Inverted Harmony:
A Handmade Environment
by Jenine Bressner

January 22, 2011 — March 13, 2011
In the Small Gallery.

January 22 – March 13, 2011

In the small gallery, HCCC presents Inverted Harmony: A Handmade Environment by Jenine Bressner, an installation of cascading, handmade glass chandeliers and layered textiles. The environment mimics lush gardens to create a surreal landscape.

Bressner’s hanging gardens are made of lamp-worked glass, paired with laser-cut and hand-painted fabrics. The space is transformed not only from above, but also from below. Underneath each glass chandelier, the fabrics create three-dimensional quilted clouds. Thus, the gardens hang above a sky, inverting the traditional concept of what is above or below, and presenting the viewer with an elaborate and enchanted transformation of space.

Bressner describes how craft has always been a part of her life, as she grew up “making things by hand.” With society’s current fascination with technology, she is torn between using a machine and staying true to a handmade object. Inverted Harmony reflects these disparate aspects of her artistic process. She uses a digital laser cutter, a contemporary tool, to assist her with speed and accuracy when cutting textiles. However, her glass work continues to employ the use of traditional techniques. All of her glass is lampworked, a technique widely practiced during the 14th Century in Murano, Italy. Using a gas-fueled torch, she melts rods of glass, which are then blown and manipulated into shapes using various tools.

As part of her two-year post at HCCC, Curatorial Fellow Anna Walker curated this inventive solo show. Walker says, “I’m interested in how the computer has evolved to become a tool for the contemporary craftsperson. Although craft is associated with the handmade object, behind many of those traditional objects are tools, such as the torch, lathe, or wheel. In Inverted Harmony, Jenine Bressner reconciles the ideas of hand- and machine-made objects and illustrates a desire for harmony between two concepts that often display a contentious relationship.”

Bressner began her schooling at the Maryland Institute College of Art before receiving her BFA in Glass from Rhode Island School of Design in 2001. Bressner was one of the featured artists in a recent documentary by Faythe Levine, Handmade Nation, which chronicles the indie and D.I.Y. arts scenes. She is currently attending the Fab Academy in Providence, Rhode Island, a school through Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia.

Bressner was also recently featured on The Martha Stewart Show to demonstrate her glass work.