The first ‘Kith and Kin’ exhibition, shown earlier this year, evolved from the University of Sunderland’s education and research programmes, contacts and networks.This second exhibition, Kith and Kin II, again brings together artworks from two creative ‘families’ – Glass and Ceramics.Once again the university has invited ‘friends’ from the art world to create a diverse and often surprising take on glass and ceramics to show a breadth of contemporary work.This time artists are featured who usually work in other mediums, and who are now exploring the potential of glass and ceramics.Much of work shown is new and was developed through ‘mini residencies’ at the National Glass Centre. This was facilitated by the University’s exceptionally skilled glass and ceramic team and in the high quality workshops in this building.
Kith and Kin II is curated by Peter Davies and Professor Kevin Petrie.
Prof Petrie said: “The pieces made here at the National Glass Centre are examples of how the excellent equipment and art based research experience is facilitating artists to express their ideas in glass and ceramics. This is a two-way exploration that has led to new approaches and directions for the artists and in several cases this has really challenged the boundaries of glass and ceramics.”
Ten diverse approaches are shown, which range in terms of meaning and the artist’s relationship to ideas, material and process. Deceptively high making and conceptual skills are evident in the resulting sculptures, 2D works and installations. Subjects range from the female body and fashion, Samurai armour and protection, popular culture and records, walking and mapping, plant DNA and decoration of surface, to stillness and movement, to building structures and conceptual ideas.
Similarly a range of techniques is evident from ‘Venetian’ glass blowing, lampworking, printing to CAD drawing. We hope this exhibition offers a glimpse of the great diversity and vibrancy that glass and ceramics can offer when used by skilled artists to communicate ideas.