GLASS: What are you working on?
Tanya Lyons: The body of work I just brought to SOFA Chicago is the beginning of a new direction, taking my ongoing examination of clothing further by including natural and found objects. The latest work brings in new details, textures, and a sense of history, allowing for an interaction of materials between glass, metal mesh, natural objects and recycled textiles. My hope is to trigger memories and thoughts, expanding the depth of the piece and opening new directions.
I’ve been working on a series of five small dresses called “Innocence and Freedom” inspired by my one-year-old niece, and a look at where we start our lives. These dresses are made with metal mesh and glass elements with added recycled lace, vintage lace collars, and ribbon. I’ve also been developing a series of kimonos, to which I’ve been adding natural elements like dried raspberry canes or dried cedar branches to call attention to the importance to the environment that surrounds us. I also add recycled textiles for a link to our society and history.
With these new series, I’ve had the opportunity to work with my partner, French glass artist Mathieu Grodet, who is a flameworker as well as a glassblower. Working on the torch has only expanded the glass for me, giving opportunities for additional details and allowing me to work with the material in a different way.
GLASS: What artwork have you seen recently that inspired you?
Tanya: I’d have to say Brad Copping’s work, especially his newest pieces. Brad is an artist that uses glass in conceptual ways to express what is around him, our place in nature, and the effects society is having on us, and on our environment. But Brad is clearly a maker as well as a conceptual artist, and you can see the mark of the hand in his work. Working glass, wood, stone, and found objects to pose questions and making you think about where you are and how you fit into where you live, Brad doesn’t hide within the glossiness of glass but cuts it open and grinds it down so you have a glimpse within — but only enough to leave you thinking.
GLASS: Where is it possible to see your work on exhibit?
Tanya: Among other galleries, I show my work with Galerie Elena Lee, which just included several of my dresses in their SOFA exhibition in Chicago. I also will have some work in a group exhibition opening on November 13th at the newly renovated Espace Verre in Montreal, which will remain on view through February 2010. My work is also available at Habatat Gallery, Morgan Contemporary Glass Gallery, Pismo Fine Art Glass, Bender Gallery, and Hodgell Gallery.