Yorgos Papadopoulos

Free Spirit

by Juliet Pospielovsky

The glass artworks of Yorgos Papadopoulos might be seen as accidents or mistakes in some eyes, but to the unconventional glassmaker they are pure magic and he has freed himself from the confines of artistic labelling. As a viewer you can also experience a sense of liberty in his creations, losing yourself in each surface’s multiplicity.

Cypriot-born Papadopoulos is a true artist, but he’s not someone who fits description easily. ‘Glass is my canvas, hammers are my brushes,’ he says. And, in fact, his breathtakingly beautiful artworks are actually smashed sheets of glass that are treated with sandblasting, glass pigments, gold leaf, enamels, silicone gels and even – by accident – droplets of his own blood. The unusual artworks happened quite by chance and had that brief moment not occurred he may well have been a very different type of artist. ‘I had already completed a degree in Interior Design and I was studying ceramics at London’s Royal College of Art when I broke a piece of laminated glass. Instead of seeing the breakage as a mistake, I was blown away by the results. I began smashing glass deliberately and putting light behind it,’ he explains. ‘I’ve been doing this type of artwork professionally for 15 years now, but if not for my accident with the glass sheet, I might well have been a ceramicist.’