As part of Venice Glass Week, a tribute by UK creatives to the craftsmen in the lagoon
#TheHeartOfGlass: that’s the hashtag chosen for the fourth edition of The Venice Glass Week, the international festival dedicated to the art of glass that will be held in Venice, Murano and Mestre from September 5 to 13.
The 2020 edition is a special one, for two reasons: this year’s event starts out by shining the spotlight on the artistic production of glass, a sector that has been particularly penalized by the Coronavirus pandemic; the second is the adoption of the digital as a tool-showcase to expand the awareness of the artistic heritage of the lagoon internationally using Instagram live, You Tube and virtual tours.
“Never has The Venice Glass Week been as important as it is now and in this difficult moment, it can express its full potential, which is to offer artistic glass a platform to give it visibility and at the same time convey a message of sympathy and support to the island of Murano and the city of Venice in general. By resisting, the festival confirms that it is strongly rooted in the territory, working against the tide at a time when many international cultural events have been cancelled or postponed to 2021”, they explain at the organizing committee, which consists of the City of Venice, the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia, the Fondazione Giorgio Cini-Le Stanze del Vetro, the Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti and the Consorzio Promovetro Murano.
There are many initiatives in the programme including a series of exhibitions starting with “In principio era la goccia” by the master Livio Seguso – a pioneer since the 1970s in the use of glass as a medium of artistic expression – at the Glass Museum in Murano. Concurrently with the Festival, there will be the inauguration of “Venice and American Studio Glass”, conceived by Tina Oldknow and William Warmus: 155 pieces on display in the exhibition space of “Le Stanze del Vetro” on the island of San Giorgio Maggiore, including vessels, sculptures and installations made of glass created by 60 artists, both American and Venetian. The exhibition – which will remain open to the public through January 10th 2021 – will shed light for the first time on the influence that the aesthetics and traditional working techniques of Venetian glass has had on American Studio Glass from the 1970s to the present.
“London Venice: The Spirit of Resurgence” is the title of the exhibition organized by Maurizio Mussati’s WonderGlass to celebrate and sustain the renascence of the Venetian glass industry after months of lockdown caused by Covid-19. WonderGlass (www.wonderglass.com) presents the work of a series of British designers in support of the craftspeople of Venice. The projects by John Pawson, Bethan Laura Wood, Industrial Facility, Ross Lovegrove and Tom Dixon wish to send a message of hope and to reconnect with people, partners, colleagues and friends.
The digital programme of The Venice Glass Week, in the meantime, began back in July: on the Instagram profile @theveniceglassweek a series of live posts from furnaces and workshops take you “backstage” to the places where glass is made. The live posts – made in collaboration with Nexa – are featured, during glass week, with a series of special guided tours of Murano and Venice.
“Conversations on Glass by Apice” is the programme conceived to involve the international public: six digital conversations in English, organized in collaboration with the Apice company, will be broadcast live in streaming on The Venice Glass Week YouTube channel.
For the 2020 edition, the “Bonhams Prize for The Venice Glass Week” will again acknowledge the best project in the festival, thanks to the support of the Department of Twentieth-Century Decorative Arts and Design of New York of the Bonhams auction house, one of the main sponsors of the Festival. The programme also includes the new “Autonoma Residency Prize” dedicated to artists and designers under 35 and sponsored by the cultural association for the Preservation of Murano Glass Techniques Ets through the Autonoma project, in association with the Pilchuck Glass School. The winner will be awarded a two-month “residency” at the Pilchuck Glass School in Seattle in 2021.
Unbreakable: women in glass
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translation by Olga Barmine