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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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Vaclav Cigler: Light and Water as a Principle

2 October 2009 to 21 February 2010

Preview: 1 October, 6-8pm


National Glass Centre is delighted to host Václav Cigler’s first UK solo exhibition, co-curated by NGC and architect, Michal Motycka.

Václav Cigler: Light and Water as a Principle explores Cigler’s affinity for space and the way he transforms his material so that his work exists as a spatial experience for the viewer.


I don’t make pictures… I don’t make sculptures

I make monograms – graphs of my suspected “I“

I make marks and trails

which lead the eyes along the surface of the paper

or a person through the surface of a landscape

these trails take the form of ditches… dikes… bridges… water channels

walls of water and light

it is possible to travel along them… be swept along

or step across them, and again enter their flow

I design them as non-schematic axes… as layouts and plans

in doing so I am interested in comparing my thoughts

to the thoughts and reactions of others

I care about dialogue and probing

I do not represent

I demarcate and evoke

                                                                                                Václav Cigler


Cigler’s work, which concentrates on objects made from optical glass, designs and realisations of illuminated objects and jewellery, drawings, installations and compositions for architecture, represents five principles: glass, water, space, light and the individual.

Water as a principle is omnipresent Cigler’s work as a fundamental element of life as well as an element of human experience in the sense of mediating interaction with nature.  Cigler proposes and creates objects – wells, still or rippling water, mirrored benches on the water or water sanctuaries.

Natural light and water are substituted in the space of the studio with the diffraction and reflection of light in glass elements. Cigler directs a dialogue between the spaciousness of the ‘landscape’ and the object towards the viewer, orientates her/him and seeks for her/him a place of solitude as well as a place of meeting. 

The combinations of the viewer, objects, place and light offer any number of visual interpretations, discernible or not, with each glance offering its own perspective. Václav Cigler attempts to map the given space through his senses, which leave refined and profound impressions upon our sensibilities, memory, imagination, and intelligence.


Václav Cigler was born on April 21, 1929 in Vsetín. Between 1951 and 1957 he attended the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague and studied in the atelier of Josef Kaplický. In 1965 he founded, and until 1979 headed, the Atelier Glass in Architecture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bratislava. Cigler’s works are represented in several private and public collections internationally.



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