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Great Dismal Swamp
Great Dismal Swamp

Great Dismal Swamp

Sibylle Peretti (German, born 1964)

Kiln-formed opaline glass, engraved, painted, silvered, paper applique, 2018
Carolyn K. and Richard F. Barry III Art Purchase Fund

Traditions of tile murals often convey complex visual narratives. Here, the German artist Sibylle Peretti combined photography and drawing with handmade glass tiles, whose surfaces were also enriched with engraving, mirroring and slumping.

In Peretti's glass sculptures and multimedia collages, nature is a central theme. She often presents it as an interzone between urban and rural space, ambivalent locales termed "edgelands" by the English environmentalist Marion Shoard (born 1949). Here, the Great Dismal Swamp is imagined as a dream-like landscape that is preserved as a refuge for creatures endangered by human encroachment. Pearls, symbols of innocence, are suspended from trees and draped over branches - they underscore the mystery and fragility of coastal swampland ecosystems.