Things Said, Things Left Unsaid

Artist Statement

things said / things unsaid


This exhibition addresses the transitory nature of existence and my observations of life in Asia, addressing the beauty of the moment and the remaining memories of what was.  Temporal - the work is about the passing qualities of our lives and relationships. 


I use glass because it has a beauty and intensity like no other material.  Glass continues to fascinate, entice and speaks loudly to me.  Delightful qualities of transparency and fragility carry much meaning in a soft, delicate and somewhat elusive manner.  Translucent and transparent, glass is omnipresent, like shadows - there but not there.  Said, but not said…


Soft and elusive patterns are combined with poignant and abstract text to prompt a re-thinking of the familiar and trigger memories and romantic notions of home.  There is an underlying darkness in these pieces, something that seems to always be present in my work.  Once settled, things collect.


The works combine hand crafted art glass objects with objects and mixed media materials such as wallpaper fragments, hand towels, kitchen utensils and fallen leaves.  These often-overlooked items are connectors that indicate human presence, everyday activities and home comforts.  Juxtaposed with kiln cast glass these items are re-interpreted and displaced to take on new meaning. 


These common connecters reference the fragility and security (or lack thereof) within the home.  The beauty within the works is gently foreboding, ubiquitous like dreams.  Comfort and familiarity are transplanted into the gallery environment to hint at the unspoken.  What does it mean to be at home?  How to suppress feelings of entrapment?  Is it a safe and comfortable place to live?  Familiar objects reconfigured, question intimate understandings within relationships.  Is there a tenuous unspokenness?  What is obscured by the mundane and hidden by the beauty?  How do we hide anger, frustration and fear?  What things are said, and what things are left unsaid?


Objects then illustrate differences as well as common concerns across cultures, family and traditions.  Finding a place to belong to, a home, a space where you feel safe, a place where you can rest, is questioned.  Is the family the foundation of a stable home or is there something else?  The works while alluding to a romanticism of the past ask what is obscured? 


It is these “in between things”, the things that are in between what is said and what is left unsaid.  There are conversations in between objects and text that the viewer can listen to, where meaning can be found.  The disconcerting quietness within the works indeed speaks loudly to those prepared to listen.


B. Jane Cowie