FREE Admission
Liberty Way, Sunderland, SR6 0GL

Open Daily 10:00 - 17:00 Call: 0191 515 5555

BOOK BY PHONE: 0191 568 9700

FREE Admission
Liberty Way, Sunderland, SR6 0GL

Open Daily 10:00 - 17:00 Call: 0191 515 5555

BOOK BY PHONE: 0191 568 9700

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The Glass Delusion

21 May- 03 Oct 2011

'The Glass Delusion' was the name given in the late Middle Ages and Baroque times to a form of depression. The syndrome evokes a psychological separation between reality and imagination. Sufferers were obsessive, compulsive, driven by irrational fears and envisioned themselves to be made of glass, hence delicate and vulnerable to scrutiny. More than any other material glass lends itself to speculations: as a transparent membrane it separates and connects, magnifies yet shrinks, reflects and deforms; it is a barrier, yet allows light to pass through it, it can be delicate as well as deadly and its attributes are appropriated in many symbolic ways: the Glass Brain and the Glass Man; mirror image, alter ego, Doppelganger, and split personality all come to mind. It is this duality, the ability to combine opposites, that is the inspiration for this exhibition of contemporary art, artefacts and scientific objects that tell the story of human attempts to reconcile the physical and mental worlds.

Curated by Grainne Sweeney, National Glass Centre and guest curator, Alessandra Pace.

Artefacts and objects from: Tyne & Wear Archives and Museums, The Science Museum, London and Great North Museum Hancock, Newcastle upon Tyne.

Free gallery tours, 11.30am daily

Further information

João Penalva, part of 'The Glass Delusion', is only showing at NOVEMBER gallery, 46 Lower Dundas Street, Sunderland, Friday 21 May - Thursday 15 July. 

NOVEMBER gallery opens by appointment during Wednesday - Saturday, 11am - 3pm. Contact our Visitor Services team to arrange a visit on 0191 515 5555 or by email at

'The Glass Delusion' Events

Makers Talk by Alan Bennett:  Monday 4 October, 2.30pm

Artist's Talk by Alan Bennett: Thursday 20 May, 4-5.30pm

'The Glass Delusion' exhibition preview: Thursday 20 May, 6-8pm

The Glass Music Programme: Tuesday 15 June, 7-8.30pm

‘The Glass Delusion’ Film and Video programme, presented in collaboration with Star & Shadow Cinema and Lux. Screenings take place on Weds 29th September, Thurs 30th September and Sunday 3rd October at Star & Shadow Cinema, Newcastle.



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