Art of glass on display at Sunderland seafront this weekend

Artists will be taking on a challenge at Sunderland seafront this weekend.

Thursday, 24th May 2018, 6:00 am
Glass and Ceramics students Michael Emmett, Helen Pailing, Anna Selway, Liz Waugh McManus and Antonis Koutouzis outside the National Glass Centre in Sunderland.

University of Sunderland students and graduates will join glass artist Matt Durran, on Saturday, for the Sunderland Glass Heap Challenge, bringing together recycling and art.

The Glass Heap Challenge takes place between 1pm and 3pm at the Roker Pods on Marine Walk.

This free event will give passers by the chance to watch artists explore the creative potential of salvaged glass and clay from National Glass Centre.

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Helen Pailing, who is studying for her PhD in Glass and Ceramics, is leading the project and will be joined by 15 other Sunderland glass and ceramics students, staff as well as industry professionals.

She said: “There is often excess material produced when working with glass and clay, and we’re keen to show what can be made out of these remnants.”

Helen will be speaking at the Roker Pier Symposium, organised by Senior Lecture in Glass and Ceramics Inge Panneels, at the National Glass Centre tomorrow, ahead of the Glass Heap Challenge, in which she’ll discuss her research into Recrafting Waste.

The event has grown out of the Roker Pier and Lighthouse student project, developed in tandem with the Heritage Lottery Funded Roker Pier and Lighthouse project. The symposium aims to bring together critical and theoretical research on materials and recrafting waste, and introduce undergraduate and postgraduate students to industry experts.

Helen said: “It’s appropriate that we will be creating work at Roker for the Glass Heap Challenge, as the restoration of Roker Pier and Lighthouse was really the catalyst for this.

“Lots of students have already been involved in projects in response to the restoration and I’ve made artwork out of the old floorboards from the lighthouse.”

The idea of the Glass Heap Challenge, as conceived by Matt Durran, is to challenge the creativity of artists, designers and glass protagonists to find and demonstrate unique, creative and inspiring works which show ways to utilize stockpiled waste glass.

This not only brings a greater level of awareness to the potential of upcycling waste glass but also provokes discussion on how to make better use of waste material in general.

The Sunderland Glass Heap Challenge is funded by the University of Sunderland Development Trust Silver Fund with support from AHRC CDT and Heritage Lottery Fund (Roker Pier and Lighthouse Project).