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The Henry Moore Institute is closed for refurbishment until Summer 2024.

Sleep in Witness: Glass Project

During our last exhibition, Lungiswa Gqunta: Sleep in Witness, we worked with artists Sandra Whyles and Zoë Eady and a group from Chapeltown Arts to make a collaborative sculpture using glass, inspired by the themes of the exhibition.

Eight participants from Chapeltown Arts joined artists Sandra Whyles and Zoë Eady to create a collaborative sculpture, inspired by the glass, clay and woven artworks on display in Lungiswa Gqunta: Sleep in Witness.

The group met weekly for four sessions, the first of which was spent exploring the exhibition and discussing what it meant to the group.

Zoë introduced the group to glass as a material for sculpture, showing them how to cut and layer it to be fused in a kiln.

The group spent time developing a concept for the piece, coming up with lots of ideas for the sculpture then refining these into one cohesive vision.

In week three, we met at Zoë’s studio at Sunny Bank Mills to make the glass elements of the sculpture. The group created six unique rings of glass, which would fit together to create a ‘portal’, each adorned with colours of the earth, sea and sky.

Working on 'Ancestral Ascension', a project by Sandra Whyles, Zoe Eady and Chapeltown Arts. Photo: Min Young Lim.
'Ancestral Ascension' by Sandra Whyles, Zoe Eady and Chapeltown Arts. Photo: Min Young Lim.

In the final session, the group worked on the technical details of constructing the sculpture, and made the clay hand which sits at the end of the glass ‘portal’.

The finished sculpture will be on display in our Reception area until February 2023. The group co-wrote this poem to accompany the piece:

Ancestral Ascension

Look through the earthy shards of glass
The sounds of the sea
Barbed wire ripping skin
The clay, a creation known as ‘she’
We tell the story lest it be forgotten
We will push back until we rise
Our deaths shall not be in vain.

About the artists

Sandra Whyles is a visual artist and maker, working primarily in ceramics as well as using photography and printing in her work. Find out more about her work at

Zoë Eady is a glass artist, specialising in traditional and modern stained glass windows. Learn more about her practice and studio at


About the exhibition