Glass Drapes


Birmingham Glass Drapes 1998

Image 2 of 9

The Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre
Birmingham, UK

A four-story etched glazed wall-cum-artwork measuring 15 x 10 metres. This part of the new building was given a special mention in the Royal Institution of British Architects Award 2002, the second part of this commission, in 2005 is Light Column, that hangs in the stairwell of the building. In Glass Drapes, ground glass and pigment were photo silk-screened onto the two metre squares of plate glass. The enlarged screened photograph was made permanent by the application of intense heat.

The allusion to draped cloth refers to the background fabrics originally seen in painted portraits. This convention became a familiar sight in photographic studios, and is retained in the photo-booth. The basic logic and imagery for these artworks is derived from the repetition of a strip of four photographs taken in such a booth and measuring 20 x 4 cm. The pattern reproduced on these glassworks reiterates drapery folds. Light and curtains combine as signifiers of theatrical atmosphere. Both the outer glass wall and inner hanging glass column reflect and shadow each other, an extension of audience and stage echoed in endlessly choreographed repetitions.