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Sunderland Repository records the research produced by the University of Sunderland including practice-based research and theses.

The Ephemeral in Glass Artworks

Watkinson, Cate and Welford, Rachel (2014) The Ephemeral in Glass Artworks. In: GlassAC 2014 Glass Science in Art and Conservation, 10-12 Sep 2014, Durham University. (Unpublished)

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


Transparency and reflection are two fundamental properties of glass and present a wealth of creative potential to the artist and designer. This presentation outlines PhD research that explores these properties, and how they can be manipulated and combined with light to enable ephemeral elements to become an integral part of a glass artwork.

These artworks sit predominantly within the field of architectural glass – and are designed to become part of the fabric of a building or urban space. They are created for a particular space, in response to the nature of that space, with the aim of becoming an integral part of an environment, aiding the development of a sense of place for its users.

The research explores ways in which architectural glass artworks can combine permanence and physicality with the ephemeral - interacting with transient light and a dynamic environment to embody change and impermanence. Translucent glass acts as a projection screen for shadows, and the reflective glass surface, to a greater or lesser degree, allows the surroundings and people within them to become part of the complex spatial relationships within the artwork.

How embodying the ephemeral in artworks can invoke a sense of the ethereal and generate meditative qualities for the viewer also forms part of the research. It will examine the relationships between artwork, environment and the ephemeral in relation to the creation of meditative, spiritual and / or sacred spaces, and wellbeing in general.

A survey of new types of glass and coatings on glass being produced for the architectural industry, and in particular how they produce variations in reflectivity and transparency, and the ability to emit light will feed into the research. Documentation of current use of these new types of glass and their application by architects, designers and artists, will place the creation of new artworks in context.

PDF (Conference programme)
Glassac14-FlierVersion14.pdf - Published Version

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PDF (Programme)
140415-ProvisionalProgramme.pdf - Published Version

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More Information

Depositing User: Cate Watkinson


Item ID: 9532

Users with ORCIDS

ORCID for Cate Watkinson: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date Deposited: 18 May 2018 13:56
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2023 04:30