Chris Day is an emerging glass & mixed media artist and a recent graduate from Wolverhampton University, who received a special commendation at last year’s British Glass Biennale held in Stourbridge, UK.
A self-confessed ‘arts enthusiast’ Day’s creative career comes after more than two decades as a self-employed plumber. Initially feeling that his life had taken him on a journey that significantly detoured away from his early love of the arts, Day is now able to reflect on the fact that many of the skills he has developed in his earlier career have directly transposed to the creation of his artworks.
Combining materials used in both heating and electrical systems into his creations, Day finds he able to create the perfect marriage of his artistic path and technical knowledge, both of which rely on dexterity and high levels of skill and craftsmanship.
Creating works that are highly personal, Day’s intention is to discuss and investigate the treatment of black people in Britain and the United States of America. Much of his research has focussed on the history of the slave trade in the Eighteenth Century.
A reoccurring and signature theme are ‘copper cages’ which enclose his glass. These represent the restriction of movement both physically and mentally that traders possessed over other human’s lives that were viewed simply as ‘commodities’. These are created from simple copper tubing and wire but to dramatic effect. The glass, by contrast, Day compares to the human spirit, attempting to break free despite the restrictions that hold it in place.
In the artist’s own words;
“Like the glass I have pushed my approach in how I work with glass and ceramics in both traditional and experimental methods, to create contemporary artworks that represent my passion for this part of our history. As a black glassblower, I am one of few and on a quest to find and inspire more. My main purpose, however, is to engage the audience on issues that are hard to confront on many levels, using art to help overcome some of the traumas that haunt our collective past”