Being inquisitive is part of the human makeup and a major part of my practice. By exploring the application of traditional practice and industrial process the work builds on developing an intimacy of understanding between direct “hands-on” application and the indirect methodology of industrial processing. In developing intimacy with both machine and the material the work seeks to extend the parameters of both areas and see how this method of approach can be extended to others.
Bodies of work are not only derived from the continual questioning of process and how it might be extended but from an interest in capturing the images of place from places seen, visited, and lived within. Influence comes from the environment in which we place ourselves and the structures that are built up within the mind. Drawing on geometry and architecture the work builds on those structures to not only explain a sense of place but a sensitivity to how the materials and process can extend the parameters of the machine, material, and my own creative practice. The work investigates the solid and fragile, building structures that draw the viewer to engage and question the approach to the work.
The material: Glass has always played an important role in my work. It is a material with character, feistiness and a voice. It can scream and shout, be brash and subtle, controlled yet troublesome. However, the more time you are involved with it the more seductive it becomes; as one starts to understand its parameters and properties it throws another challenge to push its limits further. Glass is part of my practice; a medium that my ideas flow into and give a glimpse of my fascination of forms from everyday events in my life, of objects, architecture seen, dreamt and read about. Images that seem to race through the mind are transposed into forms that can explain more about my character than I can explain.
The technology: Water jet is a process that I have built up an intimacy with. It has become part of my chemical makeup. Each day there is a response to be found from questions relating to the extension of creative practice. Part engineer, part artist the machine offers a new set of skills and questions about how industrial technology has a role in the development of both ideas and the material. The work explores how the machine can push the perception of industrially made items and in return produce a unique handmade object.
Vanessa has recently returned to full time making after a number of years in higher education. An artist, educator, and consultant in waterjet for both creative and industrial sectors, she has helped numerous artists apply the technology into their work. In 2012 her book ‘New Technologies In Glass” was published by Bloomsbury. She continues to exhibit her Internationally and write about art and its interface with industrial technology.