, however, weaver and artist can together evolve a new work in which the spirit of the initial design enters a quite new and sometimes unanticipated, even magical, dimension. Curator and historian, Elizabeth Cumming, explores the nature of modern tapestry and that crucial artist-weaver relationship via a range of tapestries designed with British and American artists from Graham Sutherland to Louise Nevelson, Eduardo Paolozzi to Frank Stella.
11.45 Demonstrations in the Alastair Pilkington Studio
13.15 Lunch
14.30 ‘Recorded Influences’. Eeva Käsper (Master Class Leader) says: ‘The theme of influences has accompanied me for several years. By mapping the influences which guide and affect us, we can better recognize their impact to our creative work. For me glass is the material of endless possibilities. My works are based on personal experience and are influenced by intermediate states of consciousness that are as abstract as the form I have chosen to express them. Fascinated to discover and record the states of mind that have originated in an emotional memory, my works of glass often describe a fragile contemplative environment of perception.’
15.30 Summing-up by Tina Oldknow, Curator of Modern Glass, Corning Museum of Glass.
16.00 Concluding remarks

The 2013 Conference is sponsored by Corning Incorporated, USA & Bullseye Glass Co

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