1968, United Kingdom
A self-confessed ‘arts enthusiast’ Day’s creative career comes after more than two decades as a plumber. Initially feeling that his life had taken him on a journey that significantly detoured away from his early love of the arts, Day is now able to reflect on the fact that many of the skills he has developed in his earlier career have directly transposed to the creation of his artworks.
Combining materials used in both heating and electrical systems into his creations, Day finds he able to create the perfect marriage of his artistic path and technical knowledge, both of which rely on dexterity and high levels of skill and craftsmanship.
A reoccurring and signature theme are ‘copper cages’ which enclose his glass, representing the restriction of movement both physically and mentally that traders possessed over other human’s lives that were viewed simply as 'commodities'. These are created from simple copper tubing and wire but to dramatic effect. The glass, by contrast, Day compares to the human spirit, attempting to break free despite the restrictions that hold it in place.
In the artist’s own words;
“Like the glass I have pushed my approach in how I work with glass and ceramics in both traditional and experimental methods, to create contemporary artworks that represent my passion for this part of our history. As a black glassblower, I am one of few and on a quest to find and inspire more. My main purpose, however, is to engage the audience on issues that are hard to confront on many levels, using art to help overcome some of the traumas that haunt our collective past”
An emerging artist and a recent graduate from Wolverhampton University, Day received a special commendation at the 2019 British Glass Biennale held in Stourbridge, UK. He has not only become a leading voice within the contemporary British art-glass scene but also with the continued conversation surrounding Black Lives Matter and racial inequality, giving his time for numerous interviews for both TV, radio and social media.
Private Collections & Public Institutions
V&A, UK • The National Museum of Scotland • The Chrysler Museum, USA • Derek Williams Trust Collection on loan to Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales
(all of the above due to Vessel Gallery’s advocacy)
Blown, Bound & Bold | A Solo Exhibition by Chris Day • Blown, Bound & Bold exhibition catalogue • Blown, Bound & Bold | A Solo Exhibition by Chris Day | Press Release
Interviews & articles
BBC interview conducted by video journalist John Bray 'Glassblower Chris Day reflects Black Lives Matter in his Art'
Craft Council Stories | Chris Day interview with Jareh Das
Search for Self | An interview with Chris Day by Emma Park | For Urban Glass
Observer Design | Design news for January 2021 by Alice Fisher
Presenting Chris Day - Craft Spotlight at Harewood House | FT Feature by Jenny Elliott
The glass blower reflecting black history through art | By ITV Central Producer & Presenter Monifa Bobb-Simon