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The concept of understanding where the “truth” lies has developed in my work over time. I have become fascinated by the different interpretations applied to the same “fact” or object when viewed by different people, at different times, in different places or in different contexts. This has become more and more pertinent in a society where the expert is denigrated and the populist is believed. People become ever more entrenched in their own limited perspective and are not prepared to look from other viewpoints, find other ways to see or understand. We look for differences and reject a tolerance of that which is different.

Different perspective, 2016

Kiln cast glass with metal inclusions
Photographed by Jo Howell

Different perspective employs the perspective techniques used in 2-dimensional work to make it appear 3 dimensional to, inherently 3-dimensional, sculpture. This means that the proportions of the figure vary depending on your view point.

As the sculpture moves from the legs upwards the characteristics of the body parts change from being those of a child through those of an adult as they age. This references that as we age, we also change our perspective.

As I mentioned earlier, the point of view can change as the perspective is ‘widened’, and for example if we show a previously presented object in a different context.

In many cultures across the globe the penis is seen as a symbol of fertility and prosperity, not something rude or “unmentionable”. In the West we hide our thoughts about the penis as a symbol of power and yet it is embedded in design around us: it is a question of the perspectives we apply when viewing objects and our honesty in accepting what we see.

Valentine Game is a response to the Valentine’s day celebration which, to me, seems so artificial. I was inspired by a broken vase that I found in a skip which I then arranged with a glass heart at which point their phallic undertones became clear. Both the vase and heart were designed and manufactured on behalf of the National Glass Centre and sold in their shop. I then commissioned 40 such vases and hearts to my specifications (colour and size) to collage on a giant chequer board to create a “game”. Interestingly, the person who designed and manufactured the vases whilst the public toured the National Glass Centre (and had done this on scale before my commission) found it challenging to produce my order in public as they became concerned that others might also recognise the phallic shape of his creations.

Valentine Game I, 2005

Blown glass.
Photographed by Tim Adams

Valentine Game II, 2006

Blown glass.
Photographed by Tim Adams

Valentine Game II, 2018

Blown glass.
Photographed by David
Goshka Bialek