Tell us about yourself!
I am María Renée Morales Lam, a Guatemalan recently based in Stockholm. Before pursuing the glass/art dream, I studied industrial design. Beside my practice, I teach art to young children. My first encounter with glass was at Pilchuck in 2012. Immediately after that, I moved to Portugal where I earned my master's degree in Glass Art and Science.
What draws you to the material you work with?
I have chosen to focus on glass for varied reasons: 1. It's inherent relationship with time, as solid glass represents a frozen moment. 2. Glass' compromising nature towards an honest artistic path. Being such a challenging material, one never stops learning about its transformation, making it almost impossible to cheat with. 3. It is a great material to explore Time and Space, as well as the Immaterial. A glass piece comes to existence mainly by blowing air into it (creating space), shaping the material in space, or by filling the (negative) space of a mold. Therefore, working with glass demands awareness towards the presence or absence of both matter and void. 4. Glass is like a photograph, a still evidence of a body that was in motion, carrying around some reminiscence of that "Present."
Why have you chosen the processes that you use in your work?
Sometimes because I lack skills, most of the times because I am interested in the physical interaction of matter. I like finding solutions by unconventional means. I also enjoy the situations I get myself into by working with glass - always unexpected and challenging.
What themes do you pursue in your work?
I am very curious about light, time, gravity, absence, the universe, the physical memory of things, and the world hidden to the human eye.
The Invisible has an undeniable influence in the perception of the world around us, and therefore in the way we conceive Reality. Thus, I am hunting new ways of thinking through my work, that could result in new personal understandings. I am pursuing different ways to re-shape Reality, as I suspect Reality might be as malleable as glass.
My work also seeks to investigate time, but mainly through the absence of things. Trying to make this absence visible in an effort to turn it into a testimony of previous actions, showing the corporality of what has been left behind and the powerful presence of the Inconspicuous - the Invisible.
If you weren't working in this field, what career would you choose?
Physics or philosophy. Yet, it has been through glass that I have discovered these other curiosities.
See more of María Renée's work here.