Vic Bamforth’s current work in glass falls into two distinct categories – one where the surface is the subject matter and the other where the material itself is the focus. In the former he uses on-glaze enamels to paint narrative-based blown and solid forms, where the primary function of the glass is that of a three dimensional canvas. These pieces are uniquely illustrated, usually involving themes relating to memory, place and storytelling. Bamforth depicts subjects with honesty, humour and enthusiasm. He can spend weeks on a single piece, preparing developmental drawings and hand painting them in his studio in preparation for further blowing in the ‘hot shop’.
Contrastingly, the Sommercalmo pieces, on display during Messums Wiltshire’s exhibition, exploit and convey some of the unique properties and qualities of glass: malleability & ductility (whilst hot), transparency, translucency, reflection, refraction and colour usage. The technique has evolved through merging together the traditional Italian blowing techniques of Sommerso and Incalmo – hence ‘Sommercalmo’. Incalmo involves the ‘joining’ together of two or more different coloured forms whilst still hot. Bamforth’s approach differs in that it involves an additional casing of the joined forms with clear molten furnace glass which, after further hot manipulation, significantly enhances the optical qualities of the piece. The join, which incidentally is unpredictable, provides a focal point of visual interest, a horizon maybe? These forms are much more sculptural, organic, fluid and tactile; speaking more of the material itself. Whilst displayed collectively as a group in his studio Bamforth feels uplifted whilst reflecting on scuba diving adventures when he has been surrounded by beautiful colourful fish and coral swaying to and fro in rhythm with the ebb and flow of the tide!
2008/15 British Glass Biennale Int. Festival of Glass, Stourbridge, UK 2015 Refract – International Glass Design, Waterford, Ireland 2015 Summer Showcase, Vessel Gallery, UK 2015 Essence, London Glassblowing, UK 2015 Drawing – An Expressive gesture….., National Glass Centre, UK 2014 British Glassmakers & Printmakers, Twenty Twenty Gallery, UK 2014 Flitting/Flyttning – The Experience of Migration, Johansfors Gallery, Sweden 2013 Storytelling: Once Upon A Time In The Midlands, Bilston & Shire Hall Galleries, UK 2012 Back To The Future, Broadfield House Glass Museum, UK 2012 Solo Exhibition, Susan Megson Gallery, UK 2009-2011 Affordable Art Fair. London, Cohesion Glass Network, UK 2010 SOFA New York, New York, USA (ZeST) 2008-2009 Edinburgh Art Fair, Number 9 The Gallery, UK 2008 Interiors and Lifestyle Showcase, British Embassy, Brussels 2008 A Crystal Canvas – Guild of Glass Engravers, Int. Festival of Glass, Stourbridge, UK 2008 Joint exhibition with Ian Bamforth (brother), Susan Megson Gallery, UK 2008 Art in Action, Waterperry Gardens, UK 2008 “Curiously Optimistic” –Solo Exhibition, Neville Pundole Gallery, UK 2007 ORIGIN, Somerset House, UK 2006-2007 SOFA Chicago, Chicago, USA (ZeST) 2007 Interiors Lifestyle, Tokyo, Japan 2007 Wheaton Arts – Glass Weekend 2007, New Jersey, USA (ZeST) 2007 “1000 Glass Miles”, Irwin Eisch Gallery, Germany 2006 Still Life-2 Person Exhibition, ZeST Gallery, UK 2005 New Studio Glass-2 Person Exhibition, Cecilia Colman Gallery, UK 2002/3 New Designers, Business Design Centre, UK 2001 “Inspired by”, V&A, London, UK
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