A journey to the Northwest earlier this year offered assistant curator Chad Alligood and me the opportunity to visit artists in Portland, Seattle, Tacoma and surrounding areas. On one particularly intriguing visit, we meet Joey Kirkpatrick and Flora Mace, who have worked collaboratively since meeting at the Pilchuck Glass School in Seattle in the late 1970s.
Though primarily associated with their large-scale blown glass fruit and vegetable forms, the pair has recently concluded this series. This shift in their work has sparked a productive period of innovation and discovery in their studio across a wide variety of media, including drawing, painting, wood, and glass.
Their current explorations in glass include an innovative method of preserving the structure and appearance of real plants cast into a glass aggregate, creating a sculptural form from living organic material.
"The large scale still life sculptures confront the viewer and awaken our appreciation of the visual world around us. This makes us look outside ourselves and recognize the celebratory aspects of everyday life, our dependence on nature, its cycles and seasons. Our approach evolved out of our experience using the two dimensional painting tradition."
Take a look as Flora and Joey show us some of their current work:
Photos courtesy of Joey Kirkpatrick and Flora Mace