2022 Year of Glass Intro

Published 23 August 2022 in Exhibition Blogs

The UN declared 2022 to be the year of glass to celebrate its value to society – pretty much, to life as we know it. In the 3rd quarter of the year, The Viewing Room Art Gallery will be having a glass exhibition on September 10th, ending off the International Year of Glass (IYOG).

Glass making is an ancient art that is one of humankind’s earliest technologies. Glass is amazing! It allows us to transfer information and physical objects, it contributes to science, art, technology and simply: life. So, some facts about glass – for those that don’t really think to research about a material that we tend to take for granted.

Glass is not a solid! Or a liquid! Mind-boggling right?! So, after some research, glass is an amorphous solid – anatomically disordered…basically meaning: the particles within keep moving, very, very, slowly. I love this phrase though, “anatomically disordered”, it feels rather apt for our situation and lives the moment – a disordered structure, ordered chaos. Next, because glass is created by applying intense heat to sand and ash, it can be created naturally when lightning hits sand. (Of course, for those of us who have watched Sweet Home Alabama – and I mean, who hasn’t – we already knew this).  I would urge everyone to do a little research on the history, elemental and the process of glass making.

Glass has allowed for better and faster communication with fibre-optic cables, screens for literally all communication devices nowadays, and those little components within devices that we (again) don’t think to think about. But glass was chosen for 2022 because of its contribution to society and environmental awareness and care. Glass is 100% recyclable while retaining all of its properties. It is beautiful, versatile, sustainable, and trusted. We have glass art, glass jewellery, glass windows and screens, glass utensils and dishes, glass structures, and eyewear (which are very grateful for!).

So, for the next few posts, we will be exploring the different aspects to, history of, and art with glass. Moreover, glass could be considered a dying art form, and many think of it more as a signature piece to Italian culture with the Venetian Glass than a universal art medium. And our upcoming glass exhibition celebrates and appreciates the art created in Pretoria, South Africa, by students at Tshwane University of Technology (TUT).

- Cassandra Comins

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