Dagmar Brendstrup, Pia Stansbygaard Bitter, Tróndur Patursson, Søren Larsen and Peter Bondo Christensen

Posted 1 August 2013

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An underwater forest of luminous jellyfish made from glass, a “glass-mation” film starring a marine biologist tending an undersea hospital and a collection of natural history displaying non-existent species… With OCEAN – A Look at Marine Life through Glass, Glasmuseet Ebeltoft sets the scene for a unique experience, with an extensive exhibition and coherent programme of events.
Glass has many similarities to water – it is transparent, reflects light and intensifies colours like no other material. However, artists working with glass aim to do more than just impress and seduce their audience with their work. They also set out to touch visitors and inspire them to critically discuss and reflect upon the issues they present.
In the exhibition 12 international artists have found inspiration in the manifold of marine life, myths of the ocean and its compelling nature, but also in aspects such as the environment and how we use the ocean.
One of the most spectacular works in the show is the Italian artist Maria Grazia Rosin’s large installation, which was shown in an earlier version at the 2009 Venice Biennale. It consists of a series of individually blown and hot worked “jellyfish” in glass suspended from the ceiling with LED lights, sound and video projection. With the installation in the museum’s six metre high, darkened exhibition space, Rosin will create a fascinating and bewildering experience in which creatures from the Primordial Ocean meet with the starry nebulae of the Universe.
In addition to this installation, works made by artists from the US, Australia, Germany, The Netherlands, Slovakia, Japan and Denmark are represented, all of which primarily express themselves in glass but several of which are also including other materials such as video and sound.

A number of passionate characters will share their experiences from the sea – from the captain, who travels the seven seas as pilot of a gigantic container ship, to the globetrotter and the scientist, who will explain about life in the deep blue sea, and to the marine biologist, who will vividly describe the rich marine life and undersea landscapes in the Kattegat and Ebeltoft Vig.

As catalogue to the exposition with the same name that runs in the Glasmuseet from 23/4 to 3/11/2013, this book contains texts in English and Danish and photos on the works exhibited.
Surprisingly it does not show a mock-up glass ocean view as the cover promises, but really interesting works as sculptures and installations, too. The former director Dagmar Brendstrup explains as the curator in Ocean – the seven seas at the glasmuseet the content and choices, Pia Stansbygaard Bitter, MA, PR and Communications of the museum, wrote an essay On the inspiration of the sea, Trondur Patursson wrote about his ocean sailing adventure and short descriptions on the 12 invited artists are personal statements.
Then the pages Life below the surface of the sea: an unknown world by marine biologists and professional divers Søren Larsen and Peter Bondo Christensen give lots of information, not connecting to art though, which seems a missed chance to connect this summer season exposition for holiday-makers to the more serious world of visual arts.

ISBN: 978 87 91179 26 6, 96 page catalogue in hard back, richly illustrated with colour photos, Design: Lower East Design & Communication, published by Glasmuseet Ebeltoft 2013.

Glasmuseet Ebeltoft
Strandvejen 8
DK-8400 Ebeltoft

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