Solace, Layne’s stunning life-size angel wings sculpture is now on display at Ely Cathedral!
We are immensely proud of Layne! His installation, Solace, is absolute genius in both vision and concept – Layne’s tribute to the thousands who died during the Covid-19 pandemic.
His work has been exhibited internationally, notably, at the V&A’s Power of Making; alongside Grayson Perry at Brighton Pavillion, and Lino Tagliapietra at the Ebeltoft Glass Museum in Denmark. Layne has worked with Peter Layton for over 25 years, assisting him in the creation of many of his classic series, while continuing to develop his own work in which his approach to colour, form and surface pattern has evolved radically.
Press play to hear Layne speaking on ITV News
Layne’s most recent odyssey exploits delicate latticino techniques, in exploring the exquisite lightness and beauty of feathers. Childhood memories of his family’s racing pigeons, of their release and flight, often alongside their car on the journey home, are key to his abiding passion for birds. Early memories of wishing that he himself could fly, arms wide open, eyes closed, willing his feet to leave the ground, have also inspired his enthusiasm for creating feathers.
Speaking of the symbolism of the Solace installation, Layne said: “I have always had an affinity for flight and have produced several bodies of work based on this theme.”This fascination led to making a small-scale set of angel wings which represented freedom and fragility but also power, strength and protection.
Layne Rowe (Credit: ITV1 News AngliaEast)
Layne’s 10 foot high installation is an astonishing undertaking, made over several months during lockdown. It consists of 160 individually blown and sculpted glass feathers, which are hung from the bones of the wings, forged in iron by metalworker, Ryan Harms. Solace was initially installed in St Alban’s Cathedral for a month, before transferring to the Lady Chapel at Ely Cathedral in Cambridgeshire, where it will be on display for the next two months. According to Layne, the project was inspired by “the suffering caused by Covid, with the hopes of giving those who lost loved ones a symbol of hope and unity”.
Although ‘Solace’ was created with the aim of bringing hope and unity to those affected by the pandemic, they also carried a personal meaning for Layne. “The white wings were also made during a time when my mum was suffering with motor neurone disease,” said Layne. “She loved seeing my work and, in my heart, they were also a tribute to my mum.”
Layne Rowe’s work is currently featured in The London Glassblowing Summer Show and includes this stunning group of Quill & Ink pieces, also available to commission individually.