Jane | Environmental Stimulation | 2006

Posted on May 11, 2006 by Ruth Allen

Environmental Stimulation was an exhibition 6 years in the making and a rich arrival of the Synergetic Series.

The synergetic form is derivative of venetian cane techniques, deeply entrenched in these methodologies and seduced by the beauty and infinite possibilities of venetian glassmaking skill I chose to express myself through these techniques for more than 10 years of my professional life. After an unfortunate/fortunate dissolution of studio/business* Gloria * in Auckland, NZ 2000, I felt I could not work with venetian cane techniques as I had previously done so.

It took 4.5 years to come close to a new methodology and aesthetic where instead of fusing colourful cane together to create illusion, form and vessel, I made the cane hollow, creating tubes cutting them into rings and constructing forms hot, building them architecturally to create the piece.

You will see by the documentation of the making process; I need to work with at least two assistants and optimally four. One assistant maintains the heat in the piece whilst I add rings two by two running between the garage (where the pre-heated rings await) and my second assistant who prepares the duo rings for take over. After each addition I manipulate the rings using the heat, leverage, gravity and custom made hooks, giving the piece life and personality.

One day whilst walking with a synergetic form, I began to play, rotating the piece in the brightness of sunlight, to my delight the shadow was volumous, three dimensional, I then began to think, if the shadow is 3D that must make the material glass 4D, similarly to water, light can transmit through it. Furthermore, I thought the work spoke an inter-dimensional language, the four dimensional inherent qualities of glass, casting a three dimensional shadow upon a two dimensional surface and the effect, completely intriguing and illusionary.

This work affectionately known as Jane consists of 85 synergetic forms hooked to a stainless steel skeleton suspended from the ceiling, a motor rotates the work at variable speeds. The skeleton needed to have no internal structure so that the shadow would not be interrupted. Once again influenced by the design science of Buckminster Fuller I cut random lengths of stainless tube, pressed each end, ground the edges, drilled holes and bent tabs to later bolt and join the struts together with approximately 480 custom made junction and hose clamp hooks.

The work weighing close to 220kg and dimensionally 300 x 330cm (variable) rotated slowly with a projected 1000 watt light source casting the spherical shadow.

Posted in Synergetics