William Morris was an English artist, designer, writer and textile designer. He used glass to create many of his works. I will look at Hanging Petroglyph and Artifact Pin (2001), two particular pieces from Morris’s collection that borrow from the past. Both pieces are fine examples of glass work from a contemporary artist and designer. I will discuss the relationship between the past and these particular pieces. As Addison (2008) writes in relation to these works;
Looking back to glass’s (and/ or civilization’s) roots, many contemporary artists have employed glass to re-create cultural artifacts, whether of their own culture and own era or appropriated from another culture and/ or time. (pg23, Flux: Reflections on Contemporary Glass, New Mexico museum of art, Laura M. Addison, 2008)
Morris borrows from the past here by referencing Native American rock drawing depicting a hunting scene on the face of Hanging Petroglyph. Even the name Morris gave this piece makes no reference to the function of this imagined artifact but draws attention to the drawing or in other words the Petroglyph. A petroglyph is a drawing in to a surface by eroding or etching away the surface. Examples of these are found all over North America and are found most often on rock faces and inside caves. Here I think that Morris has created this artifact with the purpose of paying homage to the art practices of our past. This seems his intention as he has made the drawings the main focus of the piece and does not give any suggestion as to what its function is. This to
me implies the function of the piece was not important to Morris but perhaps the appreciation and respect given to this ancient drawing technique...