Art of glass

A Glorious Glass exhibition at Bucks County Museum in Aylesbury runs until March 23 and features work by the Chair of the Contemporary Glass Society, Sue Purser Hope (see picture above).

The glass art that she is showing in this exhibition makes us think about the elements and fishermen but also transports us back to the 1950s and Norfolk –120 miles away – where she lives.  

Her pieces Paddle on the Beach and Jump the Stream are examples of how her work has become increasingly dominated by both the land and seascapes that surround her. She said: ‘I am enveloped by dramatic waves, huge and fast moving skies, verdant forests and vistas of undulating fields. I am fascinated by the relationship that we have with these elements whether it be the crab fishermen who have brought in their catch for generations, the annual holidaymakers returning to well-known haunts or the architecture that we impose on the landscape; from dominant churches to offshore wind farms.’

Sue moved to Norfolk to fulfil a lifetime’s ambition to live by the sea and discovered that a whole world of entertainment harking back to the 1950s also exists there. She said: ‘There is the end of pier show in Cromer, the Water Circus in Great Yarmouth and the gaudy exuberance of the penny arcades and the pinball machines. 

‘A walk along the promenade in Great Yarmouth sees below the facades of grand but shabby Victorian edifices, a continuous stream of flashing lights and thunderous music highlighting arcades with names like Flamingo, Golden Nugget, Caesars Palace and the Mirage. They tease you in with neon lights, electronic American accents, sirens and fairground noises and displays of awful stuffed toys to win.

‘It’s over the top, gaudy, a bit sleazy but tremendous and carefree fun. Chequerboard Challenge is inspired by the wonderful artwork and colours of the pinball machines that can be found in these palaces of glitz and gaudiness – living relics of a simpler and more innocent world of seaside holidays comprising of fish and chips, donkey rides and candy floss.’