Elliot Walker at Messums Wiltshire

ELLIOTT Walker, one of this country’s most remarkable glassblowers, has a solo exhibition at Messums Wiltshire, at Tisbury, until 27th January.

Walker is one of only a handful of glassblowers in the world who use glass to create solely figurative pieces, giving him something of a rebel status.

After experimenting with the lost-wax process for glass, Walker moved to ‘hot-sculpting’ – also known as the ‘Messello’ technique – preferring its challenging demands and more immediate outcomes.  His work draws on various theories or tangents, several of which come together in this new body of work.

Centered on the domestic environment and in the still-life format, including abandoned meals that are frozen in time, or scaled-down teddy-bear-picnic-sized furniture, Walker’s work is both unsettling and uncanny, though ultimately entrancing.

Organic objects are preserved here not for consumption but display; fruit mineralised like crystallised geodes, the beauty of which can be viewed in the dazzling intricacies of his technique.

At the heart of the exhibition, part of Messums’ second Material: Light programme, is a specially made glass feast, laid out under the crossing of the 700 year old tithe barn, consisting of pieces from his repertoire with some that have been developed for the show.

The second Material: Light exhibition also features a survey of American glass pioneer Dante Marioni in the Long Gallery and a commissioned installation by “choreographer of light” Michael Hulls the barn.

There will be a Material: Light process weekend on 26th and 27th January with glassblowing demonstrations by some of the most pioneering and avant-garde artists working in the medium and a chance to blow your own glass bauble. For more information visit www.messumswiltshire.com

Pictured: Fishy on a Dishy; Fever Dream; Carbon Orange; glassworks by Elliott Walker