New Art for Sea Life Exhibition
22 March 2017
RAMM has commissioned a new artwork from the internationally-acclaimed glass sculptor, Steffen Dam, for its major summer 2017 exhibition Sea Life: Glimpses of the Wonderful.
About the commission
Dam will produce an artwork consisting of around 16 ‘marine life’ jars containing plausible but fictitious organisms. The work will be inspired by RAMM’s extensive collection of marine specimens in Sladen’s Study. This gallery is dedicated to starfish-expert Percy Sladen and houses his echinoderm collection (starfish, sea urchins and their relatives). It is the largest and most comprehensive echinoderm collection in the UK outside the Natural History Museum in London. Sladen’s Study remains unchanged since its installation in 1910. Dam’s artwork will be displayed here, following its launch in the Sea Life.
Art Fund, ACE and Friends Support
The commission was made possible by support from Art Fund, National Lottery through Arts Council England and Friends of RAMM. The artwork will be Steffen Dam’s the first ever bespoke commission and the only work to be inspired by museum specimens as opposed to historic illustrations.
Steffen Dam has worked with glass for more than 30 years. His early works take the form of flat panels, much like the plates in the old, beautifully illustrated natural history volumes that his grandfather introduced him to as a child.
“My cylinders contain nothing that exists in the ocean, my specimens are plausible but not from this world, my plants are only to be found in my compost heap, and my flowers are still unnamed.” – Steffen Dam
Dam’s sculptures can be seen in public institutions across the globe including five UK museums: RAMM, V&A, National Museum Wales, National Museum Scotland and D’Arcy Thompson in Dundee.
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