A lakeside view opens through the huge windows of Harbourfront Centre in Toronto. Behind the centre rises the CN Tower, the landmark of the city. The building, surrounded by skyscrapers, is filled with Scandinavian art. The self-portraits of Iiu Susiraja cover the walls of the Portraits at Home exhibition. The next space is occupied by massive ceramic works of Anders Herwald Ruhwald. The exhibition, called The Hand is the Mind is the Bomb that Blows, lives up to its name. Nordic Glass gathers up nine skilled Nordic glass artists, who rewrite the history of Nordic glass in the 21st century.
The description of the exhibition:
Nordic glass was at a high point in the mid-20th century. Famous glass factories like Orrefors, Iittala, Holmegaard and Kosta Boda; and designers such as Tapio Wirkkala and Alvar Aalto were synonymous with good design and refined taste. This heyday created distinctive identities for all four countries—Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland—and collectively added to the Scandinavian Modern aesthetic. Sadly, few of the glass factories remain due to market pressures and outsourcing. However, these economic realities have not lessened the association of well-designed and crafted glass within Nordic countries. The situation has given rise to a bright new generation of glass artists and designers; ones with independent spirits focused on self-expression, experimentation and entrepreneurship. This exhibition highlights a group of glass artists shaping the future of Nordic glass for the 21st century.
My objects in the exhibition are glass mountains. These interior design sculptures can be organized to form either scenic ensembles, glass installations or mental landscapes. Glass imitates the characteristics of ice by frosting and cracking. It is the aesthetic of quietness.
During my journey I had the also the chance to visit New York and meet with design gallerists. I was delighted to visit for example Usagi Gallery, where my Sade sculpture was on display during the NYX Design event. Meeting with my contacts in Toronto also gave ideas to some possible future collaboration projects. It was extremely interesting to visit design and art businesses both in Toronto and New York as well as glass galleries of northern parts of USA. Glass was blown in tourist attractions, schools and culture centres. The Nordic Glass exhibition is open in Toronto until the summer of 2019. Welcome!