As art fairs go, so went COLLECT. Hours of endless chatter punctuated by moments of high hope crumbling into I’m-just-lookings, or I’ve-spent-a-fortune-alreadys, or call-me-when-you’ve-got-another-in-a-cooler/warmer/darker/ lighter-shade.
As consolation we spent five days amidst some of the most remarkable objects I have had the joy to experience at a fair.
Ceramics by the Dutch sculptor Wouter Dam were a week-long visual feast that I would have loved to consume, but…I was just looking and had already spent a fortune (on a cup of coffee and a sandwich)….
…on the other hands…Jess and April couldn’t resist Andi Gut’s amazing Collector Rings (that collect lint through tiny holes in the precious metal back-plates, archiving one’s hunting and gathering movement through life.)
As far as our own dealings, we ended up with some brilliant successes, from sales to placing works by our artists in the museum collections.
April Surgent’s works sold out quickly and we left with another heap of names to add to the waiting list for her next pieces off the lathe.
Jessica Loughlin’s hauntingly quiet box form, “Open Space 9/05” (second from the top) is now in the permanent collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum, thanks to the brilliant eye of the Head Curator of Glass and Ceramics.
…while Jun Kaneko’s 5-piece Colorbox set of cast glass bars has also stayed with the museum for acquisition review.
All in all, an exhausting but satisfying week. And time to reflect on why a glass factory is posing as an art dealer in London. No big mystery. We just happen to love the medium of kiln-glass. We believe that it merits the attention of museums and the collecting world. We think that for this art form to grow and to be recognized we need to do more than just melt glass in Portland, Oregon and leave to chance that the remarkable objects artists make from our raw materials will one day find the audience they deserve. Some of that audience will want – and can afford – to own the work.
Another, far larger, audience – students, hobbyists, and other makers – will find inspiration in the work and will themselves be encouraged to explore this medium for its remarkably rich potential.
So in the end none of Bullseye’s student founders ever got their work onto a museum pedestal. But this week, some of their glass found its way there. To many of us who work at Bullseye, that means a lot.
And now I’m outta here. On a plane to the wilds of the Scottish Highlands, to our aged manse, and to North Lands Creative Glass.