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40 years of glass – a window on their practiceBaldwin & Guggisberg

21 May - 08 June 2022

Mission is pleased to welcome for three weeks only a small body of work by Baldwin & Guggisberg. Philip and Monica are among the foremost international artists working in glass and renowned for their unique combining of Swedish overlay techniques with Italian cutting, known as battuto, a process that involves cutting through layers of colour to achieve texture and pattern. 

In the past five years there's been a shift in Philip and Monica's practice towards a deeper engagement with our times. While remaining true to their desire to move people through the beauty of their forms, they also recognise their need as artists to be part of a larger conversation about humanity's journey and the challenges we face. This was brought to the fore when in 2018 they hung a 20-metre boat made of 100 amphorae in the Nave of Canterbury Cathedral – a work that spoke to the ongoing consequences of war and the plight of refugees.

This year marks not only the UN's Year of Glass but 40 years since Philip Baldwin (b. 1947) and Monica Guggisberg (b. 1955) started working together from their studio in Nonfoux, Switzerland. Today they live and work in rural Mid Wales, just north of Presteigne. 

The presentation will include a preview of pieces from their new exhibition at the Musée du Verre de Conches, which opens on 25 June. Titled 'Amphore Métaphore', the show reveals Philip and Monica's ongoing fascination with the amphora and its history – a vessel form that has intrigued artists working in glass, including themselves, for thousands of years: a form so innate to humanity that it recurs again and again across millennia and different cultures, from China to India and Siberia to the Levant. 

In the words of American art critic James Yood, writing of Baldwin & Guggisberg's practice: 'what we are is rooted in what we were but we are always heading somewhere we have never been before'.

 

Image: 

Peoples' Wall, 2018 (detail) 

Blown and cold-worked glass and steel

240 x 180 x 25 cm

Photo: Alex Ramsay

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