North Lands announces Leap of Faith artistic programme

Expanding on the human narrative within the bleak and sublime landscape of Caithness, Scotland, North Lands Creative Glass presents Leap of Faith, a programme exploring how glass inspires belief. Humans create ritual spaces places for public gathering and private contemplation, from the stone circle to the church steeple. A leap of faith also implies taking a chance on an uncertain outcome, in art as well as in life. We continue our search in the present day, finding comfort and challenge in making things.

In 2017, North Lands will host a conference, an exhibition and four master classes led by internationally acclaimed artists who work across a range of processes, including techniques specific to glass. Each response to the theme is individual, and this is evident by the artwork they make and the workshop they will lead.

Though they bare no obvious relationship to religious imagery, Anne Vibeke Mou’s painstaking engravings involve a monastic approach to glassmaking. Anne explores contemporary drawing through the medium of stained glass, and the window is a point of departure for Divine Light. Supported in the studio by renowned conservator Keith Barley MBE, students will be challenged to incorporate mark-making into traditional stained glass.

Annie Cattrell interprets the leap of faith as risk, focusing on the moment of transformation that makes art. Materiality Making Meaning will take a creative approach to using glass as a means for discovery. The class will emphasise hands-on studio experimentation and idea development for sculpture and installation. Techniques for kilncasting and flamework will be introduced to develop forms for a broader consideration of scale and materials.

Beth Lipman imbues meaning and symbolism into sculpted glass objects in her epic installations based on still life paintings. In Time to Believe, glassmaking is a primary method to expose, question and express current and past beliefs. Through blowing, solid sculpting, kiln forming, painting, and cold working, students will take a sculptural approach to making new objects in glass.

North Lands is offering a master class on the goblet, a vessel that could be interpreted as a literal and metaphorical Holy Grail. However, the working philosophy of Michael Schunke and Josie Gluck is based on a meditative practice they use to master one of the most difficult disciplines in glassblowing. They will demonstrate seamless, precise teamwork, focusing on process while detaching from the outcome. Students will reference the past to make personal, contemporary forms.

The conference, Taking a Leap: Concept, Conservation and Innovation in Architectural Glass, will be held on the North Lands campus in Lybster on 16 July 2017. From the preservation of historic windows to the edge of contemporary art, stained glass endures as an important and exciting medium for creative practice. In collaboration with Bullseye Glass Company, this one-day event of lectures, discussions, networking and gallery tours considers the creation and conservation of traditional and contemporary architectural commissions.

Registration for the conference and master classes is now open with a scholarship and conference early bird deadline of 28 February 2017. The staff at North Lands Creative Glass welcomes you to participate in a dynamic programme in which to see, experience, discuss, and make glass.

Image: Mixed Goblets with 3 Lidded, 2016, Michael Schunke, Blown glass