Andrea Spencer

My work is concerned with creating environments that shape the perception of an object, and in doing so, extend the meaning of that object. The starting point for my work begins with an exploration of natural forms, which often leads into a process of investigating different manifestations of the same form. I am drawn to forms that seem particularly well-suited to the medium of flame-worked glass, where by I can exploit the material properties of transparency and fragility, in a process that allows a great degree of fine detail.

For the past few years I have been working on a series based upon Scyliorhinus canicula, commonly known as the mermaid’s purse, which is the egg case of the small-spotted catshark and are commonly found washed up on Irish beaches. I have found this form to be a rich source of associations to explore themes of fertility, mortality, mobility and purpose. Recent work deals with the transformation of this natural form (translated into glass) into an unnatural hybrid that shares an embodiment with its source material. It is a surreal manifestation of the process of artistic creation, which in this case is based upon observation and imitation of nature, wherein an object transcends its status as a mere construction to become a different order of reality.