Jerome Harrington and the Glass Archive

A library made up of books with glass in the title?  A bit nutty, but I like it. The Glass Archive is a growing collection put together by artist Jerome Harrington of over 80 just such novels, which he uses specifically to illustrate and explore what the substance can mean to us metaphorically.  I was having a tentative shuffle through ideas for the recent US based initiative, 'How is this glass?', part of the "Post-Glass" movement. Their most recent initiative is a call for people to curate projects around the use of glass in alternative ways - that is, any way that might make you ask "how is this glass?" .  For instance, they suggested that one possible project might be the search for the use of glass in contemporary lyrics or books.  I liked this idea, and vaguely remembered that someone had done something with glass in books, and a quick scrabble on the Internet turned up Jerome Harrington. In the words of an introduction to a 2008 exhibition of the Archive at the National Glass Centre in Sunderland: "...the books include examples such as Through a Glass Clearly by Isaac Asimov and Walking on Glass by Iain Banks.  The books share the fact that their authors have employed the word 'glass' as a metaphor to visualise the world contained in the book...... Jerome Harrington's recent work and research investigated the perception of glass and the impact of this knowledge on our understanding and subsequent interpretations of artworks which are made of glass".  Harrington has also done "A Conference for the Glass Archive" at Site Gallery in Sheffield, which include readings from the books as well as discussions about our conceptions of glass as a material.  As it happens I'm not going to do the "How is this glass?" project.  For starters, it looks like Harrington has already done well what I was thinking of doing, and in any case, I'm uneasy about it the whole post-glass movement in the US.  It seems to be wanting to rebel against the Studio Glass movement at the same time as be part of it - it is, after all, people who are in the glass community who would be the ones asking the question 'How is this glass?'. The Studio Glass movement in the UK isn't as strong as in the US, and I think UK artists who work with glass conceptually, such as Jerome Harrington, Nick Crowe, Richard William Wheater and Helen Maurer usually address themselves to the contemporary fine art community.  Anyway, I realise I'm rambling on a bit, and I'll come back to this another time, but this train of thought has taken me down a pleasant alley-way.  I've just come across an exhibition to be presented at the Storey Gallery, Lancaster that including Harrington. It's called 'What if' and is an exploration of creativity with a low-tech touch that looks refreshing and inspiring.  Anyway, over and out.....

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