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Itineràncies

Montserrat Duran Muntadas

The jewels of the artist Montserrat Duran Muntadas at the Context Itineràncies

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Your work with glass began in 2004, at Escola del Vidre in Barcelona, and continued at the Real Fábrica de Cristales de la Granja de Segovia. What awoke your interest in this material?

My interest arose at the age of ten when I saw a movie where the protagonist was a glass blowing artist. Without knowing anything about this material, I decided that I would learn as much as possible to be able to do "magic" every day of my life. Twenty years later I corroborate that the glass is magical and that every day I am surprised by the beauty that this one offers me.

 

In 2008 your specialization in Hot Glass Techniques and your artistic vision of the world, led you to create your own jewelry brand. A year later and after completing your Degree in Fine Arts at the University of Barcelona, you decide to mix your two great passions: art and glass, creating artistic pieces and installations. What do you think was this symbiosis brought to you?

In the university I discovered that the glass had been unfairly eliminated from the world of art, on the contrary, it was obvious to me that I should have been part.
Now there are more and more artists who work conceptual projects with glass, and in fact thanks to this symbiosis that gives such extraordinary results, only in this last year I have been able to exhibit in places as diverse as the SOFA (Sculpture Objects Functional Art & Design ) Of Chicago Entrañas 5 or the European Glass Context of Denmark, and to be a finalist for the ENJOIA'T awards, about Contemporary Jewelry, of Barcelona, and to the François Houdé awards, on crafts, of Montreal.

 

You move to Canada, where you live today, and continue working on your jewelry and artistic pieces of blow-molding glass, while collaborating with artists such as Annie Cantin or Pavel Cajthaml. Following your training you made several workshops with glass blow molding specialists such as Satoshi Okamoto, Olivier Mallemouche, or Chuck López, among others. These contacts have marked a before and after in your career as an artist?

Yes, of course. Among the people you call are great artists, great glass blowers and people who have taught me a lot, not just about glass, but also about life.
With some of them I now have a precious friendship, for example with artist Annie Cantin, when I was 25 years old I saw an exhibition in France, her pieces made me see that nothing was impossible with the glass. Years later I found her blowing glass in Canada, I approached myself to tell her how I liked what she was doing and asked me to work in her workshop, now I am lucky to learn at her side.  The artist Pavel Cajthaml is responsible for currently I living in Canada. In 2012, when I was still living in Catalonia, I sent an email asking him if I could assist at his blown glass workshop.  He accepted me, even though I did not speak french or english, and now I am a Canadian!
But the person who has influenced me more as an artist in recent years has been the canadian artist Michèle Lapoint, her work with the totally conceptual glass, her delicacy to use this material and the way in which she transmits what she feel , are unparalleled. All these people and others have changed my career as an artist. I also think that, above all, a fundamental factor has been the change of country.

 

In 2007 you were Graduate with honors and you made an exchange in the C.E.R.F.A.V, European Center for Recherche et de Formation aux Arts Verriers in Vannes Châtel, France. What did it mean for you and your work to live with other cultures?

 Actually, I think that there is nothing more enriching than knowing people and even more if you share the same passion with these people.
And as you say, when I went to France, or now in Canada I realized how the place where we were born, the culture we have lived with, influences totally in the creation, so that if we add cultures, we add artistic wealth.
Last year, for example, I made a residence of glass blowing in North Lands, Scotland and from there came out my new collection of sculptures and jewels, the first necklace Mayeutica Caithness had the colors of the fields Scots in the month of March.

 

In 2015, from the collaboration with Jean-Simón Trottier emerges Semina Percurrenta. Can you talk about this project?

The migration in Canada was not easy and with my partner Jean-Simon Trottier we decided to talk about the best way we knew, creating.
He has been a glass blower for 15 years and I attend the workshop, so we gather knowledge and ideas and create the Semina Percurrenta project that means "the seed that goes through". It inspired us from plants that live in two different countries separated by a border. From the shape of the plant we created pieces of blown glass or glass to the torch and made them mixed with materials of a border such as iron wire, metal, cement, etc...Working two or more people makes you go much further than what you expect and the results were incredible. Thanks to this project we made our first individual exhibition in 2015. The project remains open and every year we create new pieces from a new seed, there are too many borders in this world.

 

Mayeutica, Entranyes, Matter, are some of your latest installations. What topics, aspects or projects are now focusing on your work?

The projects I carry out are based on intimate issues and grow in search of a connection point between my female universe and the individual world of each person.
I am currently working on the anomaly, at a time when illnesses and malformations are commonplace; I wonder what it means to be a "normal woman."
When I get into a topic, my ideas can take the form of contemporary jewelry, sculpture and / or artistic installation. So, in this last project; Mayeutica (Umbilical Cord) is the collection of contemporary jewelry that has emerged inspired by several sculptures that are called Entranyes where I began to combine blown glass, glass to the blower and fabric. Matter is a project under construction in which I use the sheets that my mother, grandmother and my grandmother embroidered with the initials of their children.
In 2018 I have two individual exhibitions in Canada and in 2019 I have three more. So now I work completing Mayeutica, Entranyes and Matter and creating new sculptures that were born from the collaboration with other artists and where I explore the embroidered fabric, the silkscreen printing and the blown glass and the blower from molds. A lot of work and a lot of excitement to see where take me my life, and glass.

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