Laura de Santillana & Alessandro Diaz de Santillana, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield

Yorkshire Sculpture Park presents a collection of works designed by the internationally renowned duo Laura de Santillana and Alessandro Diaz de Santillana until 6 September. The Venice-based siblings are descendants of the Venini glassware dynasty established by Paul Vernini on the island of Murano in 1921. Laura and Alessandro honed their talents at Versini before moving on to create bold and individual styles of their own. Their work breaks with exacting traditional technique and geographical confines and relinquishes the need for glassware to have a practical purpose; it is purely art for art’s sake. Experimentation, risk taking and innovation drive their work, fed by widespread travel and collaboration with glass makers across the world.

There is a delicate nuance to the texture, colour and surface of the pieces and these qualities are heightened and magnified in the calm and contemplative spaces they are exhibited in. Colour is fundamental to Laura’s work. From subtle, misty opaque white and blue forms through to her strikingly intense yellow uranium glass pieces made in the Czech Republic which have the luminous quality of neon. Complimenting this is the work of Alessandro, whose passion and inspiration is water and which translates to the incredible treatment of the surface of his works, many of which have a strong painterly quality.

The importance of the sibling’s exhibition at the park is summed up by Peter Murray, Executive Director at YSP :  “What they have in common is a shared passion for glass: the tradition, the craft and the endless possibilities of creating works of art from the magical and unpredictable qualities of this medium”. YSP itself is a modern and forward thinking way of consuming contemporary art and culture; it has an array of sculptures from some of the most prestigious names in the art world including Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, David Nash and James Turrell.

Laura de Santillana & Alessandro Diaz de Santillana, until 6 September, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield, West Yorkshire WF4 4LG.

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1. Video courtesy of Yorkshire Sculpture Park and Vimeo.