artist commission awards

20.03.21 - 04.04.21

North Lands Creative announce to the commission of six new art works, exploring new ways of engaging with the materiality of glass in the digital era as part of Glass, Meet the Future Film Festival 2021.

The seven artists awarded are; Alison Lowry and Jayne Cherry (Northern Ireland), Flora de Bechi (Scotland), Griet Beyaert (England),  Juli Bolanos- Durman (Scotland/ Costa- Rica) , Madeline Rile Smith (USA) and Simone Fezer (Germany).


The commissions are part of the creation of new festival-responsive works and associated programming. These contributions will form part of the core GMTF schedule alongside new film entries, publication and podcast. Unique in approach, each project has been selected for their resonation with core human emotions and their intangible relationship with material and expression.

Flora de Bechi (Scotland)

Glass into the mould, light into the camera, body into space

Rooted in research and experiences gathered whilst on residency at North Lands, this film features a poetic imagining of the hollow space of the Grey Cairns of Camster as both a camera and mould. This allows the viewer, by entering into and inhabiting the space physically, experience the qualities of the materials of glass and light combined.


A digital artists book will accompany the film, which will feature new prints of glass molecules in states of transition, historical photographs of the Grey Cairns courtesy of Historic Scotland’s SCRAN archive and specially written text.

“I’m delighted to be part of Glass, Meet the Future again, it’s specifically important during this time when there is so few ways to make links with the international art and craft communities and meet creatively on the same topics of glass and film. It’s vital to have these opportunities available to facilitate new work when artists might be struggling financially due to Covid. For audiences it’s also vital, to get a window into other peoples personal experiences and parts of the world which seem very remote right now.” – Flora de Bechi

Griet Beyaert (England)

In her work Beyaert explores our perception of the world. Using glass powders she examines the constraints of the material, resulting in diaphanous, crystalline glass sculptures. These forms are used for sound exploration. Combined with programming, projection, light and video they are played live to create immersive soundscapes/installations.


For GMTF 2021 a ‘Remote Glass Sound Workshop’ will explore the question ‘what do you hear when you think about the future? This will later be realised as a short film and glass sound piece using the collaborative soundbite submissions of participants.



“Using glass powder sculptures to create sound, I feel imagination is the only limit to the possibilities and future of glass.” – Greit Beyaert

Juli Bolanos-Durman (Scotland, Costa- Rica)

Our Common Humanity invites the audience to delve into an intangible magical world of second chances, where waste material is the starting point.


This work will explore how the visceral bond between the maker, community and material permeates the creative process, guiding it to become something raw and precious at the same time.

Exploring human curiosity and the instinctual need to play and create. The act of making connects us to an unlimited source of joy, comfort and elevation.



“Through this commission I am highly committed and determined to challenge my practice by providing a space for dialogue, development of ideas to further explore this microcosm which is glass using film.” Juli Bolaños-Durman

Madeline Rile Smith (USA)

This performance-based work will highlight communal acts of creation and collective action involving hot glass and textile-inspired processes. Approaching glass as thread, Rile Smith will be working with her community to weave a luminous collaborative structure.

This unspoken film will document a story of social currency, communal effort, and interpersonal connection in the glass studio. During the second part of the ritualistic performance viewers will be invited to meditate on themes of loss and transformation.


“While much of my focus has been on the resulting objects, I am equally drawn to the beauty of the collaborative process. Past pieces have been vital in growing my filmmaking vocabulary and relationship to glass performance, this commission will give me the opportunity to create a dedicated film exploring this.” – Madeline Rile Smith

Simone Fezer (Germany)

This performance work will form a narrative exploring the universal existence of structures and the interaction of human beings with them, their similarities and differences, and the connectedness of everything. Focusing on restriction, adaptation, reflection, perspectives, and the complex layering of reality. This work will be filmed at night within an 8-meter high, haphazardly constructed crystal-palace against the back drop of Fezer’s installation “Tipping point” at the Glass-Museum Frauenau.



“I had planned to apply with the newly made film for the second edition of the festival. Due to the current situation, it has been impossible to realise the filming until now. Although we are still facing many challenging restrictions, this commission grant will help greatly towards to realisation of the project.” – Simone Fezer

Alison Lowry &
Jayne Cherry (Northern Ireland)

This collaborative site responsive work will be a visceral experience, using a glasswork as the investment object to provide a cognitive dissonance for the viewer.

“We are delighted to have been awarded this commission by North Lands Creative to create new work for the Glass, Meet the Future Film Festival. The financial support enables us to spend time researching and developing a high-quality piece of artwork that will receive International attention during the Festival. As artists this support and recognition is invaluable, especially during these uncertain times.” – Alison Lowry & Jayne Cherry

This energising project supported through British Council Scotland and Creative Scotland as part of the UK in Japan. Working alongside North Lands Creative, GMTF 2021 will see an agile programme of both physical and online events taking place internationally throughout the year alongside project partners Toyama Institute of Glass Art with Toyama Glass Art Museum in Japan and new project partners the Museum of Arts and Design, New York.

Alongside the new commissioned work, GMTF 2021 will showcase a cross section of international diverse and engaging series of short films curated and directed by female identified and non-binary and filmmakers using glass as the predominant feature.