DH McNabb

Artist in Residence

Before I could make glass I collected it. I could never make much sense of it, esoteric if you will. As a youth I collected glass objects, a menagerie of sorts. My high school and early college days were far from art. I wanted to be a naturalist or veterinarian. Science is still an interest in my practice.  I like to make objects, objects of glass. In some ways I suppose I make what I wish I had collected as a young lad. Early work was informed by defunct and true theories in biology. Now I have transferred that theme into physics and cosmology with my most recent works.  The rich history in glass is a fluid transfer of knowledge. It has been passed down over two millennium from culture to culture. Knowledge more than skill is passed from maestro to apprentice. How does one push themselves conceptually and skillfully? One could have “the skills to pay the bills”, as the Beastie Boys would have you believe. However, those skills sometimes lack content. Different techniques in glass can lead to different effects in the material, giving the material a different memory. The bubbles in the technique of reticello can signify points of a graph or stars in the cosmos and still pay homage to their original ornamentation of 17th century glass. This practice changes the material, it changes with the intent from my head through my hand, with the transparency of the eye being the final judge.  Recently I have been contemplating the coexistence of beauty and content in an object. Can a moment be realized or initiated through an object’s content and beauty? As of now that is where I sit. Questioning, not only the constructs of self but also the tropes of art school, my home for a while…


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