For the past several years, glass artist Elodie Holmes and bronze artist Enrico Embroli have been collaborating on a series of work they call the “Guardian Series.”
The intent of each piece, they say, is to express the spirit of old-world cultures and their relationships with the planet and humankind through the mediums of glass and bronze.
The duo’s latest work, called “Guardian Odyssey,” is on display from June 22 through August 31 at Holmes’s Santa Fe glass studio, Liquid Light Glass.
“The theme of this new work is the odyssey: ornate bronze and glass boats with rising human figures on a journey to another realm of awareness and transformation,” say Holmes and Embroli. “There are also glass waves rising up to convey the figures and boats on a greater journey.”
Holmes, a resident of Santa Fe, and Embroli, who has been living in Albuquerque, met about 10 years ago and hit it off immediately. “We talked about collaborating two years ago,” Holmes recalls. “At first, we started photoshopping our pieces together and sending drawings back and forth to each other. These were our initial visual conversations.”
When Holmes saw some bronze boats that Enrico had made, she felt inspired to work on boat pieces together. “I have a history of sailing and racing boats,” she explains. “They are a part of me. Boats also can be symbolic, and they function in practical and symbolic ways in this new work.”
Some of Holmes and Embroli’s latest pieces have figures in boats wearing masks with human-like faces. Many of the figures are covered in gold leaf.
“Our work speaks to our deepest emotions, both ancient and mysterious, yet remain relevant to our contemporary time and place,” Holmes adds.
Embroli, who was born in New York and studied at the State University of New York at Buffalo, has been exhibiting his work in galleries throughout the U.S. and abroad since 1973. Among his many honors is the 1989 Distinguished Artist Award presented by the Canadian Prime Minister, the Honorable David Peterson.
Holmes’s career in glass began after she met one of the founders of the studio glass art movement, Marvin Lipofsky, during the time she studied at California College of the Arts. She moved to New Mexico in 1981 and founded Liquid Light Glass in 1986. Holmes was the recipient of a New Mexico Governor’s Award of Excellence in the Arts in 2016.