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The Art

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DNA Helix Bottle (2016)

Louis Thompson

free-blown and hot sculpted glass with hot-worked inclusions

The Atkinson, Southport

© Louis Thompson Photo credit: Matt Dodd



Craft, Glass




37 x 14 cm


Presented by the Contemporary Art Society through the Omega Fund, 2017/18

Ownership history:

Purchased from London Glassblowing by the Contemporary Art Society, September 2017; presented to The Atkinson, Southport, 2017/18
The limitations of glass appear endless in the illuminating and strikingly mesmerising vessels by Louis Thompson. Fascinated by the haptic experience in art and sculpture, Thompson brings elements together to produce objects that question material truths. With an effervescent playfulness, yet a meticulous care for precision, he skilfully scrutinises the materiality of glass through his totem-like vessels, leading to the questioning of ideas of function, perception, and illusion. The bulbous shapes of his vessels, with their straight elongated necks, possess a feminine voluptuousness, while the inside body displays a solidified mass of electric colour and delicate ripples of air.

The two Devotion: Offerings vessels were part of a commission for Salisbury Cathedral as part of the Reflection exhibition in 2016. Thompson produced 81 hand-blown ‘bottles’ arranged in orderly lines at the front of the Morning Chapel in the cathedral. DNA Helix Bottle comes from his Taxonomy collection, highlighting Thompson’s influence by science and the patterns, repetitions and designs found within nature. Here, all three vessels come together in a unified and harmonious grouping.

Within The Atkinson’s collection commonalities can be found within the dynamic range of colour and form that Thompson exercises through each of these works. The Fine Art collection’s range of abstract and expressionist artworks share a spritely confidence and energy while the eighteenth and nineteenth-century glass collection complements Thompson’s formal precision and skill for the craft.

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