Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Bonds of Glass: Artist Susan Taylor Glasgow

By Mike Martin for American Craft Magazine
Susan Taylor Glasgow is known for her depictions of domestic bliss as little more than well-crafted illusion, so her transition from the comforts of needle and thread to the brittle brilliance of fire and glass is a statement in itself.  Raised to cook and sew, the sculptor does both, but in a medium that is neither edible nor wearable.
Stitching together glass panels with ribbon and thread, she has fashioned toasters, bras and other feminine icons, such as Chandelier Dress. 
But in this show, Glasgow unhinges the concept to focus on insights she gained from working with homeless and abused women as an artist-in-residence at the Pittsburgh Glass Center. With their participation, she created The Communal Nest, a room-size take on avian domesticity.
The willow branches nestled amid glass twigs suggest the last remnants of a telling substitution—the breakable for the pliable, the rigid for the flexible—conveying that home sweet durable home is a fragile place indeed. The glass-for-wood transposition offers clarity over opacity: you could see through this nest, past the facade of picket fences and manicured lives.

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