Defining Form with Line and Light
Many Possibilities - Simple Technique; Elegant Solutions.
This, the latest idea for studies in form, came from looking at matrixes. There were a couple of thoughts and you have seen them in the matrix of a root ball from which the dirt has been shaken out. Envision a rat’s nest of wiggly lines. Also, there was a large pile of entangled re-bar and building rubble from a razed building next door to my studio. With these images, the idea for making forms from an organic matrix was revealed. The concept beckoned for some action so I devised a way to build such an idea using “Borosilicate” glass. With flame-working experience in constructing the Fossil Series, I began by creating a simple element, an organically shaped “T”. By connecting that “T” over and over an idea emerged. One can build almost any form from this inner-connected “T”. Intriguing possibilities!
The use of clear glass is also an important part of the discussion. With it, I use glimpses of line and light to define form. The first piece was a Hemisphere with a square hole in it. It demonstrated to me that the construction idea could work. Since that first piece, I have been exploring objects in a couple of different ways. One body is geometric studies. The mathematical study termed “volumes of solid revolution” has helped immensely. These works are defined by a number of geometric forms rotated into a solid, set off by another form that compliments and often creates a base: "Elliptical Construct....Leaning" is an excellent example. A volume is defined by two elliptically rotated, Catenary profiles, which are supported by a cubic volume. Cool!
Influences…I offer a short list of artist, artifacts, etc., that I like, respond to, and believe are of influence and inspiration. I admire as well, the context of individual artists' history and development. Ceramics and Crafts of Japan; Folk Art of Native Cultures, the “unknown maker”; Kazuo Yagi, Henry Moore, Constantin Brancusi; Natural History, Architecture, Math and Engineering, Sciences; Decay of foliage and plant life; Sol LeWitt, Chuck Close, Richard Serra; Geometry, Physics; Paul Klee, Romare Bearden….and so on.
As with other bodies of work I have been involved with, I am interested in the ambiguous nature of glass and the sense of space and volume one can create. Of course the study of how light is controlled and affects and defines each work is an utmost curiosity. This new work, the Matrix Series, offers a refreshing way of approaching inquiry into these mysteries.
Brent Kee Young is an independent artist working in glass. He also is a Professor of Art, and Head of the Glass Department, Cleveland Institute of Art since 1973.
Image Credit: Daniel Fox, Lumina Studios