Katya Izabel Filmus
Glass Art by Katya Izabel Filmus
Katya is a UK based sculptor working primarily in kiln cast glass. She earned a BFA in Ceramics and Glass at the Bezalel Academy of Art & Design, Israel specialising in sculpture, and an MA in Glass from the University of Sunderland. She was awarded extended residencies at both Pilchuck Glass School (USA), North Lands Creative Glass (Scotland) and won sponsorship from Gaffer Glass and The Stanley Picker Trust.
Katya established her first studio in a Jerusalem based glass factory in 2003 where she developed product ranges for the factory alongside her sculptural work. She was a lecturer at Bezalel Academy of Art & Design, and at Shenkar Collage for Engineering and Design in Israel. Now based at The National Glass Centre in Sunderland, Katya is rapidly developing an international reputation for her sculpture and technical casting skills. She has worked on a number of major casting projects for the National Glass Centre, including the production of a series of large cast stag heads for Glenfiddich that are now in selected airports worldwide. Her most recent project is a series of 27 cast wall panels which combine to create three large works for the North East Children’s Hospital at the Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle. Her work is in many private and public collections
Katya’s work explores themes like memory, identity, the correlation between the two, and their representation in the medium of glass. Some works are externalization of her own personal memory, some seek to activate the viewer’s memory, and others depict communicative and collective memory in order to discuss and demonstrate the crucial role memory plays in the construction of national and personal identity.
One element of this exploration represents the preservation of memories in cast glass through the use of negative space. As a skilled mould maker and trained sculpture Katya is fascinated by moulds, mostly by the combination of perfectly fitting parts that form an exterior shape and an interior of negative space. Her on-going desire to see the insides of a finished multi-part cast mould with its locating keys evoked the idea of casting the moulds themselves in glass. In these the object is absent but the glass walls and negative spaces replicate every detail of its form and texture, thereby preserving its memory. The negative space depicts the memory of the object and utilizes the ability of glass to carry positive and negative information simultaneously. This combination allows the examination of image in conjunction with form, light in relation to shape, the designation of negative space by its immediate environment, presence with absence, and tangibility with memory.