BiographyTheo Brooks is a British-Cypriot glass maker from London, UK, where he trained in hot glass making with Simon Moore, and then glass lathe cutting with Philip Baldwin and Monica Guggisberg in Paris, France. Theo received his B.F.A from the... Read More
Theo Brooks is a British-Cypriot glass maker from London, UK, where he trained in hot glass making with Simon Moore, and then glass lathe cutting with Philip Baldwin and Monica Guggisberg in Paris, France. Theo received his B.F.A from the University for the Creative Arts, Farnham under Colin Webster and his M.F.A. from Bowling Green State University under Alli Hoag and Joel O’Dorisio. Theo spent the last year as the glass technician and studio manager at the Tyler School of Art’s glass department, and is returning back to the UK after the last 3 years in the USA. He has been awarded scholarships to glass schools such as The Corning Museum of Glass, Toledo Museum of Glass and the Penland school of Crafts. He has works in permanent collections and exhibited internationally in Bulgaria, Czech Republic, China, Italy, Germany, UK and USA.
My current body of work, ‘Ritual Relations’, delves into research of ancient Cypriot cultural rituals, investigating the uses and creation of artefacts found in Cyprus from around 2000 BC. The artefacts tell the stories of cult ritual gatherings in ancient Cyprus and their importance in Cypriot history. These stories were left behind through the objects that were made, such as cylinder seals to ceremonial sacrificial terracotta pieces. The activities that took place in these cult rituals are intriguing. They were often performed in multi-purpose spaces, which included metal forging and oxen sacrificing. These rituals were believed to pay tribute to the ‘Ingot God’ or ‘Horned God,’ where only high members of society would be allowed to participate. A lot of the rituals involved masking ceremonies, where participants would wear ceramic bull and bucranium masks. The masks allowed them to take on a persona to either be an intermediary with the god, or to be spiritually closer to them.
As a British-Cypriot, I have always felt a displacement from my Cypriot heritage growing up in London, England. The reinvention and celebration of these objects allows me to discover a part of my heritage that I have been removed from, whilst going back even further into these ancient
practices to unknown and mysterious ‘spaces.’ Reinventing these artefacts allows me to create faux ritual and religious objects that reflect a culture gone. Visual clues and associations to ritual in the work allows one to believe they could be objects of ‘contemporary antiquity’ and ceremonially used by an unknown past or future culture. I want to bring these cultural objects into the contemporary sphere, and also celebrate the traditions, spirit and promotion of Cypriot arts and culture.