Glen Farrelly trained at Camberwell College of Arts in London, studying for a fine arts degree in ceramics. When he graduated his work was immediately accepted into the South London Gallery which also exhibited the work of Gilbert and George, Damian Hirst and Tracy Emin.
Glen then went on to study for a post graduate degree in secondary art education and then went on to teach art at City of London School. The school, nestled on the bank of the Thames between St Paul’s Cathedral and Tate Modern, is where Glen would spend the next 19 years sharing his skills and honing his own ideas before taking the role as Head of Art. With Tate Modern on his doorstep Glen continued to immerse himself in the artwork of contemporary artists whilst running a forward thinking department.
In 2016 he moved to LA, unfortunately, after only 2 months in his new home, the area was under threat by the Sand Fire. The fire was the biggest the City had seen for many years and the first he had ever seen! The fast moving fire came within 1/4 mile of his home causing his family to evacuate for three days. As soon as he was able, he began walking the fire ravaged sites and collected remnants of scorched and discarded wood. Inspired by what he experienced and his passion for environmental issues, Glen saw past the destruction and embraced the beauty that remained in each piece of wood and emphasizes the new life that emerges. HIs work was carefully sculpted to show the scars left by the fire and suggest hope in the new life that remains.
Glen has now returned to the UK and has settled in his wife's home town in beautiful North Wales. He makes and exhibits his work in Wales and across the uk whilst keeping close ties to California. He continues to work in wood and fire but this time the wood is from storm fallen trees or abandoned wooden waste. The technique he uses to preserve the wood is a technique called Yakisugi
Although much of my inspiration comes from negative or dark spaces as a person and an artist I am full of hope. Much of my early pieces from California were made from remnants of wood that I reclaimed from the devastating wildfires. Within these pieces I would always try to show new life or regrowth. At times I would add a carved seed or heart that showed the potential for new life. Today, working in Wales, with storm fallen or discarded timber, I removed the seed and made the space left not a negative space but a positive one, the space is like a window to view the life beyond. The marks I carve are there as lines or rays of energy. I look to science a lot! Some of my Pieces, for example ‘Mitosis’, explores how we all started as one cell, each cell containing the complete DNA instruction set. When cells divide, a process has to occur of copying that instruction set, which is mitosis, where each chromosome has to be turned into a pair, and then they have to split apart properly so that each of the daughter cells gets a complete set. Although we are divided we originate from one source and we are always connected.'