North Lands Creative Glass 2014 International Conference

‘The Place and The Work’ Conference will be held on Saturday 6, Sunday 7 September.

Making art works in relation to place is the focus of this year’s North Lands Creative Glass Conference and Master Classes; acknowledging how artists and their work connect to their surroundings, landscape, architecture, history and social context.

We see more interactive public art, more artists responding to and working with communities. Artists are making works that respond to weather, nature or urban environments, to political discourse and social situations. It seems that some artists and public demand less autonomous disconnected sculpture favouring instead a more connected vision.

We ask questions about what it means to experience remoteness, how this and being in a place away from home affect an artist’s work. What influences the particularities of a landscape can have and what it means to collaborate with artists in close proximity, to work intensively with no distractions and to embrace or reject the surroundings.

What can happen when we go beyond our familiar studio environment and step outside into a bigger picture? What does it mean to be a glass specialist in this place, at this time?

Tickets (incl. VAT):
Conference £200
Reduced fee for Master Class participants £160
Full-time students £145

Members of the Contemporary Glass Society and Scottish Glass Society will get a 10% discount on Conference fees.

Click here to book a Conference place
or call Grace on 01593721229 for more information  



9.00 Introduction

9.30-10.30 ‘Playing In the City’ Andrew Shoben will talk about the potential of small interventions, embedded into the urban fabric of a public space, to allow some form of self-expression in areas of the city that people see everyday but normally exclude and ignore. He will show a series of examples of work that attempt to establish special, intimate zones, to ‘short circuit’ both the environmental and social expectations supplied by the surrounding urban realm. And to have fun with the city!

Andrew Shoben is a Professor of Public Art at Goldsmiths, University of London, and founder of greyworld, a world-renowned artists’ collective creating art in public spaces. In 2004 they launched The Source, a permanent installation for the London Stock Exchange which was unveiled by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and watched on television by millions every day, internationally. In 2010, they unveiled ‘Paint’ an installation allowing phones to paint on the city. Commissioned by Nokia, it has recently been nominated ‘Interactive artwork of the year’ by the Design Museum. In early 2012, greyworld launched ‘Trafalgar Sun’ a giant installation for Trafalgar Square, London. Andrew is a regular contributor to television, radio and print, and lectures extensively around the world. Most recently he presented a show on BBC Radio 4 entitled ‘Change of Art’

10.30 Break

11.00-12.00 ‘The Place and The Work’ Helen Maurer and Angela Moore
‘We will discuss the role of place within our own practices and give an outline of our collaborative ventures, also reflecting upon the master class, on the experience of working together with the group, in the Highlands, and how it has distorted, fogged and inspired us.’

Helen Maurers early studies were in Visual and Performing Arts at Brighton University. Later she studied glass at Central St Martins School of Art and the Royal College of Art. She is represented by Danielle Arnaud Gallery, London and also works on site-specific commissions. She collaborates with other artists, choreographers and musicians. Helen was awarded the Jerwood Prize for Glass in 2003 for her unique approach to glass.

Angela Moore is a photographer known for her high profile campaign photography connected to the art and design world. Her work is used in magazines worldwide and includes highly innovative projects for Frieze Art Fair, Vitra, Kvadrat, SCP, Tord Boontje, the Design Museum and Modus. She has photographed cookbooks for Heston Blumenthal, Canteen and Nigel Slater. Angela’s work has been exhibited in Thessaloniki Museum of Photography, Greece and Monat der Fotografie, Vienna. Helen and Angela first worked together on a commission for the Pump House Gallery, London where they started their ‘Bad Magic’ project. They went on to create work for the Swarovski magazine, Crystallized, They share interests in illusory images and in the effects of light and projection.

12.00-1.00 ‘Land Art and the Experience of Place’ Joy Sleeman
‘The new art of landscape that emerged from the late 1960s forged novel connections with places and, sometimes inadvertently, reactivated previous ways of seeing and relating to landscape. Taking some famous examples of Land Art – and some less well known ones – my talk will investigate ways in which works of art relate to places both remote and local.’

Joy Sleeman is an art historian, curator and writer who lectures in the History and Theory of Art at University College London, Slade School of Fine Art. Her research focuses on landscape and sculpture, particularly in Britain. Her publications include essays on ‘Land Art and the Moon Landing’ (2009) and ‘From Land Art to the Anthropocene’ in the catalogue to the Royal Academy of Arts London exhibition, ‘Modern British Sculpture’ (2011). She recently co-curated the exhibition ‘Uncommon Ground: Land Art in Britain 1966-1979’ for the Arts Council Collection, which toured to four UK venues between May 2013 and June 2014. Her book on ‘The Sculpture of William Tucker’ was published in 2007 and her current book project is ‘Five Sites for Five Sculptures: Roelof Louw and British Sculpture since the 1960s’. She is an editor of the ‘Sculpture Journal’.

1.00 – 2.00 Lunch

Saturday Afternoon Seminar, Demonstrations and Practical Sessions

2.00-3.00 25 mins talk and 35 mins seminar. Elke Westen
‘My talk will reflect on the use of modern materials and techniques to integrate the artwork into the environment and the fabric of buildings, according to the specifications and requirements of the client.

‘The projects can be on a very large scale, exceeding the possibilities of a normal size studio. In some cases, the help of specialized glass companies, e.g. Derix Glasstudios, can make the projects economical, viable and profitable. My talk will highlight the advantages a co-operation with commercial entities can have and I will demonstrate this on examples of public glass artworks including my own.’

Elke Westen has a background in design and her work focuses on large scale architectural glass in public spaces. She will give a short introductory talk and hold a practical group seminar for participants interested in further discussion around the subject of collaboration, or advice about their own projects. Elke has 20 years’ experience of commissioned projects and gained her MA from the National College of Art and Design, Dublin. She is the vice chair for the Scottish Glass Society and a freelance project consultant for the world renowned ‘Derix Glassstudios’ in Germany.

2.30-4.00 Making Blowing Moulds from Clay. A practical session using clay pressed into boxes to create blowing moulds. The participants’ moulds will be blown by Wil Sideman. The results can be viewed and collected on Sunday.

2.30-4.00 Engraving Demonstrations will involve printing with glass and explore mark making. These will be led by Heather Gillespie and Laura Reid.

4.00 Tea at Waterlines, Lybster Harbour

4.30 Cliff-top walk with Caithness Countryside Rangers (optional)

6.30-8.00 Private View ‘A Forest of Glass
An exhibition showing work by Laura ReidWil SidemanMadeline Mackay and Heather Gillespie who took part in an experimental engraving residency project devised by Michael Bullen.
The exhibition explores the experience of the artists living and working together in a remote and isolated log cabin in Borgie Forest, one of the most northerly forests in the UK.

Working directly from nature, the artists used glass engravers powered by generators. The artists will be present and will show experiments and finished works including glass works, video, photographs and drawings from the project. A Forest of Glass was part of Creative Futures, a Creative Scotland talent development programme which aims to promote the professional development, capabilities, connectivity and ambitions of Scotland’s creative practitioners and organisations. The project was a partnership between North Lands Creative Glass and The Borgie Forest Cabin Project.

8.00 Evening Dinner and Entertainment


10.00-10.15 Arrival and Coffee

10.15-11.00 ‘A man had gone and left only unfriendly empty spaces behind’ Petr Stanický
‘In my works I move between the figural and an architectural feeling of space. I employ a variety of materials and techniques. I work with pasteboard, wood, steel and bronze, as well as taking a big interest in glass. Despite the number of mediums I employ, I try to stay consistent and focused in my work. It is typified by constant attention to clear statement and highly direct expression. Expression in my work tends towards reduced forms, an austere artistic morphology and, in recent years, to awareness of the creative process. I observe the process as an act determined by the time and place of its evolution, as in sculptures from the Process series (2010).’

The breadth of Petr Stanický’s work is reflected in his rich and diverse studies in the Czech Republic and the USA. At the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague he studied sculpture, specialising in stone carving and with glass in architecture; he graduated in 2000. He taught sculpture at the Arts Academy in Prague before joining a masters programme at the New York Arts Academy. From there he gained experience working on sculptural projects in Jeff Koons’ studio. He leads a new masters programme in glass at Tomas Bata University in Zlín, Czech Republic. His work has been widely exhibited in Europe and is currently at the National Glass Centre, Sunderland.

11.00-12.00 ‘Chance and challenge: Site specific objects in museum galleries. Samples from the ‘Coburg Prize for Contemporary Glass 2014’ exhibition’ Dr.Sven Hauschke.
‘More and more works of art are made for specific sites. Often presented in nature or outside buildings, they are usually displayed only temporarily. The paper will discuss situations when these objects are shown subsequently in exhibitions or museum galleries. The focus will be on objects made with glass, but other works of art will be considered as well.’

Sven Hauschke is Director of the European Museum of Modern Glass and Curator of Works of Art at Kunstammlungen Der Veste, Coburg. He is also Curator of the Coburg Glaspreis 2014. He will talk about the Coburg Glass Prize and the issues of bringing site-specific glass works into the museum.

12.00-12.15 Break

12.15-1.00 ‘Influenced by…’ Kristiina Uslar
‘At the beginning of my glass artist career I drew my inspiration mainly from Roman cage-cups and labyrinths, but my inspiration sources have changed in time, and I have adapted a million other unknown influences and most of them have played an important role in the ‘bigger picture’.

‘Almost all my works are made in pāte de verre technique and are developed by growing multiple levels out of the first one. Definite systems, airiness, fragility, density of columns and networks, and layers supported by each other are the keywords to describe my works. The final result can be extremely tender and fragile, even while it seems massive, heavy and steady. It is interesting for me, to find the borders between fragility and complexity. Aside from the concept, the technical part is also very important for me. I will introduce my artworks from 2004 until now. I will try to open up conceptions and inspiration sources.’

Kristiina Uslar graduated from the Estonia Academy of Art in 2003 where she later taught in the glass department. She completed an MA in 2007 ‘My intention and goal was not to restore the technique but to study and develop it toward artwork and through this to gradually unfold the variety of ways in which the technique can be innovated.’ She lives and works in Estonia and has been exhibiting her work in Europe, the USA and Japan since 2001. Her work has been acknowledged in various glass awards and is held in many major collections.

1.00-2.15 Lunch

2.15-3.00 ‘Standing on Shoulders; using glass skills in performance art’ Richard William Wheater. Some of the world’s most accomplished artists rely on specialist skills within a team to realise their work, a dependence often overshadowed by a preference to focus on the artist’s singular vision. The current status quo – and tension of glass often acting as invisible glue to the spectacle – will be discussed by the artist.

Richard William Wheater gained notoriety for an ambitious project in 2008 titled ‘Them and Us’. Touring the UK with his mobile furnace he hot-sculpted indigenous glass birds in their natural habitat, he then released them into the air in a ritualistic act, which both freed and destroyed them. An artist/performer committed to making and the science of materials, his work is also ephemeral, transitory art, involving place and people. An in-depth study of neon has resulted in events such as ‘12 Months of Neon Love’, in which a neon bill-board announced declarations of love, lines from popular songs, which changed monthly. Other neon works made, like his recent ‘Land to Sea’ project, involve groups of people and aim to unite people with landscape. His installations have been both site specific and gallery based. He studied at Edinburgh College of Art, Alfred University USA and the University of Sunderland. He lives in Wakefield, UK.

3.00-4.00 ‘Pursuing Impossible Ideas’ Lise Autogena
‘I will speak about site specific approaches to three large scale site-specific projects:
Foghorn Requiem, Sound Mirrors Project and Black Shoals Stock Market Planetarium’

Lise Autogena is a Danish artist, based in London and Professor of Cross Disciplinary Art at Sheffield Hallam University. She worked internationally with glass between the late 80s until the late 1990s. She was nominated for the Jerwood Prize and awarded an Arts Foundation Prize for her work in glass in 1998. Her work has since then combined a curatorial and fine art approach to developing large scale performances, site-specific works, and multimedia installations, usually developed in collaboration with communities, organisations and individuals across many specialist fields. Through these projects she has explored how economic, geographic, technological and societal systems impact on our human experience and sense of self in the world.

4.00 Final Summing Up and Feedback

‘The Place and The Work’ is sponsored by Corning Incorporated, USA