Danish artist Steffen Dam’s grandfather, born in 1893, was a passionate amateur in the field of natural history. As a child, Dam enjoyed pouring over his grandfather’s library of scientific books full of illustrations of specimens.
Today Dam, a highly skilled glass blower, uses his affinity for natural history to create his imaginatively wonderful backlit “Cabinets of Curiosities”.
Mimicked oceanic specimens in glass cylinders seemingly containing liquid and air bubbles become optical illusions; the translucent character of the glass object in the cylinder imitates sea life. His specimens aren’t actually objects found in nature, rather a quirky re-writing of the biological world.
“I have been working with glass for 25 years. Initially I was blowing glass, but over the years casting, grinding and techniques from other crafts emerged. My aim is to describe the world as I see it. One could also say to describe what’s not tangible and understandable with our everyday senses. My cylinders contain nothing that exists in the ocean, my specimens are plausible but not from this world, my plants are only to be found in my compost heap, and my flowers are still unnamed.”