Free spirit

by Juliet Pospielovsky

 

The glass artworks of Yorgos Papadopoulos might be seen as accidents or mistakes in some eyes, but to the unconventional glassmaker they are pure magic and he has freed himself from the confines of artistic labelling. As a viewer you can also experience a sense of liberty in his creations, losing yourself in each surface’s multiplicity.

Cypriot-born Papadopoulos is a true artist, but he’s not someone who fits description easily. ‘Glass is my canvas, hammers are my brushes,’ he says. And, in fact, his breathtakingly beautiful artworks are actually smashed sheets of glass that are treated with sandblasting, glass pigments, gold leaf, enamels, silicone gels and even – by accident – droplets of his own blood. The unusual artworks happened quite by chance and had that brief moment not occurred he may well have been a very different type of artist. ‘I had already completed a degree in Interior Design and I was studying ceramics at London’s Royal College of Art when I broke a piece of laminated glass. Instead of seeing the breakage as a mistake, I was blown away by the results. I began smashing glass deliberately and putting light behind it,’ he explains. ‘I’ve been doing this type of artwork professionally for 15 years now, but if not for my accident with the glass sheet, I might well have been a ceramicist.’

Artist CV

Education

97-99  MA Ceramics & Glass RCA – London
95-97  Ceramics Diploma City Lit – London
94-95  Travel World wide
88-93  BA (Hons) Interior Design Middlesex University – London
87-88  Art & Design Foundation Middlesex Polytechnic – London

Employment
2002  Visiting lecturer, Royal College of Art – London
2002  Visiting lecturer,  Ashmole School – London
2001  Visiting lecturer,  Crafts Council Forum – UK
1999  Workshop assistant, Fusion Glass Designs Ltd. – London
1995  Ceramics assistant, Rose Wallis Ceramics, Sydney – Australia
1993  Interior Designer, Vakis Associates Architectural Practice – Cyprus
Exhibitions
2011  ‘Transparency’, Istanbul – Turkey
2010  ‘OWD’ Framestore – London (solo)
2009  ‘Vidriera contemporánea’ MAVA Museo de Arte en Vidrio, Madrid – Spain
2009  ‘Lost Heritage’ Gallery K- London
2009  ‘Through a glass, darkly’ 12 Star Gallery – London (solo)
2008  ‘I.con.i.cal.ly’ Bridge Gallery – New York (solo)
2008  ‘The 12 Madonnas’ Famagusta Gate – Nicosia Cyprus (solo)
2008  ‘The New Icons’ Vessel Gallery – London (solo)
2008  ‘Effervervescence II’ Sussex Barn Gallery – Chichester
2007  ‘Dissection’ ABC Carpets & Home – New York, USA
2006  ‘New Voices in Architectural Glass’ The Hub – Sleaford
2006  ‘Bombay Sapphire in Paris’ Galerie Claudine Papillon – Paris
2005  ‘Elais + Grove’ 50 Bank Street Canary Wharf – London (solo)
2005  ‘Bombay Sapphire’ Touring show- London, Liverpool, Brighton
2004  ‘ELEA’ The Gallery Cork Street – London (solo)
2004  ‘Glass has many faces’ Tiffany Glass Schloß Holte-Stukenbrock, Germany
2002  Holmes Place Canary Riverside – London (solo)
2001  Holmes Place Crouch End – London (solo)
2000  Rosenthal New Routes – New Destinations Frankfurt – Milan
2000  ‘Apeiron’ The Hellenic Centre – London
1999  ‘The Show’ Henry Moore Gallery RCA – London
1999  ‘Ninety degrees’ (solo) Hockney Gallery RCA – London
1999  ‘Collaborations’ V&A – London
1998  ‘Arson’ Gulbenkian Hall RCA – London
1997  ‘Breaking the mould’ Elms Lesters Painting Rooms – London
1997  ‘Barbican Showcase’ Barbican Centre – London
Selected Commissions
2011  Private residence NW3 – London
2010  Red Fort restaurant Soho – London
2008  CEG – Sloane Square House – London
2008  Lincoln Vale – Sloane Square House – London
2008  Amigos Café – Holborn – London
2007  Private office – Soho – London
2006  Saga Cruiseliner – Spirit of Adventure
2005  Vima Dance Studio – San Francisco
2004  P&O liner ‘ Arcadia’
2003  Private residence Kensington – London
2002  Berkeley Square House – London
2002  Renka Furniture Store – Birmingham
2001  Private residence – Radlett
2001  Private residence Kensington – London
2001  Conco Property Developing W1 – London
1999  Collingwood Jewellery store Old Bond St. – London
1999  Private residence Orpington – Kent
1999  Pied a Terre restaurant W1 – London
Collections
2010  Eskishihir Glass Museum, Eskishihir – Turkey
2004  Derix Glass Studio Taunusstein – Germany
2001  British Airways Art Collection – Heathrow T4
Awards and Scholarships
2004  Bombay Sapphire Prize (Shortlisted)
2002  Research trip to Japan – Trade Partners UK / Crafts Council
2000  100% Design / Crafts Council Bursary
2000  Crafts Council Setting-up grant
1998  RTZ Travel Scholarship West Coast USA
Publications
2008  ‘Contemporary Glass’ Blanche Craig Black Dog Publishing
2006  ‘Colours in Architecture’ Andrew Moor
2004  ‘Lamination’, George Papadopoulos, A&C Black – London
2003  ‘Smocks v. Comme des Garçons’ – Modern Painters Winter
2003  ‘Transparent’, Elspeth Pridham, Mitchell Beazly
2002  ‘Glass’, Chris Lefteri, Roto Vision