Galerie Forsblom, Helsinki, 2016
Liminal references to the transitional phase of a material when it undergoes a physical transformation into another state. In this part of the process, the material occupies both thresholds; it is neither entirely one nor the other.
Exploring this concept, the exhibition features glass sculptures that subtly illustrate the moments when water condenses and desublimates as well as when it freezes and melts. Furthermore, the exhibition metaphorically suggests that glass and water share several similar characteristics as materials. The two can exist as either liquids or solids and they both are subsequently timeless. Glass and water are both in a perpetual, continuous cycle of changing material states, carrying with them rich histories of their previous states. The glass sculptures in the exhibition highlight this aspect of the materials, capturing and showcasing the varied histories of the materials in a similar way as ancient fossils do.
Though we are encouraged to observe the history of the glass in the exhibition, the pieces also encourage us to look forward. Global warming is currently causing the sea level to rise, placing vast territories at risk of being claimed by the ocean while also jeopardizing the planet's fresh water reserves. As is typical in his work, Suppanen highlights the importance of preserving our limited natural resources through sustainable development in how he symbolically links the infinite recyclability of glass with the eternal cycle of water.
The glass sculptures in the exhibition are handcrafted in the legendary glass studios of Claudio Tiozzo and Pino Signoretto in Murano, Venice. Through the balance of traditional craftsmanship and innovative experimentation, Suppanen is able to develop a new way to use glass as a material for artistic expression. The dynamic glass sculptures create engaging paradoxes where the large and heavy objects instead feel fragile while the small and compact objects hold an expansive presence in a room and convey a sense of massive weight and volume. All together, the pieces create an exhibition space that feels visually ethereal with a color palette that ranges from colorless translucent to shades of blue, green, and white.
Images © Galerie Forsblom