Cappy Thompson: Glass Vessels for a Dream Voyage
YONKERS, NY. December 29, 2004 -Known in the field of art glass for her distinctive narrative designs that marry myth, fairy tales, and her personal dreamscape, Seattle-artist Cappy Thompson has been using the vessel form to dramatic effect for nearly 15 years.
Cappy Thompson: Glass Vessels for a Dream Voyage, on view at the Hudson River Museum from February 5-May 22, 2005, shows almost two dozen glass vessels that feature the animal motifs and medieval imagery that runs through her work. Thompson derives this imagery of the Middle Ages from Hindu, pagan, Judaic, Buddhist, Islamic and Christian cultures.
Thompson's vessels combine two ancient techniques - one used by medieval artists who painted on stained glass, and the other from Greek artisans who painted clay pots. Stained glass, Thompson notes, has a long history as an architectural medium and a public art form. The vessel, though, exists on a far more intimate scale because its form and function directly relates to its use by an individual. The vessel also provides Thompson with the perfect canvas on which to depict her dreams, their circular shape representing the fluidity of dream narratives that have no clear beginning or ending.
Thompson describes how she paints vessels: "I begin by drawing directly on the outside of the vessel with a black marker, letting the composition develop on the piece. I mix the paint, and I trace the drawing from the bottom up. I work on a light table and lay the vessel on its side, so I'm working on a horizontal surface inside the vessel. The handles of my paint brushes have been cut to fit inside the vessel. This first layer is called tracery. And, these black lines give the work its medieval quality."
Thompson's work is part of the public collections of The Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, New York; the American Craft Museum, New York; and Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art, Hokkaido, Japan, to name only a few.
The Hudson River Museum is located at 511 Warburton Avenue, Yonkers, NY.
Hours: Wednesday - Sunday from 12-5 pm. Friday, 12-8 pm. Museum: $5 adults, $3 seniors and children 4-12. Children under 4 free. Members $3.
Information: 914.963.4550 www.hrm.org. On Fridays 5-8 pm admission to galleries and the planetarium free.