EFFORTS to turn Sunderland’s National Glass Centre into an internationally recognised arts venue reached London this week.
The centre is currently undergoing a £2.2million re-development project which will see it reopen this summer.
Now work created by some of the North East’s finest glass and ceramics artists will be displayed at Collect, the International Art Fair for Contemporary Objects, at Saatchi Gallery, London.
Glass is a major focus of this year’s fair, and the National Glass Centre will be among the internationally important galleries represented at the event.
James Bustard, director of the centre said: “We are extremely proud to be the only gallery in the North of England to be exhibiting at Collect this year.
“The exhibition provides an excellent opportunity for us to profile the skill of the North East’s finest artists working in glass and highlight the wealth of Sunderland’s glass-making talent, on an international platform.”
Graham Dolphin, Andrew Livingstone, James Maskrey, Colin Rennie, Jeffrey Sarmiento and Erin Dickson will represent the region with artworks which were created at the centre’s world class production facilities.
Most are members of the internationally renowned glass and ceramics teaching and research team at the University of Sunderland.
Graham Dolphin has worked with the department to develop new work in glass. All were included in the National Glass Centre’s Kith and Kin exhibitions in 2011 and 2012.
Jeffrey Sarmiento and Erin Dickson will present their impressive glass sculpture Emotional Leak, which was originally commissioned for Kith and Kin.
This digitally crafted artwork is made of 416 waterjet-cut glass sheets and weighs over 1,000kg, and has been transported to the Saatchi in 12 large crates for the artists to construct on site.
The artwork is based on a time-lapse photographic recording of a literal leak from under the glass ceiling of National Glass Centre.
Jeffrey Sarmiento said: “We have extended Emotional Leak to four metres high to touch the ceiling of the Saatchi Gallery. It’s a fusion of digital technology and glassmaking at a monumental scale.”
Kevin Petrie, Professor of glass and ceramics and head of glass and ceramics at the University of Sunderland, said: “This exhibition is a great chance to showcase how the value National Glass Centre places on research is leading to the production of innovative and exciting new artworks.”