A glass act by artistic couple

Artistic couple Paul and Gillian Adams
Artistic couple Paul and Gillian Adams

Artists will usually build up an impressive body of work before launching their first ever exhibition.

But St Helens artistic couple Paul Adams and his wife Gillian did the exact opposite - by booking an exhibition then setting out to create work to fill the space.

“It nearly ended in us killing each other because we found ourselves under so much pressure,” says Paul.

“It was just before our 13th wedding anniversary and I began to wonder if we’d ever reach it!”

Fortunately, they survived the trauma and the results are currently on display at the World of Glass in the form of the exhibition Cullet.

Paul explains: “We’d worked individually as artists for over 20 years but two years ago we collaborated to produce an exhibit for the final show at the Godfrey Pilkington Gallery before it moved to The World of Glass.

“Shortly after that we booked this current exhibition but we really only got down to work this Christmas and it’s been hectic.”

What had fired their imagination was being given a discarded but colourful lump of glass waste - known as ‘cullet’ - by an uncle who used to be miner.

“Gillian took some photographs that revealed the beauty of this flawed and unwanted piece of glass and that suggested our theme,” says Paul.

“I am a figurative artist while Gillian is more abstract but we decided to link up to explore this hidden potential in objects, old crafts and even people that have been discarded.

“Miners and mining figure strongly in our exhibition and Gillian often finds inspiration in items she finds in charity shops such as dolls, old tools or even objects such as stepladders.

“It’s all about looking deeper, seeing things in a new light and recognising their beauty.”

Cullet runs at The World of Glass until May 16.