Jeffrey is constructing art

Jeffrey Sarmiento
Jeffrey Sarmiento
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Ancient and modern-inspired art combine in the latest exhibition at National Glass Centre. Katy Wheeler finds out more.

A new exhibition, which combines both ancient and modern glass making techniques has opened at National Glass Centre.

Constructions is a solo exhibition by Jeffrey Sarmiento, at the University of Sunderland’s National Glass Centre, from now until January 2014.

The exhibition combines digital design, waterjet cutting, silk screen printing, kiln forming, hand-carving and polishing to create unique “built” objects from glass.

The artworks include portraits from the Philippines to North East England, covered in tiny glass lenses; a thick glass Encyclopaedia of sketches, photographs, text, and patterns; object biographies of artefacts in the Sunderland Museum; giant jigsaw puzzles representing high-rise and tower block estates.

Other works include a scale model of a rope factory that spans the length of the gallery, and a reworking of a disused Norwegian greenhouse, in which the flaws in the glass are the starting point for an installation about seeking beauty in imperfection.

Jeffrey Sarmiento’s work has taken him all over Europe and the U.S. as an artist and academic.

His travels have inspired a fascination with local buildings, and their meanings.

“My work is an exploration of culture from the perspective of a perpetual foreigner,” says Jeffrey, a Filipino-American, now based at National Glass Centre.

“I attempt to draw meaning beyond what is initially visible, using social history, biography (of people, objects and buildings), anecdotes and fiction.

“With glass it is the material that manipulates ways of seeing. I develop methods of combining glass with the graphic image, constructing layers of information and embedding the image within the object.

“The result is quite literally the fusion of form and function.”

* Constructions is at National Glass Centre until January 5, 2014, open daily, 10am-5pm.

* Jeffrey Sarmiento will launch the book of Constructions and give a talk about his work on Friday, November 28, from noon to 2pm.