Lene Bødker

They look like small wooden stumps, the dark heavy glass sculptures that rise stubbornly in the light with their granular glass skin and smooth polished surfaces on the top. One is the result from a sharp chisel another from a flat chisel, but the organic shapes are alike. If you walk around them they change character after the light. It could also be some kind of a water plant or a sea anemone which has closed itself to protect its delicate inside. Seen from above the glossy surface is like the surface of the water but if you look down into the deep, then you will see that what looked like rough bark now looks like a thin shell. Amazed you look down into an interior which at first seems as clear as water but then suddenly condenses into an impenetrable darkness like nature itself, which makes us wonder, but in the end proves to be an abyss into which you fall and fall until it closes above you as a dreamless sleep.

Opposites attract in Lene Bødker’s sculptures and repeatedly elicit new modes of expression from the glass, new secrets. The use of glass can be traced a long way back in both art and architecture, but Lene Bødker does not settle with the traditional use of the fascinating material. She casts it in powerful elements, blows it up into vessels, combines the glass with other substances and thus creates new combinations. She has painted long squares on a plate of dull grey lead and placed white glass cast in different forms with surfaces as rough as granite. Some of the figures are soft and organic; others are cast into a rectangular form with a wavelike pattern. With the grey lead as background where light dies and disappears, you experience the glass as stones which have been in water for a long time. But then your eyes are attracted by reflections in the black shining squares, light that plays in the glass, the sharp lines and the soft curves which make you think of architecture, leaded windows, the roofs of churches and floating clouds.

Lene Bødker does not resign with results once achieved. She is always moving and on her way, and her things are alive and fascinating. Perhaps she depicts her own way of working in the blue glass wall? Placed at a simple base of lead it resembles a wall of granite boulders which can be found in the foundations of old farm buildings or medieval churches – it still has remains of white mortar in the grooves. But the parts are not as rough as stones. They are rather like eggs. In ancient Egypt the egg symbolized the mystery of life, the alchemists believed the egg form to encircled their world, and in our culture the egg is a metaphor for a new beginning, eternity and resurrection. Lene Bødker’s wall unites all this and you feel like touching it in search for an opening which can give you a glimpse of the secret behind. But it also gives you a square gate in the lower left side – a gateway for thought or reason?

Soft and hard, heavy and light, lead and glass, sense and sensibility, in a universe which is constantly moving, the artist creates such a poetic thing as a wall which is soft as a human body.

By Lisbeth Smedegaard Andersen