Jeremy Langford (born
London, England, 1956), British/ Israeli glassdesigner and sculptor
His family's original name was Lelyveld, natives of the
Netherlands, and Langford is related to Joseph Lelyveld, an editor of " The New York Times", and to civil rights activist Rabbi Arthur Lelyveld. Jeremy Langford’s great grandfather was a royal court entertainer in the U.K.(specializing in whistling), serving the court of King Edward VIIand, after whose death, opened the soap factory Sloman’s. Langford’s father, Barry Langford (b. London, England, 1926) was the BBCproducer and director who created the first pop-music shows for the network and directed many, including The Tom Jones Show. He also worked with the Beatlesand the Rolling Stonesdiscovered David Bowieand briefly managed Deep Purple
Jeremy Langford moved from
Great Britainto Melbourne, Australia, when he was 13, and began dabbling in glass when he was 15. At first, he melted bottles in an old ceramic kiln creating from the raw material his first stained glass works.At 18, he returned to the U.K. to study at The London Film Schooland met a traditional English glass artist who taught him glassmaking techniques and, thus, acquired the foundation for his future work. At this time he also studied naturopathic medicineand Jewish mysticismand later homeopathy.
But his primary predilection was for glass. Evidently his diverse background supported his becoming an accomplished glass artist, in fact today being called “the king of glass.” According to him, “Just as a musician trains in classical music, he can then diversify and enter any musical field—even heavy rock. I feel that, with such a training in traditional glassmaking techniques, I can stretch the limits and even go wildly off the established path of traditional glass working.”
With a studio in London in the mid-1970s, he divided his time between the U.K. and
Israeland continued developing his glass making skills. It was at this time he first started experimenting in stacked sculptural glass, a skill he honed to perfection over the last few years in some of his monumental glass sculptures around the world.
He married Yael Langford (née Itach), a scientist specializing in
quantum chemistry, today concentrating on the relationship of brainwaves and consciousness. Langford and his wife are active on a beta project concerning the connection between art, brainwaves and consciousness.
He is currently working on projects in various
U.S.cities. They include three monumental sculptures in the The Trump International Towers at Sunny Isles Beach, Florida, and a sculpture in the MiamiFour Seasons Hotel.
His glass work that calls on more than 30 techniques is to be included in a Holocaust Memorial in
Beverly Hills, California, and a number of residences in Los Angelesand New York City. Other work has been installed in numerous synagogues.
Langford’s best-known project is the 2006 large collection of glass sculptures that documents the history of the Jewish people from Biblical times until the present. The project, which recently received the prestigious THEA award from the Disney Company, extends down into the catacombs at the edge of the Kotel (or
Western Wall) in Jerusalem. The vast project, funded by media magnate Mortimer Zuckerman, features uniquely carved and etched layers of plate glass. When archeologists were excavating the space for the Langford installation, they first discovered a fully preserved ritual bath from the Second Templeperiod, located beneath the Roman-times level. They then discovered a portion of a Wall from the First Temple(or the Solomon's Temple), completed in about 950 BCE but destroyed by the Babyloniansapproximately 360 years later. On the connection between his art and spirituality, Langford compares the physical material of glass to the state of seeking a spiritual dimension. “As alchemistssymbolically sought to change a base metal into a precious material— gold—so working in glass mirrors this process. Glass starts as sand, a lifeless substance. Through a process of heat and pressure, it becomes a bright, light-transmitting, elastic material—transparent but with defined boundaries and borders.”
Projects are included in:
* Supreme Court Building, Jerusalem
* Residence of the President of Israel, Jerusalem
* Western Wall Tunnels, Old City, Jerusalem
* Bar Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel
* Ben Gurion Airport, Tel Aviv
* British Museum, London
* Hilton Hotel, Mayfair, London
* Los Angeles Etz Haim Congregation, Los Angeles
* Trump International Towers, Sunny Isles Beach, Florida
* Four Seasons Hotel, Miami
* Mel Byars, “A Letter from Jerusalem: The Chain of Generations,” " Art+Auction", February 2006.
* Jeremy Langford, “Chambers of History,” ‘’Faith & Form, The Interfaith Journal on Religion, Art and Architecture’’, vol. 39, no. 2, 2006. | ISBN 00147001
* “The New Chain of Generations in Jerusalem,” ‘’Neue Glas/New Glass’’, summer 2006 (2/06). USPS no. 011-475
* “Commissions: Jeremy Langford, the Western Wall Glass Sculpture Project, Jerusalem, Israel,” ‘’Sculpture’’, vol. 25, no. 7, September 2006.
* [http://www.jeremylangford.com Jeremy Langford's Website]
* [http://english.thekotel.org/content.asp?Id=264 The Western Wall Glass Sculpture Project, Jerusalem]
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