Facets is an exhibition of 30 glass bowls created by sculptor Rebecca Newnham in direct response to the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum and its collection. The bowls will be displayed on the existing plate racks of the Dining Room, the Morning Room and the Conservatory. The individual pieces are unique and together form a cohesive body of work.
The project considers the historical origins of the house and of the owners Merton and Annie Russell-Cotes’s role in the early establishment of Bournemouth. The bowls seek to reflect on the rich architectural and interior detail of the house and the myriad paintings and exotic artefacts collected by the couple during their travels across the world.
The colour palette for the work, of gold, yellow and amber glass stain, deep ruby and black, encapsulates Victorian opulence and craftsmanship. Rebecca employs the same method of firing nitrates into the glass to recreate the amber and yellow evident in the stained glass throughout the museum, and uses ruby glass created by the synthesis of gold, matching the technique used for the ruby glass of the Conservatory windows.
There are 30 designs, representing 30 days of engagement with the museum, its objects and architectural details. Each bowl is a shallow section of spherical glass mosaic or fused and imploded glass. These different processes are characteristic of Rebecca’s work, and she creates her own production methods in glass, experimenting both with materials and with the form of the finished objects.
The exhibition follows on from Rebecca’s large-scale works Sound Parabolas which were made for Reflection at Salisbury Cathedral in 2016. These dark glass mosaic sculptures are in the form of protecting curves representing the section of a sound wave, and out of these Rebecca has developed the bowl forms specifically for the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery in Facets.