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Kelly O’Dell Brings Extinct Creatures Back to Life through Vibrant Colored Glass — Colossal

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Artwork
Nature

#animals
#extinction
#glass
#Kelly O’Dell
#nature
#oceans
#sculpture

January 27, 2024

Jackie Andres

“Aquatic Flash.” All images © Kelly O’Dell, shared with permission

Before they became extinct over 65 million year ago, ammonites were cephalopods who roamed marine environments wearing coiled-shell exteriors. They are index fossils, which provide a glimpse into a geologic time before humans existed. Lopez Island artist is fascinated by themes of origins, extinctions, preservation and conservation. Kelly O’Dell explores the ammonite’s elegant form through hot glass sculpture.

O’Dell spent her first 25 years in Hawai’i, an island formed over a geological hotspot. “I grew up obsessed with my own mortality, right alongside rumbling earthquakes and gurgling volcanoes,” she says. “It is fascinating and devastating that our existence has so much impact on the delicate balance of life. I hope my artwork could serve as a reminder, or ‘memento’ of our borrowed time.”

Her blown and sculpted ammonites curve and spiral gracefully, emphasizing the extinct creatures’ unique contours. Each piece is infused with vibrant colors and intricate textures, almost like they have been brought back to live. The fragility in glass is a metaphor for the fragility of life, as she wonders what we might leave behind after our departure.

O’Dell has a busy year coming up with her first exhibition of 2024 opening in March at Duncan McClellan Gallery. Find more on the artist’s WebsiteFollow her InstagramTake a look inside her process.

 

Two glass ammonites, in their unique spiral shell, in hues of ivory, red, and blue.

“Convex”

Left: A glass ammonite, in its unique spiral shell, in hues of ivory, teal, and pink. Right: Detail of the glass craftsmanship.

Left: “Ruby.” Right: detail of “Ruby”

A glass ammonite, in its unique spiral shell, in hues of red, blue, and yellow. Tendrils hang off on the left side of the shell.

“Sunset Seas”

A glass ammonite, in its unique spiral shell, in hues of pink.

Detail of “Scarlet”

Left: Detail of the glass craftsmanship. Right: A glass ammonite, in its unique spiral shell, in hues of ivory, teal, and blue.

Left: detail from “Of Ancient Seas.” Right: “Of Ancient Seasons”

A glass ammonite, in its unique spiral shell, in hues of sea-foam green and orange.

“Tidepool”

A glass ammonite, in its unique spiral shell, in hues of ivory, yellow, and mint green.

Detail of “Dwelling”

A glass ammonite, in its unique spiral shell, in hues of blue, red, purple, and orange.

“Roseglow”

#animals
#extinction
#glass
#Kelly O’Dell
#nature
#oceans
#sculpture

 

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