b r i d g e c i t y s h o p p i n g m a l l
One of the architects for Bridge City Mall, Nicholas Poulsen, saw a sample piece of my glass work in a showroom, and asked to meet with me. He said that he was trying to find something different to use on the outside of the building, and when he saw my glass, he said that it was what he was looking for. He gave me the dimensions, and asked me to come up with some design ideas. His only specifications were that he would like it to involve the community, and use recycled glass.
Because of my teaching background, and my love of children’s art, I came up with a design that involved the Grade One children of KwaMashu, the future generation. I also wanted to use a combination of glass bottles (from litter clean-ups), and clear crushed glass (also recycled), to form a double helix that runs throughout the artwork, like a DNA strand. The little broken and melted pieces of glass bottles are placed interlocking each other.
I am fascinated by the innocence, and simplicity of the self-portraits of Grade One children. They draw freely, without caring what others think of their art. They just are.
I went with the Bridge City Mall Marketing Manager to four of the local schools, and spent a morning interacting with the children and collecting their art.
I hired four guys to help me with the artwork. They worked 5 days a week, and I worked 7 days a week, for 3 months solidly to complete it. I was given an additional 2 glass kilns to work on this project, so in total, had 3 kilns running each day. Because of the size of the kilns, I could only run one at a time, so had to stagger their starting times throughout the day.
When all of the panels of my artwork are put side by side, they cover 100 running meters of the building. Each panel is 800mm high by 500mm wide.
There are 200 panels in total.