Isula is a series of twelve blown glass pieces made in September 2015. Although it is made from the same wooden mould, each of the pieces is nevertheless different and unique. In fact, while the wood gives the glass its shape, the glass deforms the mould by partially burning it. In the same way that a photograph fixes a subject at a given moment, the glass, as it cools, freezes and shows the shape of the relief at the time of moulding. Each piece appears as a witness to a precise moment in the life of the wooden mould, until its total disappearance. The pieces are filled with water to the brim, so that the boundary between water and glass is invisible and the viewer wonders if the piece is made only of glass.

The linear installation allows two directions of reading: the first is the birth of the island that emerges from the water, and refers directly to the formation of the terrestrial continents. The second interpretation is the decline of the island, its decay, until the complete disappearance of the relief under water. This reading highlights the rise in sea level due to global warming, and the disappearance of certain places forcing people to leave their native land.

Manuel Diemer

Manuel Diemer began by training as a product designer in Strasbourg before specialising in glass work: in 2013 he enrolled at the European Centre for Research and Training in Glass Arts (CERFAV) in Vannes-le-Châtel, where he learned glass-blowing with a cane until 2015. His first experience with this material dates back to 2009, at the Centre International d’Art Verrier (CIAV) in Meisenthal and encourages him to want to work with this material. He feels a real need to learn how to work with his hands, to acquire a specific know-how and to perfect his skills in a specific field. Understanding the material seems essential to him in order to be able to develop coherent projects in line with the manufacturing techniques. The physical work, the workshop environment, the heat of the ovens, the smell of burning and fumes are the many factors he likes in his artistic practice.

In 2015, Manuel Diemer will take part in the International Glass Biennial in Strasbourg, as well as in the exhibition Twenty-two of the European glassmakers’ companions at the CERFAV in Vannes-le-Chatel. There he will be presenting his works lignum vitrum, a series of twenty pieces of glass blown from a tree trunk and piloted, an object composed of a wooden structure and a glass piece, initially designed as a desk lamp but which can be broken down into different types of objects (coffee table, storage unit, etc.).

In his creations, Manuel Diemer combines glass and digital technologies. In his eyes, the use of these new technologies allows him to widen the field of creation thanks to their ease of use and great flexibility. Vectorial drawing and 3D modelling software, numerically controlled machines such as laser cutting or 3D printers are all tools that the artist uses to create unique works. The use of moulds made of natural materials (wood, cardboard or on the ground) is also one of the particularities of the artist’s work, which the production of series of singular pieces is of interest. Perceived as repetitive and systematic, the action of moulding has, however, its share of randomness. It is this uncontrollable fact that questions and fascinates Manuel Diemer.