About the Artist

Africa 2011

Africa 2011

Born in the old town of Maastricht in 1957, Peter developed an interest in fashion, interior decoration, architecture and design at an early age. It was not until his years at the Art Academy in his hometown that he developed a profound interest in sculptural art. While studying, he found a love for light and form resulting in creating light-sculptures. Although he never finished the Academy – he was actually expelled in 1980 after four years of study – he kept making his unique light sculptures and started exhibiting all over Europe.

His work got published in several design books and he would probably still make these light objects and installations if he didn’t happen to walk into a glassblowing workshop with Andries Copier and Willem and Bernard Heesen at the Jan van Eyck Academy in his hometown. Mesmerized by the glowing light of hot glass at the end of a blowpipe, he did not only decide to start investigating the possibilities of blown glass for his objects but also did a post-graduate at the Jan van Eyck Institute. From 1987 on he tried to learn as much about glass blowing as he could, following workshops at The Oude Horn in Leerdam, Willem Heesen`s studio and being an assistant to Bernard Heesen.

In 1989 Lino Tagliapietra gave a workshop at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam. Peter participated and two of Peter`s designs that Lino executed, were purchased by the Kunst Museum  the Hague. In the same year he went to work with Neil Wilkin in England. They became great friends and worked together with a highly skilled team for many years, producing a large number of blown objects. The use of graal technique (glass made with one or more color overlays that are cooled, engraved, reheated, and encased in a layer of clear glass and blown again to expand the decorative engravings) and later the development of double graal, resulted in many successful exhibits and his first book Metamorphosis. In Peter’s opinion he was still working with light, color and form. Although never being trained beyond an assistant, he loves blown glass and has learned a great deal about it over the years, studying the way the material behaves, how it flows and what it means to “go with the material or against it”.

Another significant change in his work and his approach to glass as a medium came after a very influential and inspiring voyage to the Antarctic in 2001. After returning to his studio, being full of ideas, he translated his impressions of the landscapes, the glaciers and the square rigged three-master he traveled on, into vessels using graal and double graal techniques often combined with other treatments of the glass or crystal.

Doing so, he found that even though the results were remarkable, he could not blow an iceberg. It frustrated him as he was so enthralled with the many icebergs he saw and he refers to as “nature`s floating sculpture garden”. Being trained as a sculptor, he quite easily changed over to kiln-casting, a technique used specifically successful by Czech artists like Lybenský/Brýchtova. In short this compels of making a full size model in wax, clay or in Peter`s case a hard industrial high-tech foam. From this model a plaster mold will be formed. Once the mold is dry, it will be filled with glass or crystal parts.  It is then placed inside a kiln and fired till the glass melts and takes over the form of the model. After extensive cooling, weeks and sometimes even months, the mold is taken out of the kiln and through carefully removing the plaster, the glass shape will be revealed. Grinding away the ‘skin’ that results from the casting process, the final sculpture will then be ground and polished to the artist`s vision.

The series of sculptures known as Icebergs and Paraphernalia became an internationally acclaimed success. In the book by the same name, British art glass expert Dan Klein called the sculptor Peter Bremers, somewhat to his surprise, a landscape artist. His fascination with ice and the way it is transferring light made him undertake more travels to the Polar Regions, resulting in a vast body of ever-expanding work showing nature`s endless source of inspiration for the artist.

A visit to Arizona in 2008 changed not only his personal life, as the canyons and deserts of The Four Corners also inspired him to a new body of work by the same title. To him it was a logical step to go from the cold transparent ice to the hot density of the desert`s rocks and mountains. Once again this earth and it`s awesome beauty intrigued the artist, leading to a collection of unique glass sculptures. The area of Sedona became a refuge. A perfect place for long hikes through nature and quiet time for reflection as well as gathering new inspiration and ideas while far away from his studio in the Netherlands.

That must have been of great influence on his more recent body of work called The Inward Journey.    Traveling has always been a necessary part of being alive for Peter Bremers. His curiosity as a human being and an artist for our planet`s cultural and natural diversity took him to all the continents.  As he puts it, ‘when we travel to other countries and cultures, not only our outer world changes but so does our inner world and the way we perceive our planet and fellow beings, as well as ourselves.’

The artist carries this concept of bringing together the profane and the celestial into all his creations. The sculptures are often quiet and introspective. With series like Perception, Transformation, and most recently Positive Space and Initiations.  About the Positive Space series he writes: Finding ourselves in a time of increasingly negative perception of every day`s news events and an overall rising feeling of being unsafe in a world of religious, political and social divisiveness, we may forget to focus on the possibilities and comfort offered by positive action and attitude. Positive Space symbolizes tolerance, appreciation, hope and opportunity.” 

His latest series Vibrations depicts waves, movement, coinciding directions, interference and interruptions, as a form language to define energy as a complex state of human interaction, resulting in emotional wellbeing or isolation. Very appropriate in this time of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Challenged by public and private commissions, he works with glass in an array of techniques, including blowing, casting, fusing, slumping and laminating. The artist occasionally works in bronze, stone, aluminum and chrome. “There is one mayor reason why I love doing commissions, you can be asked to create something that you might not have done by your own choice. So, you are forced to think “outside the box” and that can be incredibly challenging.”

Peter Bremers shares in his sculptures his inner process, his spiritual awareness and life philosophy, meanwhile presenting us a mirror, sometimes thought provoking or meditative but always reflecting a need for understanding and appreciating the individual as well as the universal.