Liliane Lijn

Headborn

1987–90

In Tate Britain

Artist
Liliane Lijn born 1939
Medium
Glass, bronze and leather
Dimensions
Object: 425 x 290 x 260 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Purchased with funds provided by the Denise Coates Foundation on the occasion of the 2018 centenary of women gaining the right to vote in Britain 2019
Reference
T15096

Display caption

This sculpture was made in a traditional glass factory in Switzerland. Lijn’s technique involved blowing a glass sphere and then returning it to the heat until it exploded. She said of this process: ‘As I came to understand how the glass reacted, I used a blowtorch to open a wound in the surface of the glass heads. Using the torch was extraordinary since the glass opened slowly and painfully, but at the same time it was very erotic.’ Around the same time Lijn became interested in feminist mythology. She recalled, ‘I wanted to find a new way of looking at the feminine and to bring into that everything: plants, animals, humans and machines.’

Gallery label, May 2019

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