In the first of a series of artists’ talks organised by Cate Watkinson, Senior Lecturer in Architectural Glass at the University of Sunderland, I soon discovered that they are all fine Belgian exports. Inge came to the UK in 1994 to study for a BA in Architectural Glass at Edinburgh College of Art - and never left! She now resides in the Scottish Borders, from where she runs IDAGOS, a contemporary glass studio and workshop business (www.idagos.co.uk). Inge is also a senior lecturer at Sunderland and one of the tutors on my BA Glass and Ceramics course.
In her talk, Inge described the main three strands of her practice: architectural, sculptural and giftware. Working with space and light as a preferred medium, her architectural and sculptural work involves bespoke or limited edition pieces. Projects often come about through open competition and include public art as well as work for private and corporate clients. One of her most recent high profile pieces was the ‘Liverpool Map’, an amazing collaboration with fellow artist and lecturer Jeffrey Sarmiento. The finished installation, which took nine months to produce, is now on display in the Museum of Liverpool. It is a series of six printed, fused water-jet cut panels, weighing in at a massive 600 kilos of glass. The huge map features well known Liverpool places and faces, with words and phrases supplied by local people. Her latest project, ‘Map as Metaphor’, also links to the theme of maps. It celebrates the work of another fellow Belgian, the 16th century cartographer Geradus Mercator (who created the famous Mercator Projection, the standard world map layout still in use today). Inge went on to describe how her projects are costed, the network of trusted suppliers used to complete a work and the way in which she seeks funding. In future, she suggested artists may have to generate more of their own projects rather than rely on a public intermediary for support. As an artist on the cusp of setting up my own professional practice, I found her talk greatly illuminating and helpful. I am looking forward to talks from other artists over the coming weeks, to help me build my knowledge and understanding of running my own studio.
Over the next few weeks, several more artists’ talks are scheduled. Free and open to all, they are held on Wednesdays from 4 pm to 6 pm at Lecture Theatre 007, Prospect Building, St Peter’s Campus, University of Sunderland, SR6 0DD. Join us if you can.