This new body of work references what Samuel Beckett scholars would call “skullscapes" and draws inspiration from his work, Embers, especially written for broadcasting and first performed by Jack MacGowran in 1959.
My work often deals with inner and outer boundaries and in the Cowbarn space at The Byre, I invite the viewer inside a perceived mental state, referencing the passage of time by contrasting the ephemeral with the surrounding structures of stone.
I approached the installation as though through the mind of a person whose memories have begun to deteriorate. Memories come and go, and the focus drifts between the imaginary and the real with no clear boundaries. The two standing slate stones serve as symbols of the unattainable, and the middle section is inaccessible, blocked off with fragile membranes of glass serving as a canvas for projections. I aim to provoke a sense of loss and fragility in the room, referencing the past at The Byre and the people who have lived there, but also our own fragility and sense of self, by using distorted mirrored surfaces that reflect back at the viewer.
Æsa Björk graduated from the Glass Department of Edinburgh College of Art with a 1st class BA (Hons) degree in 1995, and an MA in 1997. In 1994, she was an exchange student at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague and studied with Vladimír Kopecký. This both influenced her work and encouraged her in the pursuit of working with glass as a sculptural material. Björk has frequented Pilchuck Glass School as a student and instructor since 1998. In 2006, she was an Artist in Residence at the Corning Museum of Glass. Her work has been shown internationally and she has received numerous grants, among them a ten year working grant for established artists from the Norwegian Government (2020-2030). Björk cofounded the open access gallery and workshop, S12, in Bergen, Norway in 2005 and is currently the artistic advisor. From 2011 to 2014, she held a three-year visiting artist and faculty position at the School of Art and Design, Sculpture/ Dimensional Studies, Alfred University. Her work is part of the collections of KODE Art Museums in Bergen and the National Museum in Oslo, Norway. She currently works and lives in Bergen, Norway.