Within my current body of work I am interested in exploring the tension between reality and representation by constructing transitional, three-dimensional map-like objects.

The act of mapping is a powerful tool for constructing new realities out of old facts, to visualize alternative worlds and to enable interrelationships between previously unrelated layers of information. Maps are evolving structures, rhizomatic in nature, able to unfold identities, to give room to exploration and procedures of relating.

Cognitive and mental mapping allows for new images of space, time and relationships to emerge and to illuminate a path through the memory structures of our minds. It is precisely this ‘potential to reveal’ that I am interested in, this tension between reality and representation that fascinates me. Engaging with the landscape – may it be mental or physical – and changing perceptions by expanding the field to include differing viewpoints enables me to uncover previously unseen or unimagined realities and foster connections between fields.

I specialize in a technique often called flameworking, lampworking or scientific glassblowing and within my current body of work I have started to investigate a little explored combination of scientific glassblowing and Neon sign industry skills to create unique new work.

Due to the nature of illuminated sign technology and a lack of scientific glassblowing know-how within the Neon industry, Neon signs are usually constructed from single, continuous glass tubes, using lead-free or soda-lime glass. These types of glasses are often referred to as ‘soft’ glasses due to their lower melting temperature. Shapes are achieved with bends only and connections with other glass tubes are rare. In my work, instead of using traditional ‘soft’ glass common in the Neon sign industry, I am using ‘hard’ borosilicate glass. This allows me to extend the main illuminated body with further detailed glasswork that would be difficult to achieve in soft glass.

The resulting work is a unique combination of illuminated sign and scientific glassblowing skill.

See more work by ukedjulia here.