Artist of the Month
Cathy Strokowsky’s blown glass spheres are embedded into a tightly woven carapace of artificial sinew and metal wire. The most recent pieces have become more transparent, the weaving less dense and an incredibly detailed variety of tiny organic-looking flameworked forms crowded around the carved orifices. Strokowsky is represented by Galerie Elena Lee in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Click on each photo to the right for full picture.
The main objective of my work is to emphasize contrast. With contrast comes a vast array of conflicting themes and nuances that bring forth thought and emotion within myself. It is these expressions that I am trying to bring out in my work.
Glass is the medium I am using as the main tool for my communication. It has enabled me to express my thoughts, concerns, fears, and hopes. It has helped me achieve a certain balance within myself and the world around me. Through it I am able to voice my constant struggle with contrasts: good and evil, lightness and darkness, life and death. These conflicting themes haunt my work and bring out my hidden angels and demons.
Nature plays a great role in my art because I use it as my main inspiration. It is the only place I can go to heal myself, to think, to meditate, and to play. It is what I draw upon to find my specific paths for creation. I use it in my work to express the person I have become and hope to be. It helps me find my way when I am lost. It guides me.
Glass itself is a very natural thing; built of sand and fire it is a gift from the centre of the earth. The movement used to form it into shape is like a dance, almost a ritual for me. Glass is a conflict within itself. It can be both liquid and solid. This is why I love working with it.
My inspiration comes from everywhere starting from glass itself. The majority of my ideas are derived from a spontaneous movement or a sudden notion in time as I am working with it. The piece is carefully put together later after it has properly cooled.
Other inspirations are derived from my own personal experiences and of those around me. I try to use these experiences, good and bad, and find a voice for them through my work. The need for family, friends, relationships, and solitude and universal needs I try to bring out in one way or another through my art.
I believe that life is rich in experiences, I need to reflect this in my work and keep it in my thoughts. Everyday I see the beauty and the horror in life. The world is one big contrast and it never ceases to amaze me.
About Cathy Strokowsky
Montreal native Cathy Strokowsky has been developing her small multimedia sculptures with glass as a defining element for 15 years. Each sculpture encompasses a striking dichotomy, being fragile and solid, opaque and transparent. Part of this is due to the two very different glassblowing techniques employed: glass blown directly from the molten mass, and glass worked in a very hot flame from prefabricated rods and tubes. The former serves the artist in producing her solid spheres, whereas the latter allows her to fashion the intricately detailed and playful additions. Her flameworked elements, reminiscent of flowers, fruit, mushrooms or flames, are painstakingly stitched onto the filaments of the encircling network. Glass blown directly at the furnace demands a steady but calm rhythm, while flameworking is an exercise in speed and dexterity.
Cathy’s intimate sculptures, full of mystery and contradictions have acquired a faithful clientele among SOFA visitors, the show of “Sculpture Objects and Functional Art” in Chicago and New York, as well as at Art Palm Beach, where she is shown regularly, as well as at various venues throughout Canada and the U.S. Her work is part of the collections of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec, Loto-Québec and the Contemporary Museum of Honolulu.
Acknowledgment of Gallery:
We are grateful to Galerie Elena Lee, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, for providing the materials for the Artist of the Month.
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