Glass - Back to the Future!

Presenting Author:
Oksana Kondratyeva
<[email protected]>

article posted 6 April 2016

Oksana Kondratyeva is a London-based artist working predominately in painting and architectural glass. She studied Glass and Architecture at Central Saint Martins College, University of Arts London. Her artworks have been exhibiting internationally at various venues including Mall Galleries, Sacred Space Gallery (London) and Red House Glass Cone Museum (Stourbridge). Her papers on architecture, art and science have been published in scholarly and popular journals and have been publicly presented at universities, museums and public institutions.

Capturing the Glass: Interdisciplinary Approach

Oksana Kondratyeva
Artist. London

Nature is bringing the artist new shapes. Science offers him new symbols, signs, unknown to our ancestors and yet suitable for opening eyes.
Émile Gallé

Glass provides a platform for experiments in science, art, engineering and architecture. Glass artists rely upon the principles of the physical experiment, which might lead to the revelation of new facets of beauty or become a source of knowledge and, thus, unlock the secrets of nature. By tracking glass history, one can name artists who were also scientists, among them Heinrich Schwanhardt (1625–1693), Johan Kunckel (1637?–1703?), and Émile Gallé (1846–1904). The development of stained glass art has always been linked to awareness of scientific knowledge and technological innovation. This means that actively exploring ways of working with glass, understanding the glass, became an essential interdisciplinary approach.

This lecture focuses on the language of the interdisciplinary framework of working with glass. The glass artist inevitably faces multiple disciplines such as chemistry, engineering, architecture.
The great debate on ‘the two cultures’, on science and humanities, or the physical sciences and the social sciences, is never ending, never settled affair in cultural history. Glass, as the interdisciplinary entity, can bridge a gap between two cultures and can produce enough ‘creative chances’ – opportunities for new breakthroughs, new ways of looking at the world.