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Tracy Nicholls

Intrigued by structures that while appear fragile belie the strength they possess, I take inspiration from complex forms which offer a sense of depth and fragility, often when viewed under a microscope.
‘Aulisca’ is a series of decorative glass pieces that take their origin from the study of diatoms, a large group of single cell algae. These are often referred to as ‘algae in glass houses’ due to their walls being made from silicon dioxide, silica being the main component of glass. Consisting of two halves, they grow as single cells or form simple colonies capturing solar energy and producing a quarter of our planets oxygen. Diatoms have evolved beautiful patterns of perforations in their exterior shell to allow nutrient exchange to take place and this creates a striking visual when seen under the microscope.
By using delicate lines of glass through many firings, these pieces are created in two halves. To complete each one, the matching halves are sewn together using thin lengths of metal or silk thread. This contrast of colour and material joins the fifteen points where the glass meets and forms a striking web through the centre of each sculpture, enhancing the inherent beauty of the glass.
Education
2016 –Artist in Residence at Richmond School of Art, RACC, Surrey

2011 -Invited residency at Northlands Creative Glass, Scotland

2010 -Artist in Residence at UCA Farnham

2009 -UCA Farnham, MA Distinction, Contemporary Crafts – Glass

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