Peter Bremers is one of DESTIG Magazines Top Artists for 2019.
Read his interview in the latest issue of DESTIG Magazine here
Born in the old town of Maastricht in the Netherlands in 1957, Peter developed an interest in fashion, interior decoration, architecture and design at an early age. It was not until his years at the Art Academy at his hometown university that he developed a profound interest in three-dimensional art. While studying, he found a love for light and form, resulting in creating light-sculptures. Although he never finished the Academy – he was actually expelled in 1980 after four years of study – he kept making his unique light sculptures and started exhibiting all over Europe.
His work got published in several design books and he would probably still make these light objects and installations if he didn’t happen to walk in to a glassblowing workshop with Andries Copier and Willem and Bernard Heesen at the Jan van Eyck Academy in his hometown. Mesmerized by the glowing light of hot glass at the end of a blowpipe, he did not only decide to start investigating the possibilities of blown glass for his objects but also did a post-graduate at the Jan van Eyck Institute. From 1987 on he tried to learn as much about glass blowing as he could, following workshops at The Oude Horn in Leerdam, Willem Heesen`s studio and being an assistant to Bernard Heesen.
In 1989 Lino Tagliapietra gave a workshop at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy. Peter participated and two of Peter`s designs that Lino executed, were purchased by the Municipal Museum of The City of the Hague. In the same year he went to work with Neil Wilkin in England. They became great friends and worked together with a highly skilled team for many years, producing a large number of blown objects. The use of graal technique (glass made with a color overlay that is cooled, engraved, reheated, and encased in a layer of clear glass and blown again to expand the decorative engravings) and later the development of double graal, resulted in many successful exhibits and his first book Metamorphosis. In Peter’s opinion he was still working with light, color and form. Although never being trained beyond an assistant, he loves blown glass and has learned a great deal about it over the years, studying the way the material behaves, how it flows, what it means to go with the material or against it.
Another significant change in his work and his approach to glass as a medium came after a very influential and inspiring voyage to the Antarctic in 2001. After returning to his studio, being full of ideas, he translated his impressions of the landscapes, the glaciers and the square rigged three-master he traveled on, into vessels using graal and double graal techniques often combined with other treatments of the glass or crystal.
Doing so, he found that even though the results were remarkable, he could not blow an iceberg. It frustrated him as he was so enthralled with the many icebergs he saw and he refers to as “nature`s floating sculpture garden”. Being trained as a sculptor, he quite easily changed over to kiln-casting, a technique used specifically successful by Czech artists like Lybenský/Brýchtova. In short this compels of making a full size model in wax, clay or in Peter`s case a hard industrial high-tech foam. From this model a plaster mold will be formed. Once the mold is dry, it will be filled with glass or crystal parts. It is then placed inside a kiln and fired till the glass melts and takes over the form of the model. After extensive cooling, weeks and sometimes even months, the mold is taken out of the kiln and through carefully removing the plaster, the glass shape will be revealed. Grinding away the ‘skin’ that results from the casting process, the final sculpture will then be ground and polished to the artist`s vision.
The series of sculptures known as Icebergs and Paraphernalia became an internationally acclaimed success. In the book by the same name, British art glass expert Dan Klein called the sculptor Peter Bremers, somewhat to his surprise, a landscape artist. His fascination with ice and the way it is transferring light made him undertake more travels to the Polar Regions, resulting in a vast body of ever expanding work showing nature`s endless source of inspiration for the artist.
A visit to Arizona in 2008 changed not only his personal life, as the canyons and deserts of The Four Corners also inspired him to a new body of work by the same title. To him it was a logical step to go from the cold transparent ice to the hot density of the desert`s rocks and mountains. Once again this earth and it`s awesome beauty intrigued the artist, leading to a collection of unique glass sculptures. The area of Sedona became a refuge. A perfect place for long hikes through nature and quiet time for reflection as well as gathering new inspiration and ideas while far away from his studio in the Netherlands.
That must have been of great influence to his recent body of work called The Inward Journey. Traveling has always been a necessary part of being alive for Bremers. His curiosity as a human being and an artist for our planet`s cultural and natural diversity took him to all the continents. As he puts it, ‘when we travel to other countries and cultures, not only our outer world changes but so does our inner world and the way we perceive our planet and fellow beings.’ The sculptures of this series are often quiet and introspective. With titles like Perception, Imprint or Transformation, the artist shares a glance on his inner process and life philosophy, meanwhile presenting us a mirror, sometimes thought provoking or meditative but always reflecting a need for understanding and appreciating the individual as well as the universal.
Read Peter Bremers interview in DESTIG Magazine