“Art is not about making sense. When it sounds like I am making sense, and talking about my work, it is all hindsight; and it’s all kind of another person from a person who was there making the work at the time.”
~ Sandy Skoglund, artist
There’s a lot to take in when viewing Sandy Skoglund’s Breathing Glass: sculpted figures covered in glass mosaic, mechanical floor panels of glass mosaic and moving miniature figures, mechanical wall panels of handcrafted lamp-worked dragonflies, and live models. She created this installation and photograph for the American Craft Museum in 2000.
Breathing Glass is Skoglund’s first pictorial sideshow to incorporate glass. Thousands of individually lampworked and mechanically choreographed glass dragonflies flutter amidst miniature marshmallows, against a background of ethereal blue. The illusion is achieved on an entirely different plane in Skoglund’s photograph. Together, the installation and the image suggest that truth may be as elusive as creativity itself. In Skoglund’s own words, “Truthfulness is problematic in everything, and the camera is no more guilty of being untruthful than anything else.”
~ David Revere McFadden, Chief Curator American Craft Museum
While this is technically categorized as a photograph, the lion’s share of the work and detail went into the building of the installation, which took Skoglund months to create. With or without this knowledge of the process and the artist, it’s one of those works that you can simply stare at and let time slip away. When I look at it, I’m transported to the world that Skoglund created, thinking nothing of this world or the worries and concerns that come with it. Art that can provide an escape like this holds a special place in my heart. Is there a work of art that allows you to escape?
Breathing Glass is on display in The Van Winkle Law Firm Gallery as part of the opening exhibition Points of View: Recent Gifts to the Photography Collection.
The glass dragonflies are dotted with… mini-marshmallows! When you come to the Museum, see if you can spot the them.
– Contributed by Lindsey Grossman, communications manager, Asheville Art Museum