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Blood, Bones & Brilliance

This year’s International Festival of Glass in Stourbridge had a number of stellar exhibitions, but for me the supernova was ironically one of the smallest. I was a goner the minute I stepped into the show.

It’s Blood & Bones, the brainchild of multi-media German-born Edinburgh-trained Caithness-resident (how’s that for Weltanschauung?!) artist Patty Niemann.

Broadfield House. Surprises abound.

Staged just inside the entrance to the seemingly staid 18th century brick Broadfield House Glass Museum, the space swirled with Niemann’s signature tattered fabric, billowing – nay, breathing! – out of a dark corner; a Macbethian chandelier dripped red glass daggers, and skeletal wall graphics ingeniously displayed glass jewelry that might otherwise have been lost amidst the larger works.

Caithness Shroud (hand-rolled felt, Merino wool)

Niemann's recent work as set designer for a Scottish production of Macbeth drips through this haunting show.

Not only were the individual works riveting, the entire show was proof that glass is most powerful when it steps off its pedestal and wraps us in a unique story.

Haunting, amusing and ingenious - almost turned me into a grave robber!

If you missed the show in Stourbridge, consider a trip to Caithness next summer  (maybe for a North Lands class or conference?) where Patty runs a studio packed with glass, textile and precious metal treasures at the Mill of Forse just south of Lybster.

2 Responses to Blood, Bones & Brilliance

  1. grayjamiegray says:

    Patty is an amazing artist. So diverse in her craftsmanship, yet so focused in her concepts. AND! And, she knows where ALL the creepy cool stuff is to be found in the area: hidden ruins, bones, stones. She’s a fabulous friend and a real treasure. Great write-up on her artistic genius.

  2. Tarlow says:

    Seeing a “Scottish production of Macbeth” just got added to my bucket list.

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