If only my Polly Pocket collection had inspired me to do something like this….
I’ve always been a firm believer that tiny makes everything cuter, but Lisa Swerling’s Glass Cathedrals go way beyond cute. Try: touching, silly, thought-provoking, whimsical; but most of all, they’ll make you smile. What Swerling has managed to capture with a shadow box and some miniature figurines (from architect’s models and railway toys) is a breathtaking collection of artwork that is both accessibly simple, yet strikingly complex.
In a recent interview with Sabotage Times, Swerling opened up about her path to Glass Catherals, and where she finds inspiration for her tiny worlds. My favorite snippets:
“Like a lot of people,” she says, “I have moments of inspiration, my own particular realisations about what it is to be a funny little human traveling around this big planet. Now what do you do with all these little thoughts? Well, I started putting mine in boxes.”
“But what I like about the artworks is that there is an intrinsic sympathy one feels with the figures which softens the ridiculousness of their pursuits. So whilst I am saying ‘Check out that poor woman, spending her whole life cleaning an infinite floor — is she mad?’ you also feel what she is attempting is in her way heroic, soothing to her soul, and maybe as good a way to pass time as any. One becomes a benevolent, merciful god, looking into the boxes.”
“My inspiration for this series was the collision between the seriousness with which we take our lives, and the limitations of our understanding. In Glass Cathedrals the heros are the tiny figures, my boxes the space where they struggle, aspire, dance, dream.”
Swerling will even customize many of her creations, (like “Evergreen” above), to look like you and whoever you choose to bring into your own mini world. Glass Cathedrals are available for purchase on her website, and range in price from $350 for the smaller guys to larger limited editions at $1450. I want one!