Artist Angela Palmer creates ipeccably detailed three-dimensional views of CT and MRI scans using multiple sheets of vertically layered glass. Just as magnetic fields are used to carefully image layer after layer of internal biological structures inside humans and animals, Palmer etches these same scans into layers of glass. She says her inspiration for these works is a lifelong fascination with maps and visual topographies.
I have always loved maps. The process of investigating and visualizing topographies, natural forms and landscapes, and then producing them in a form which captures their essence is endlessly fascinating and satisfying. This desire to ‘map’ is at the core of my work, whether it be the internal architecture of the human head or the physical geography of the planet. Peeling back the layers to expose the hidden natural world is a recurring theme, in this context I have appreciated and enjoyed the opportunity to work with scientists in every conceivable discipline, from radiologists and botanists, to engineers specialising in bio-fluidics, to dust-mite and spider experts, veterinary scientists, paediatric dentists and specialists in ancient Egyptian dyes.
Barcelona-based German-born architect André Broessel of rawlemon has constructed an enormous glass ball lens filled with water capable of harnessing power from the sun and even the moon (last image), and converting it into usable energy. I have no idea about the practicality of its use, but it sure is gorgeous. Broessel proposes that the spheres could be embedded in buildings allowing for natural light to stream through while capturing valuable energy. See much more over on Designboom.
Rain is a 2005 installation of suspended glass water droplets by Chicago artist Stacee Kalmanovsky. She really found a perfect spot to install this, right below the giant sky lights. I bet the refraction of sunlight onto the floor and surrounding walls was gorgeous. (via behance)
Aerial is a new site-specific installation by Baptiste Debombourg (previously) at an old Benedictine monastery called Brauweiler Abbey near Cologne, Germany. Debombourg used numerous sheets of shattered laminate glass to mimic a frothy flood of water rushing into a room. Remarkably beautiful work. See much more by clicking on the thumbnails here. (via mission / vision)
Portland-based sculptor Eric Franklin constructs stunning (if not slightly disconcerting) anatomical light structures that are fully hollow and filled with ionized krypton, causing them to glow similar to a neon light. The glass skeleton above, Embodiment, is my jaw-dropping favorite of this series. The piece took over 1,000 hours of work over a two year period and is actually built from 10 separate units of glass formed from borosilicate glass tubing. The process of creating something like this is unbelievably painstaking as Franklin shares via email:
Every glass seal has to be perfect, and this piece contains hundreds. Everywhere one tube joins another, or a tube terminates, glass tubes were sealed together. They have to be perfect in order to preserve the luminosity of the krypton. If one rogue molecule gets inside the void of the glass tubing it can eventually contaminate the gas and it will no longer glow. There are times when the holes in the seals are so small that you cannot actually see them with your eyes without the help of a leak detector. Once the glass pieces are ready to get filled with gas, I pull a high vacuum while the glass is hot in order to evacuate any dust or water vapor from the interior surface until there are literally no molecules inside the void of the glass. Then the krypton can be introduced and the glass sealed off. It’s an extremely tedious process, one I have somewhat of a love/hate relationship with.
Anatomical Neon is a series of blown glass lights by North Wales-based artist Jessica Lloyd-Jones meant to focus attention on how energy is used by the human body. Describing the four pieces via her website she says:
Brain Wave conveys neurological processing activity as a kinetic and sensory, physical phenomena through its display of moving electric plasma. Optic Nerve shows a similar effect, more akin to the blood vessels of the eye and with a front ‘lens’ magnifying the movement and the intensity of light. Heart is a representation of the human heart illuminated by still red neon gas. Electric Lungs is a more technically intricate structure with xenon gas spreading through its passage ways, communicating our human unawareness of the trace gases we inhale in our breathable atmosphere.
The pieces were funded in part by awards from Arts Council Wales and Wales Arts International and executed at Urban Glass in New York in 2010. (via pinterest)
Measuring Angst is a robotic sculptural installation by artist Jonathan Schipper that simulates the mundane act of throwing a glass bottle across a room into a brick wall. The event happens in slow motion, taking nearly 12 minutes to complete as the bottle rotates slowly through the gallery space and then gradually explodes into smaller fragments before rewinding and starting again. Schipper also famously (and somewhat infamously if you’re a car aficionado) crashed two muscle cars over a period of six days in his pieces entitled The Slow Inevitable Death of American Muscle.
Japanese artist Kohei Nawa (previously) just unveiled his latest creation, a small rabbit taxidermy covered in hundreds of translucent glass beads. Nawa refers to this sculpture series as pixel cell animals, and explains that “by covering the surface of an object with transparent glass beads, the existence of the object itself is replaced by ‘a husk of light’, and the new vision ‘the cell of an image’ is shown.” This appears to be his first new pixel cell animal in nearly two years. (via mu-um)