About Mark Abildgaard
Kiln cast glass sculpture In creating my glass sculpture I have found inspiration by looking at the artifacts from many different cultures which convey a sense of mystery about mankind’s existence through time. I use images of totems, boats and figures in my work to explore ideas about the cycle of life and death. I try to create archetypical images which are not culturally specific. In working with these images I am seeking a way to combine ancient forms and my own life experiences. I want my work to maintain a connection to the past and at the same time reflect a sense of the immediacy of the moment when glass, light and color interact. Abildgaard’s art belongs fully to the tradition of art where the forms carry a spirit, are given life by that spirit. So his images are born of a transformative process, which can be aligned with the Asian/ Pacific philosophical traditions of “letting go of the ego” or the desire for control. He speaks of his use of a practice learned from a 17th C. Japanese Zen monk, Enku. In 2015 Mark was awarded a grant to develop a new body of work using the lost wax casting process from The Leff-Davis fund for Visual Artists from the Sacramento Community Foundation. Mark works directly in clay or wax to create glass sculptures that have multiple layers of imagery. A primary focus of his work is using the inherent property of the material to transmit light as a way to express a feeling of spirituality Abildgaard’s sculptures are inspired by artifacts from numerous cultures. Some of these influences are Cycladic marble figures from Greece, Malangan carvings from New Ireland, and Totem Poles from the indigenous people of the Pacific Northwest in North America.