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Capacity 2000-2001

Annie Cattrell (born 1962, Glasgow, Scotland, UK)

After a degree in Fine Art at Glasgow School of Art, Cattrell went on to take a MA in Glass at the Royal College of Art in London, where she is now based. Working in collaboration with doctors and medical technicians, much of her practice as a fine artist deals with the human body and the mind as a living entity. There is an extraordinary amount of detail in this blown glass piece. The shapes of the trachea (windpipe) and the bronchial tree of a pair of lungs, are anatomically correct. They are made with breath, and picture breath. The delicate filigree is made with characteristic ‘lampwork.’ Thin rods of Pyrex silicate glass were heated, stuck on and teased out using a turret flame lamp. The almost unconscious act of breathing is vital for us all, and yet the air that passes through the lungs is hardly visible. Only the fall and rise of the chest confirms that the anatomical apparatus is working. Similarly, the lungs here are so fine and fragile that they are difficult to see clearly, and sometimes the shadow that they cast on the wall is the only substantial sign of their presence. The artist isolates the core of our being and at the same time conveys its vulnerability

Acquisition Details

Acquired from the artist, 2004
Purchased with funds from the National Collecting Scheme for Scotland which was originated and operated 2003-2006 by the Contemporary Art Society and supported by the National Lottery through the Scottish Arts Council.
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