Glass Meet The Future International Film FestivaL | 03 JULY – 17JULY 2020

an interview with thomas hogben




Q. You were awarded the British Council Scotland – UK in Japan Cultural Programme Residency at North Lands Creative to produce a collaborative work with glass artist Martin Janecky.  What drew you to the idea of becoming involved?

When I first came across Martin Janecký’s work I was immediately captivated by the uniqueness of the pieces. And having captured glass blowing in the past, I know that this could be an opportunity to do something really special. The added bonus of being able to showcase this work to an audience in Japan furthered my drive to undertake the residency, as it is a culture which I have long been fascinated with.
Q. What is the story and process behind the film?
I begin the development of the film with a focus on capturing the dance between the unique environment that North Lands Creative presents to artists and the masterful skill which Martin Janecký brings to every piece of his work. I wanted the piece to feel like a mirage, blending the inspiration of the surround coasts, the fishermen and the expanse of the ocean, with the intense work of Martin in the hotshop.
  • Q. To what extent does a physical location inspire your work? Is the creation of your work driven by places in which you can observe or participate in environmental and social issues?
The location and the natural environment always inspire me. And this is especially true when I visited North Lands. The cliffs, and the enormity of the ocean was impossible to ignore, and I felt needed to be showcased along side the art work Martin created. As a filmmaker I try to observe, and not participate. I want to let the places and the characters I meet speak for themselves, as I find this creates a much more genuine representation of what ever story I am pursuing.

Q. What preparation did you do as a filmmaker in advance of the residency?

In the build up to this residency I tried to familiarise myself with as much of Martin Janecký’s work as I could, and build a up a picture of him as an artist. I wanted to try and ensure that although the film was to be created as almost 2 half’s, one focused on his craft and the other of the landscape surrounding North Lands, that it still held true to his own perception of the region and the way that he visualises his work.

Q. To what extent did the location of the residency inspire or affect your art practice?

As anyone who has been to the far North East coast of Scotland will tell you, it is almost impossible for the landscape not to have an impact on you. And that was the same for me, so much so that it became a key character in the film.

an interview with Martin Janecký




Q. You were awarded the British Council Scotland – UK in Japan Cultural Programme Residency at North Lands Creative to produce a collaborative work with filmmaker Thomas Hogben.  What drew you to the idea of becoming involved?



A. First of all I am very thankful for this opportunity. I like the international aspect of the project because my aim has always been to promote glass craftsmanship and glass art worldwide. Working with Thomas was great. He is very talented and our cooperation continued even after this project when I asked him to travel to the Czech Republic to make a short film about my brand new glass studio in Prague.


Q. To what extent did the location of the residency inspire or affect your art practice?


A. I heard a lot about North Lands Creative from my friends that had visited North Lands before. The rough Scottish countryside and the picturesque hot shop of North Lands Creative is beautiful. However, the inspiration behind my artwork is not drawn from the places but rather faces.


Q. Glass sculpting from the inside of a molten bubble revolutionised the use of hot glass, what was it that drew you to this technique?


A. I started to blow glass at the age of 13 at my father’s glass factory. Within my youth I gained experience in various techniques in many different factories which helped me to explore glass as a material more thoroughly. However, I was fascinated by works of William Morris, who was a pioneer of an inside bubble sculpting, and was trying it as well. I was lucky enough to had a chance to work with him in Pilchuck just before he retired.


Q. You have taught and exhibited internationally, is there a particular space/place you’d like to present in that you haven’t before?


A. Basically I spent last 20 years working and traveling for work all over the world. Therefore, I feel happy to finally find a perfect place for my own glass studio back home in the Czech Republic.


Q. What artists have inspired you throughout your career?


A.  I admire Czech artists František Tichý and Jiří Trnka.


Q. What other projects and exhibitions do you have coming up in 2020/ 21?


A. The current situation in the world changed the exhibition plans of many galleries and museums. Some of the planned exhibitions and events are being postponed like for example my solo exhibition in Stockholm. For the next year I plan a bigger exhibition in Prague for which I am working on a very special project and I am really looking forward to it.


soul of a statue trailer


The Soul of A Statue was produced by North Lands Creative, as part of  the UK in Japan 2019-20 bilateral campaign, a partnership between British Council Scotland and Creative Scotland. 

The film was made in collaboration with Artist Martin Janecký and Filmmaker Thomas Hogben on residency at North Lands Creative.  Supported by Toyama Institute of Glass Art and Toyama Glass Art Museum. 

This film will premier online on the 03 JULY 2020 as part of North Lands Creative Glass, Meet the Future Film Festival

Play Video



A fragmented recollection of inspiration, this film is a collage of texture and detail as we observe the extraordinary process of glass sculpture Martin Janecký.

We glide over the cliffs as we are drawn out to the ocean. The fisherman of the far North of Scotland battle the sea as the rugged features of a bearded man is carved from a single piece of hot glass. The film captures Janeckýs endeavour to translate his visions into a sculpture so breathtaking it appears to have a soul of its own.



Director’s Statement



When I first began this project, I knew that I had to find a way to reflect the intense, almost trance-like, process Martin Janecký endures when creating these astonishing pieces of work. Some of the pieces we filmed take Martin 6 to 7 hours to create, and due to the nature of glass, he is afforded no breaks throughout the process as the glass requires constant attention.


His rhyme of heat – shape – sculpt – repeat, I aimed to translate into a beat that underpins the film and use this concept as a soundscape to help carry us through the visual. It was always going to be a near-impossible challenge to translate the extremes of the process which Martin sustains into a film, but I feel like I have at least captured the drama and intensity which he brings to his craft. Overall, I hope that it gives the viewer an insight
into the craft of one of our great living artists.

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