The interior of a solid, cast crystal distillery jar contains the negative space of a magpie sitting on a pomegranate. Gilded with silver nitrate, the residual detail is transformed into a three-dimensional mirror reminiscent of cast metal. A taxidermy magpie sits on top of the jar peering intently at what seems to be its reflection within. Believed to be one of the most intelligent of all birds, the magpie is one of the few species known to be able to recognize itself in a mirror.
The negative space of the magpie and pomegranate inside the distillery jar is achieved by installing a sculpted magpie and pomegranate made of plaster / silica within the refractory mold of the jar. Crystal flows into the mold but cannot penetrate where the sculpture is placed. After a 2-3 week annealing process in the kiln, the refractory mold is broken apart, and the refractory magpie / pomegranate removed, thus leaving the negative space of these formations. The solid glass jar is polished by hand. The interior of the jar is then coated with silver nitrate in order to give the suggestion of a 3 dimensional mirrored statuette.
British born artist, Joanna Manousis lives and works in the United States, creating sculptural objects and installations. Primarily working in glass, Manousis has mastered control of the medium, manipulating it through a multi-disciplinary process that often incorporates other materials such as cast bronze, enamel, and even taxidermy. She states, “I am drawn to the contrasting qualities of glass–transparent yet solid, it simultaneously reveals yet barricades.”
Manousis’ works engage the viewer’s gaze, drawing the audience into a literal and philosophical state of reflection regarding the essence of human existence and ideas related to growth, emotionality, aspiration and mortality.
Her work has been recognized with nominations for the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award and a Bombay Sapphire Award Nomination for ‘Excellence in Glass’ as well as the Margaret M. Mead Award and the Hans Godo Frabel Award. Manousis has received support from internationally recognized residency programs including the Glass Pavilion at the Toledo Museum of Art, Ohio; the Museum of Arts and Design, New York; the Corning Museum of Glass, New York; and Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris, France. Her work has been exhibited at Design Miami and Art Basel, Basel, Switzerland; FOG Art + Design, San Francisco; the Glasmuseet Ebeltoft, Ebeltoft, Denmark; and the British Glass Biennale, Stourbridge, England.
She holds a Masters of Fine Arts in Sculpture from Alfred University, New York, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Art–Glass from The University of Wolverhampton, England. Manousis has worked, studied and taught in Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States and Australia.
Materials: Taxidermy magpie, Cast crystal, Stainless steel, Mirror
Dimensions: 16h x 6w x 6d inches
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