Charlotte Potter:
Glass Armory

May 27, 2016 — September 3, 2016
In the Front Gallery

Opening Reception
Friday, May 27, 5:30 – 8:00 PM
The evening also features the opening of A View Within in the Main Gallery, In Residence in the Artist Hall, and open studios by HCCC’s current resident artists.

Closing Reception & Artist Talk by Charlotte Potter
Saturday, September 3, 3:30 PM

Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (HCCC) is pleased to present Charlotte Potter: Glass Armory. This solo exhibition investigates the physical manifestation of identity through the intersection of glass and the body’s largest organ and protective barrier, the skin. While reflecting on the intertwined history of glass, medicine, and anatomy, artist Charlotte Potter states, “the fates of lives are cast with these small transparent pieces of glass.” Using microscope slides, along with lenses and window glass, Potter constructs a series of glass armor pieces that provide a frame into the psyche, allowing the viewer to explore how skin—with all of its blemishes, scars, and imperfections—is fundamental to one’s sense of self.

The foundational piece in this series, Armor (2014), is a cascading glass garment with photo decals of every inch of the artist’s skin transferred onto microscope slides. Like chainmail, glass pieces are linked by an underlying structure of sterling silver. Potter’s choice of the precious metal is a nod to ceremonial armor and the decorative arts, such as jewelry. This piece shrouds the body, while the transposed nude form and transparency of the glass exposes it. The artist’s anatomy is articulated in an almost impressionistic style. The layered swatches of skin abstract her form at close proximity and are brought into focus from a distance. This piece makes manifest the universal desire to understand how it feels to be in someone else’s skin, which is both inviting and haunting.

In the new works created for this exhibit, Potter uses skin as a metaphor to discuss how one’s identity is affected through relationships. Employing traditional elements of armor, such as the chest plate, she overlays the physical characteristics of different people to create ambiguous bodily forms that border on the uncanny.

Her armor investigates the skin as both a barrier and entryway, bringing the viewer into an intimate, yet universal, conversation about the fluidity of human bodies, identities, and the material world that surrounds them.

About the Artist

Charlotte Potter is the Glass Studio Manager and Programming Director at the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, Virginia, where she has developed an internationally acclaimed performance-art series. She also serves as the lead mentor in the Chrysler Museum Assistantship Program and teaches glass and new media courses at Old Dominion University and Virginia Wesleyan College. She received her MFA from Rhode Island School of Design in 2010 and a BFA from Alfred University in 2003. Potter has made great contributions to the field of glass and its development as a performance and conceptual medium. She co-founded the performance glass troupes, Cirque de Verre and the Glass Theater, which have performed at institutions, including the Corning Museum of Glass and the Toledo Museum of Art. Her work has been exhibited internationally at venues, including S12 in Bergen, Norway; the Shelburne Museum in Vermont; the Oklahoma City Museum of Art; and the Boston Museum of Fine Art. Her artwork is also included in the following permanent collections: the American Museum of Glass, the Chrysler Museum of Art, the Museum of Jurassic Technology, and the Henry J. Neils Frank Lloyd Wright House.

For more information about Charlotte, visit: http://www.charlottepotter.com.

Image credits: (1) Exhibition view of “Charlotte Potter: Glass Armory.” On view at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, Houston, TX, May 27 – September 3, 2016. Photo by Scott Cartwright. (2) Exhibition view of “Charlotte Potter: Glass Armory.” On view at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, Houston, TX, May 27 – September 3, 2016. Photo by Scott Cartwright. (3) Charlotte Potter, “Large Breastplate and Small Breastplate,” 2016. Microscope slides, photographic decals, urethane, steel, silver. Photo by Scott Cartwright. (4) Charlotte Potter, “Armor,” 2014. Microscope slides, urethane, sterling silver. Photo by Scott Cartwright. (5) Charlotte Potter, “Armor,” 2014. Microscope slides, urethane, sterling silver. Photo by Scott Cartwright. (6) Charlotte Potter, “Siblinghood,” 2016. Hand-ground glass, photographic decals, urethane, glue, steel. Photo by Scott Cartwright. (7) Charlotte Potter, “Siblinghood,” 2016. Hand-ground glass, photographic decals, urethane, glue, steel. Photo by Scott Cartwright. (8) Charlotte Potter, “Siblinghood,” 2016. Hand-ground glass, photographic decals, urethane, glue, steel. Photo by Scott Cartwright.  (9) Charlotte Potter, “Gut Feeling I and Gut Feeling II,” 2016. Hand-ground glass, decals, aluminum, gold, wood. Photo by Scott Cartwright. (10) Charlotte Potter, “Together in Arms,” 2016. Hand-ground glass, decals, aluminum, gold, wood. Photo by Scott Cartwright. (11) Charlotte Potter, “Together in Arms,” 2016. Hand-ground glass, decals, aluminum, gold, wood. Photo by Scott Cartwright. (12) Exhibition view of “Charlotte Potter: Glass Armory.” On view at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, Houston, TX, May 27 – September 3, 2016. Photo by Scott Cartwright. (13) Exhibition view of “Charlotte Potter: Glass Armory.” On view at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, Houston, TX, May 27 – September 3, 2016. Photo by Scott Cartwright.