Glass with Shelley James
In this episode, Anna talks to artist Shelley James about glass. Shelley describes how she sees glass as a medium to create optical illusions, and its place in religion, society, truth and knowledge. In short, Shelley sees glass as “everyday magic” and after listening to this episode, it’s hard not to agree.
Shelley James trained in textiles in Paris and began her career as a design consultant for international brands including Visa International, Shell and Cancer Research UK. She was fascinated by the flickering stream of signals between eye and brain that conjures up our experience of a stable world. So she started to experiment with illusions in glass in conversations with vision scientists. She pursued her research and collaborations through a PhD at the Royal College of Art.
The discovery of light as a material has sparked a new way of working. She now holds Guilds qualifications in electrical installations and on-site testing. She is Associate Artist at King’s College, London and at the Institute for Advanced Studies at the University of London. Recent activity includes the Jerwood Maker’s Award, the Medical Research Council Centenary and Utopia exhibitions at Somerset House, the Royal Society Summer Science Festival, Collect at the Saatchi Gallery, V&A Digital Design Weekend and the European Conference on Visual Perception. Sharing discoveries through public engagement, exhibitions, writing and teaching is a vital and rewarding dimension of her practice. Current projects include constructing quasi-periodic symmetries with Sir Roger Penrose and Professor Brian Sutton, designing a new Artificial Anatomies course at King’s College, and analyzing the optical properties of glass spinning tops with Professor Ken Brecher of Boston University.