Exhibit A: Killian Schurmann
This glasswork by Killian Schurmann somehow reminds me of a snow globe. It's both the tactile smoothness of most of its shape and the fact there is certainly something of a world inside it (though no snow). Instead, it has elements of the west of Ireland: a forlorn rock-pitted Galway field, the surge of an Atlantic wave, the layers of an ancient Irish oak tree. It also contains a head. And Schurmann has been making these heads for the past 25 years. This one has something of a scrunched side, achieved by taking the glass when still searingly hot and literally scrunching it into his studio's rough stone wall.
Although his name might not instantly suggest it, Killian Schurmann was born in Dublin. At a young age, he knew glass was to be his future and he went to Germany to train in scientific glass blowing. He specialises in fusing glass to create celebrations of nature, to make the most discarded plants beautiful. The green mossy algae that grows around a persistent leak in a whitewashed wall, brightly blooming weeds in the cracks in a pavement.
This untitled piece is part of the current exhibition in Cork's Lavit Gallery (lavitgallery.com). The gallery walls have been left entirely bare for this exhibition as it is a celebration of sculpture. Schurmann's beautiful untitled piece sits alongside works by such acclaimed artists as Cormac Boydell, Sonja Landweer and Leo Higgins. And the mediums of their work range from unforgiving marble to formidable bronze. This might make the exhibition sound severe, but the opposite is instead true. These artists have found much warmth and colourful energy in their chosen form.