Ana Rosa HopkinsArtist, Consultant, Lecturer / academic, Researcher
Over the last six years my work has focused on using different forms of glass, exploring its physical qualities and inherent dualities; hardness and fragility, solid and transparent. I am drawn to the liminal region between sculpure and glassmaking, challenging the bourndaries of how the material can be used. Glassmaking for me is a process of experimentation. I often add natural or man-made substances to the process leading to unpredictable and unexpected outcomes. In my fine art practicce I use the medium of glass to create multi-layered messages and meaning moving away from the traditional and decorative possibilities of glass and defying its material boundaries. My doctoral research is focused on the legacy of Joseph Beuys and his ideas on materials and social sculpture. This has led to an exploration of the metaphorical dimension of everyday materials and objects, and their abilitiy to catalyse meaning through association and suggestion. Analogous to an alchemist, my practice experiements with the transmutation of common elements. It exploits the sediments of history and narrative embedded in materials to form layers of meaning in my work. This 'back-story', inherent or invested, becomes important in the works interpretation and understanding and can be contained in the material, its history, or an action undertaken in producing the work. My recent work explores the expressive possibilities of mirror glass in a series entitled 'Vanity', and of adding substances and materials leaving traces or eruptions in the surface of glass.