GLASS Quarterly Hot Sheet: What are you working on?
Anna Mlasowsky: For me, this is a time of many beginnings. I've recently started my graduate studies in the sculpture department at the University of Washington with the goal to provide myself with an environment where I can realize explorative and investigative sculpture without taking commercial or contextual constraints into account. I hope to take on some older and recent ideas where I will work with polarizing filters, obsidian, plastics, and photography. Some of the ideas I'm pursuing are based on expressing nothingness, stillness, and fear. I'm speaking in very vague terms, but this is due to a certain uncertainty that goes along with unfinished work or projects that only exist in one's mind. I guess I'm as curious of the outcomes as anyone else.
At the same time, I just received the opportunity to continue a recently started research project of mine by winning one of this year’s TAG Grants from the Glass Art Society. The project is to provide the greater glass community with a mold-less pate de verre technique based on the production principles used in 3-D printing. I've started this project during my residency at the Bullseye Resource Center in Emeryville about six months ago. I'm using interior scaffolding instead of an exterior mold onto which the glass paste is applied. I've been doing this quite manually, but will have access to model the interior scaffolding on the computer and then laser cut the shapes because the university provides me with all those incredible tools. The advantage of 3-D modeling is that shapes can quickly be altered and decisions can be made more quickly, as well as the program has the ability to turn a 3-D object into a cut-able template which the laser cutter can process. Making multiples becomes an “easy” task. Once I have refined this new method, it will be rather cost-effective as well…. even to my ears this all sounds too good and somewhat utopian. But luckily I have proven myself that it is actually possible by failing to produce any successful result for about three months before I finally made the first pieces towards the final week of my residency at Bullseye.
GLASS: What are you looking at or thinking about that is inspiring your latest work?
Anna: Mostly I observe others and how they interact with one another and with everyday objects. In this way I observe our behavior, value systems, and cultural identity, which all in a greater sense inform our traditions and thinking. I also watch about five to ten movies a week — mainly documentaries and movies that talk about the same things I am looking for when observing people and their interest in objects. Just last week I watched One Day, Just a Sigh, and Venus, three movies that portray different relationships and longings. Right now I'm watching Nymphomaniac Volume 1 & 2 from Lars von Trier which describes two opposite characters on both ends of the human spectrum.
Some movies I watch and re-watch many times because once I know the story I start focusing on the images, the film's flaws, and how moods are achieved. It's an important visual component that sharpens my perception.
Right now I'm also reading about Taoism with the interest in nothingness, emptiness and stillness in contrary relation to movement. In a very interesting passage it is written: "Where stillness culminates is movement," — which I find an interesting idea I hope to explore in the future.
GLASS: Where can we see your work?
Anna: My latest work can be seen in my current solo show titled "Departures" on view at the Bullseye Bay Area Gallery in Emeryville, California, through January 10th, 2015. It features the first pieces of the pate de verre technique as well as a project about the local Oakland community and environment.
Another piece of mine entitled Resonance is currently in the traveling "Emerge" exhibition with the next two stops being the Pittsburgh Glass Center from November 7th, 2014 through January 18th, 2015 and the Bellevue Arts Museum in Bellevue, Washington, from February 20th, 2015 through June 14th, 2015.