Christina Bothwell's enchanted, tomb-like and unsettling figures in glass and stone elucidate birth, death, and renewal. The figure's inner specters of babies, animals, and children personify vulnerability, growth, and potential.
Bothwell goes through a complex lost wax casting process to create her artwork.
Christina Bothwell creates fantastic and strangely compelling figurative sculptures, which range from fascinating to disturbing. She studied painting under Will Barnett at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, but gradually moved to working three-dimensionally using ceramics and cast glass as well as antique toys, taxidermy animals or small furniture parts. Bothwell’s pieces are often a union between her own mythology and lucid dreams. They allow us to enter into a fertile subconscious and reveal a vulnerability we may recognize as our own.
Bothwell has won numerous scholarships and grants including a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant and a Virginia A. Groot Foundation award for excellence in sculpture. Her work is currently held in permanent public collections such as the Corning Museum of Glass, Corning NY; Racine Art Museum, Racine, WI; Shanghai Museum of Glass Art, Shanghai, China; Mobile Museum of Art, Mobile, AL; Palm Springs Museum, Palm Springs, CA and the Alexander Tutsek - Stiftung foundation, Munich, Germany.
Since I was very young, I have been fascinated with the concept of the Soul… the idea that the physical body represents only a small part of our beingness. I am always interested in trying to express the that we are more than just our bodies, and my ongoing spiritual interests and pursuits have run parallel to the narrative in my pieces.
I was born in New York City, and spent my youth in towns and cities until finally recognizing I needed to be immersed in nature. Presently I live in rural Pennsylvania with my three young children and husband, eight pets, plus a snake named Lucy. Nature is the main source of inspiration for my work, and helps me to maintain an awareness of the interconnectedness that exists among all of life.
In my work I am drawn to the processes of birth, death, and renewal. What lies below the surface fascinates me and I try to capture the qualities of the “unseen” that express the sense of wonder that I feel in my daily existence. I am attracted to glass because it can do everything that other sculptural media can; in addition, it offers an inner space and transmits light.
My subject matter includes babies, animals, and children as they embody the essence of vulnerability that is the underlying theme in my work. Currently I am exploring metamorphosis as a topic, and have been incorporating figures within figures in my pieces. Within each glass figure there is a smaller figure seen through the surface of the glass.
I think of these pieces as souls, each being pregnant with their own potential, giving birth to new, improved versions of themselves.
- Christina Bothwell