As the pandemic surged and lockdown took hold, Tim Simpson and Sarah van Gameren were missing their community and collaborators. In particular, the founders of the experimental London studio Glithero felt deprived of those epiphanic “a-ha” moments that ensue during the process of making, which they’ve come to cherish more than the object itself. “We’ve always been drawn to the unique moment that an object comes into being,” the duo says, “but we never displayed how much we value togetherness in this moment of alchemy.”
So for the duo’s latest exhibition of one-of-a-kind thrown pots, they handed it back to their collaborators. Quite literally: Each pot was treated with photosensitive chemicals and, one by one, visitors carefully entered a pitch-black room and held the vessels high above their heads like a trophy, rotating 360 degrees beneath an intense beam of light. As they turned, silhouettes of their hands imprinted on the surface. Focusing on their collaborators—and immortalizing many a maker’s hand—proved enlightening. “When we succeeded in making technically difficult pieces,” they say, “it felt like a group effort and we could share the moment of victory.”
One hundred of the pots are on view at London’s Gallery Fumi until June 24—as is a wall of photographs of friends and collaborators who participated, pots in hand. Besides serving as an emblem of the many hands required to make something, “it might be read as a comment on the longevity of our humanity and our wish to want to sustain,” the duo says. “It’s important to observe and reflect the sensitivities of this time. We’ve tried to bottle the essence and bring it to our audience in the shape of these vessels and objects.” The most important takeaway? Community is at their fingertips.