I was fortunate to be in New York City at the same time an exhibit of Joyce Scott’s work was on display at the Museum of Art and Design.
Part retrospective and part new work, Maryland to Murano included Scott’s work from the 1990’s and newer work including some breathtaking glass pieces she created on the island of Murano with the help of the resident artisans.
Scott is a story teller and and she uses beads to convey her message the way a writer uses words or a dancer uses gestures.
Or the way a quilt maker uses fabric! Think about it. Scott’s Mother, Elizabeth Talford Scott, was a quilt maker whose fabric compositions were rich with narrative and personal and historical references. The cultural and familial influences definitely carried over from Mother to Daughter.
So why did Joyce Scott go to Murano? The exhibition catalog says that Scott did glass blowing at Pilchuck, Haystack Mountain School of Craft and Penland, and that her three dimensional bead work continued to increase in size. I suppose a stint in Murano was the next step. Scott has always stuck me as an artist looking to push in new directions. She seems fearless.
The work she produced in Murano is was not like anything I have seen before. Take a look at Buddha. The black and white of the face appears to be melted beads, The outer bead work is textural. The rest of the piece is blown glass. It is slightly larger than life sized and I could not take my eyes off of it.
Fortunately for us, we can see Scott talk about her work her influences and watch her in the process of creating similar pieces on this video clip from the PBS Series Craft in America
Here are some more pictures from the exhibition