The artist and glass master, Silvio Vigliaturo, was invited to participate in the European Glass Festival with two new sculptures created especially for the occasion. The event, now in its fifth year, bears the title Play with Glass and is held in Wroclaw, Poland, from October 15th to November 10th, 2016.
From its beginnings during the Middle Ages, the history of glass-making in Poland has been linked to the area of Lower Silesia; its tradition does not want to lose its deepest roots. In fact, the Academy of Fine Arts in Wroclaw (Breslau) holds the only professorship of Glass and Ceramics in Poland. The museums of Lower Silesia, Wriclae, Jelenia Gira and Klodzko have important collections of glass works, both historical and contemporary. Finally, the Borowski Studio, world-renowned, is located not far from Wroclaw.
Given these cultural elements, the city of Wroclaw conceived the project Play with Glass, introducing it at the European Glass Festival, which is entered into the event calendar of the European Capital of Culture 2016, a title that the Polish city shares with San Sebastian this year.
To make the festival increasingly more international, the organizers have invited 16 renowned glass artists from all over Europe, and four from Poland, to participate in an exhibition called Dr Jekyll and Mrs. Hyde. Maestro Vigliaturo will be the sole representative of Italy. The European Glass Festival is organized by BB Gallery and Foundation Fly Art, in close cooperation with the municipality of Wroclaw, the Academy of Fine Arts and the Association of Polish artists and designers of Wroclaw.
The exhibition Dr. Jekyll and Mrs. Hyde was inspired by the famous novel “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” from 1886, by the Scottish writer, Robert Louis Stevenson. A respected doctor, Henry Jekyll, under the influence of a potion which he himself invented, becomes the cruel Edward Hyde. Jekyll, unable to accept what he’s doing when he turns into Hyde, he commits suicide. Stevenson’s novel refers to the split personality of a pathological subject, introducing the distinction “Jekyll and Hyde” into common vocabulary used to refer to the two sides of a dual personality in an individual. Organizers of the exhibition asked the participants: Transforming Dr. Jekyll into Mrs. Hyde, would it have prevented a suicide? Mrs. Hyde, like Mr. Hyde, would she be a monster, or become a London suffragette fighting for women’s rights?
The story of Jekyll still captures the imagination of readers today and provokes the imagination of the artists taking part in the main exhibition of this fifth edition of the festival, presenting their version of events and introducing, through the glass, a modern Dr Jekyll, which crosses lone industrial and virtual spaces of the XXI century. In the version of Vigliaturo, the bipolar character created by Stevenson splits into two imposing and elegant glass totemic figures, in which the transparency of the material brings out the intense colors, giving them a striking sinuous liquid appearance. Two archetypal and hieratic figures of a man and a woman lit by the light of the origin of humanity, of which they want to be the two inseparable sides of the same coin.