The Holburne Museum has invited Petry to make a new feature installation and to place two other pieces about existing works in their collection.
The main installation is called A Line Lives in the Past and the Future and consists of a large glass ley line (approximately 8 meters) that runs down the centre of the central gallery. The work looks as if it is Neolithic find and is made up of 16 large sand cast pieces of glass. Each unique piece was made by Petry using his hands to dig out the form in the sand before molten glass was poured into the void. Ley Lines have a historic and metaphysical importance in Great Britain, yet the phrase only came into common usage in 1921 when Alfred Watkins coined it to describe the relatively straight lines found between Neolithic sites. Watkins proposed that ley lines were geographic formations with mystic (Druidic) connections. The city of Bath is said to have many ley lines running through it including the most famous – between the Royal Crescent and the Circus, which many believe to represent the Sun and the Moon. Seen from the side, Petry’s ley line looks like a three-dimensional landscape.
The glass artwork was made in conjunction with the staff and students at the Plymouth College of Art as part of their professional development. The cold glass work has been done by Fiaz Elson.
The works that Petry integrated into the collection include his Libation to Virgo (Aphrodite), a new work made of silvered porcelain stars hung on the gallery walls. The work is suspended above Antonio Susini’s sculpture Crouching Venus (c 1600) one of the highlights of their collection. Petry’s sculpture is in the form of the Greek’s idea of the stars at night that form the constellation depicting the goddess of Love. This libation or offering to the gods is from a series of works that are made from either porcelain or bronze stars each forming a different classical constellation.
The final work exhibited is one of Petry’s performance works from his MAP Unit series. These works are exactly the artist’s height and made from real pearls strung on silk cord by jewellers to the Crown. The work can be worn as a performance (called Wearing Michael Petry’s Pearl Necklace) or as a measuring unit, as placed directly on the walls as at The Holbourne. His MAP Units measure the world according to his own dimensions, in his likeness, as each viewer does the same.
Michael Petry: In the Realm of the Gods A solo exhibition at The Holburne Museum Bath October 20, 2017 – February 25, 2018