Artist Edd Johannemann plays with the effects of light in his multi-layered glass sculptures. More of his work may be found on his website.
I love light. I’ve always been fascinated by the eﬀect light creates on everything it touches. Even now, my art is influenced and shaped by my obsession with light.
As a teenager I discovered photography and the possibilities that working with light oﬀered. I was in a friend’s darkroom the first time I saw an image come up in a tray of developer, and I was hooked. Everything was film-based then. Oh, the magic of silver halide crystals! The whole process was fascinating. From taking the photo to processing the image, everything relied on manipulating light.
I began my career as a professional photographer specializing in portraiture. I enjoyed manipulating the lighting in the studio and working with people to capture their best selves.
The need for a consistent income to support my family led to decisions that many artists find themselves having to make. I found a job doing estimating for a printing company, and though the income was steady, there was a void in my life. It turns out creativity is greatly frowned upon in estimating.
After that I found jobs working as a graphic designer and sign maker, tasks that required creativity but weren’t necessarily fulfilling. Eventually I found work as a handyman. There was satisfaction in working with my hands, and the nature of the job required a great deal of problem solving and creativity.
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In 2010 I decided to finish my twenty-five year long college journey. I took classes in philosophy, theology and stone sculpture. After graduation I was introduced to stained glass through a class, and found a new way to manipulate light. These experiences were life changing. I’d now come full circle from where I started, playing with light.
Creating my sculptures draws on skills acquired over a lifetime. Photography informs my use of light. My drawing and graphic design skills are required to create patterns and templates. Because a single glass panel proved insuﬃcient to manipulate the light as envisioned, I began layering the glass panels and using wire to curve the panels and suspend the glass.
Skills acquired as a handyman and from stone sculpture enable me to carve the wood and craft the structures that support the glass. As my work has developed, I have begun to incorporate photography, found objects and recycled bottles and glass into my sculptures.
I am a contemplative by nature, and dwell in a world of questions that are informed through philosophy, spirituality and observation. Everything that goes into my sculptures has significance; the colors, the species of wood chosen, and the nature and number of elements incorporated. As a result, my work invites contemplation.
I have found that beliefs held with absolute certainty are no longer beliefs but prejudice. I sculpt to create room to question and doubt, to bring light to the darkness. I’m satisfied when people who hold divergent beliefs can view the same sculpture and walk away with a few more questions and a little less certainty.
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