Glassblower & Master's student, Chris Day, talks about his learning journey
A University of Wolverhampton arts student who has created a different narrative about historical racism using glass and ceramics has sold his work to high profile galleries across the UK and in America – including the Victoria & Albert (V&A) Museum in London.
In this candid interview, he talks about his journey to learning at the Wolverhampton School of Art and what success looks like for him.
Chris Day, 52 from Lichfield who is married with three children, was, and still is, a full-time plumber who applied to the University four years ago to study for a Bachelors of Arts degree in Design and Applied Arts at the University of Wolverhampton School of Art. He is the only black glassblower in the UK.
He secured a First Class Honours Degree and is now studying for a Master’s degree in the same subject.
“I can’t thank the University enough for inspiring me, they have nurtured me and they have instilled confidence in me. I needed something to spark my enthusiasm. When I saw the studio and facilities at the School of Art, it was such an amazing space, I knew I wanted to work with glass – I’d never worked with it and it’s something that doesn’t really want to be worked with so that was a real challenge for me from the start.
“The University gave me something that I can do for me. I’ve got my career but as soon as I dipped my toe in the water even though I knew I probably wouldn’t make money, but it’s a bonus if I do. This is my passion and it’s my personal journey.”
The V&A Museum, billed as the world’s leading museum of art and design, has purchased Emmett Till, inspired by a 14 year old black teenager who was abducted, beaten and lynched by two white men in 1955. His murder galvanized the emerging Civil Rights Movement in the United States.
The Scottish National Museum has purchased Back to Black and the Chrysler Museum of Art in Virginia, USA, has purchased Wander which depicts the tale of a luxury racing yacht setting sail from Charleston, South Carolina in 1858, on a voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. When it returned nearly five months later from West Africa to Jekyll Island, Georgia, it carried 487 new passengers on board – each taken against his will to be sold illegally into the slave trade. The ship was one of the last ever to import slaves onto US soil.
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