Adele Retter

I am a glass artist based in Plymouth and my practice is inspired by geometry, abstraction and architecture. I use lost wax casting to create negative spaces within the form of a piece, which distorts and refracts through the density of glass and can represent deeper perspectives.

Architecture has had a major influence on me as I grew up in Croydon, where office blocks and car parks was the environment that was familiar to me. This body of work is called “Alphaville” and draws on the landscape of my hometown to comment ON the notion of ‘home’ and property as investment. Each piece is named after architects that have used the ‘brutalist’ style. Croydon’s unique landscape was the subject of a documentary in 1993. The makers of the documentary referred to Croydon as England’s Alphaville. This is a reference to Jean Luc Godard’s film Alphaville: A Strange Adventure of Lemmy Caution, which is set in a modernist dystopian city. The single monopoly house can represent many subtexts regarding home, what is private, what is public, homelessness, social networking as well as property as investment.

The traditional processes that I have used highlight the basic nature of brutalist construction and the textures. I made wooden models of the houses to make a variety of silicone moulds, which would be used to cast the wax sections. These wax sections were built up into structures and the fished wax model is encased in a mould of heat –resistant plaster. The wax is steamed out of the mould and when the mould is dry, it is put in a kiln and billets of glass are suspended above, in a pot with a hole in the bottom. When in its molten state, the glass dribbles from the pot into the space where the wax used to be within the mould. The interior of the piece is viewed through a polished side section and the outer texture has been sandblasted to obscure the inner core. I have used a mute palette to replicate glass cladding.

Background photo DL Photography, main photo James Mann