THE PRESENCE OF ABSENCE
CAST GLASS SCULPTURE MODELS WATER
It looks like [the artist] waded out into the ocean, cut out a block of the water and somehow magically transferred it to the gallery floor.
~ Natalie Urquhart, NGCI Director
These free-standing cast glass sculptures strike a balance between being convincing models of water and being minimalist slabs of blue or green glass. They serve as stand-ins for something that isn’t there, while at the same time being there themselves.
These glass castings were the answer to a simple question: “What if you removed water from the ocean floor and the air above it? What would that look like?”
It is an interesting phenomenon that when looking at these models of water we are put in mind of actual water that we’ve seen in the past, and the more realistic or specific the water model in front of us the more we are reminded of water in a specific place, not merely water in general. So, as viewers we become—like the model itself—split in two: one self seeing and recognizing the reality of the water model in front of us (and acknowledging that it is in fact a solid, heavy, cast glass sculpture), the other remembering and imagining water that we’ve seen before. Our consciousness begins to suffer from the same duality as the sculpture: here and not here.