Meridel Rubenstein - Lelani at Mt. Bromo 5:30 AM, East Java Indonesia

Vitrified 5418 (diptych)

“I could describe that my art-making is like creating visual poetry. I work in a broad range of media: drawing, sculpture, installation, performance, film, poetry, and socially engaged art. I do my best when I work intuitively and spontaneously using ephemeral materials such as fire and water.

My Glass Pyrograph is an abstract drawing on paper made with fire by scorching molten glass. This work captures and eternalizes the immediacy of a moment, and it is a trace fo my body movement with fluid glass.

In my recent body of work, titled VITRIFIED, I use uranium glass as a key element in my sculpture, installation, film, and photography. This particular choice of material relates to a shift in my personal values that occurred after the devastating 2011 Fukushima nuclear meltdown in Japan. I subsequently visited the Hanford site, where I learned about vitrification technology which transforms radioactive waste into glass for ultimate disposal. This experience connected many things for me – my love of glass, my Japanese heritage and nuclear legacy, my perspective looking through the lens of America, and my fear, hope, and responsibility for the future.

I was born and raised in Tokyo and have lived in Seattle for over twenty-five years. Both places are home to me, and while my life is rooted in America, my spiritual-seeking and aesthetic sensibilities strongly call to Japan. My work is a reflection of myself in these two distinctively different cultures.”

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