Arlon Bayliss’s art-school training at the Royal College of Art, London and his professional experience in Europe and the US, have shaped the way he works. He is an artist, designer and craftsperson who allows each area of his bailiwick to influence another. By thinking and working this way, every project benefits from his broad experience.
“Whether its fabricating gallery work, or model making for public art projects, I often think through my hands -engaging materials and methods directly. When I work this way, I’m internally focussed, contemplative and quiet. Executing a public artwork project, on the other hand, is externally focussed. It’s a complex, layered process, where creativity is carefully woven with compromise.”
His public art works not only engage viewers in an interplay of light, color, and activated space, they often include community members in their development and fabrication.
“I seek out ways to engage others and work collaboratively with a broad range of individuals in the development, fabrication, and installation of my architectural work. I am as energized by directing team workers, like students and community volunteers as I am by collaborating with engineers, architects, and skilled fabricators. Most importantly, I encourage everyone involved to bring their best to the artwork. This way, not only is the product improved, but it becomes theirs too. When I see that happening, I get very happy.”
Designing for glass factories like Rosenthal, EOS and Blenko, over 30 years has allowed him to take part in a back-and-forth between artist and artisan, stretching glassmakers’ abilities and pushing stylistic boundaries at the same time as honoring tradition. Embracing and negotiating this creative tension is typical of the way he works.
In all my projects I try to imagine the experience of a viewer and their interaction with the work – before I seek it’s form. This way, as I refine and solidify a design, I am always headed towards an ideal outcome.”