Forming water out of glass is the art of Ben Young, a New Zealand-born surfer and boat builder. Young is a self-taught artist and, in a world of instant conceptual art, his process is refreshingly painstaking. We think the results are breathtaking.
A fisherman's rod seems ready to haul in his catch from shimmering water. Palm trees arc out of atolls above an azure sea. A solitary boat, made as a child would, has a daunting depth beneath.
"I love the liquid qualities the glass brings with it," says Young, "it enables me to play with lighting and watch the glass react."
The glass in each sculpture ripples with light, as water would, and offers the viewer a unique perspective which is a tribute both to Ben Young's imagination and to his very particular methods.
Using hand-made templates and a custom jig, each piece of glass is hand-cut and then layered to create the translucent effect. The process is long, and the outcome has won the admiration of collectors and critics alike.
Living now in Sydney, Australia, Young's imaginary world is informed by a real one. His formative years growing up on New Zealand's Bay of Plenty with its spectacular landscapes are echoed in all the pieces that now emerge from his small studio.
The simple window glass that Ben Young uses is given an entirely new life by his methods. We'd say this surfer is riding a potent wave of real creativity.
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