Berlin Glas e.V. is a non-profit, public access studio located in Germany’s capital city. In the 9 years since we opened, we have been very much engaged with our community, partnering with youth clubs and local NGO’s that focus on underserved communities. We have an on-going relationships with the State Museums in Berlin, international institutions, such as the National College of Art and Design in Dublin and the Australian National University in Canberra, an Artist in Residency programme, and we teach a joint-university sculpture class with two of Berlin’s largest art academies. The ISGNE project gives European glass artists an opportunity to spend time an in-depth period of time in Berlin. It allows the to be able to research and develop new works of art using various techniques.
I am the founder and director of Berlin Glas, so I’m at my desk organising the residencies!
The ISGNE residency is a joint-programme between North Lands in Scotland and Berlin, so the artists doesn’t just get to spend a month in Germany, but has the extraordinary opportunity to spend a month in Lybster immediately afterwards. I think giving an artist a chance to R&D their work at two state of the art studios and in two very different environments is not just rare, but cool! We also offer a yearly Master Class, and the ISGNE project gives us a chance to invite someone from outside of Europe, which is great for artists here to learn new techniques.
Since 2016, Berlin Glas has been teaming up with the Museum of Islamic Art at the Pergamon Museum to give free public workshops. The ‘Multaka (“meeting point” in Arabic) – Berlin Glas Workshops” bring together locals with the community of refugees that have been entering the city since 2015. The workshops use glass as the meeting point so that the participants can get to know one another. The ISGNE AiRs are invited to teach a Multaka Workshop. This is an elective opportunity, which has been very much welcomed.
North Lands Creative for the most part. I met Karen Phillips in 2018 and was invited to apply for the grant together. I already knew Caroline Madden from NCAD and was thrilled to work with Glass Point in Latvia, a country we had not yet had an experience with.
CE Funding allows us to highlight that partnerships allow projects to be more impactful. Together, 4 institutions have created a platform for mobility and opportunity.
COVID cancelled our year. We had one Multaka workshop in 2020 with only 6 participants, and we have another one at the end of November. I would like to imagine that we double-up the AiR programme next year, but I’m not sure travel will be that easy, especially if one is required to quarantine before starting.
Everyone I have spoken with is trying to make the best of the situation, many offering online classes and demos. I would say the mood is an exhausted-optimism..
I think a new wave of classes will be online and actual physical residencies and tacit experiences will be limited for at least the next 2 years.
The majority of our work is on the local level; therefore, the crisis has not impacted us that radically. We still offer workshops with hygiene concepts well in place, and our youth programme is very much running. ISGNE has been the most affected, as it relies on the mobility of international artists and instructors for the Master Class.