Recycled glass has popped up in things like tiles, countertops and even houses. But of course, it has uses in art too, as Derbyshire, UK-based artist Nikki Ella Whitlock skilfully demonstrates in her stunning mosaics featuring vibrantly coloured glass and mosaic tiles, as well as mixed media pieces that are quite breathtaking.
Originally trained as a florist and a longtime painter and collage artist, Whitlock began to play with mosaics beginning in 2010. She experiments with recycled materials to create one-of-a-kind pieces that are a riot of colour and textures, saying that she uses around 90 to 95 percent recycled materials in her pieces. Much of Whitlock's creative drive is fed by the diversity and wonder she feels while in nature:
My work is drawn from observation and experience, science and nature, with emphasis on transformation, perception and the subconscious mind. I am fascinated by the meditative state I feel when in the natural world, a loss of self or what science calls the “super-conscious mind’. It appears that in modern society these moments are fleeting. I fear our connection with nature is becoming obscure.
True to her deep relationship with nature, her aesthetic style is full of organic curves, glittering palettes and an energetic symphony of materials that are a delight to the eye. There's a conscious personification of nature too, in her "Spirit of Spring" (seen above) and "Spirit of Autumn" series.
Much of her glass is sourced from different coloured wine bottles, which she shatters and fuses through her kiln: "The ranges of green, gold, and browns I find in the wine bottles is wonderful, as I do like the earth tones. I find ‘found objects’ a very exciting medium to use, especially glass. With lights, the fractal effects can be amazing."
In addition to gorgeous artwork, Whitlock also creates unique furniture pieces that feature unexpected materials like feathers.
Whitlock is also working on what she calls "Mosaic Illuminations," which mix fused and neon glass along with LED and EL wire lighting (controlled with Arduino microcomputers and using solar power) -- and all inspired by bioluminescent organisms. One example of this innovative combination is this incredible piece titled "Catalyst."
Whitlock's work is absolutely amazing, giving us not only insight into how glass can be artistically reused, but also embodying a spirited vision expressing the transformative beauty, harmony and order inherent in nature. More over at Nikki Ella Whitlock's website and Etsy page, where she sells some of her creations.