Zora Palova studies painting and sculpture from 1971-1975 at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bratislava, Slovakia. Today she is an independent artist living and working in Bratislava. In 1996 Zora Palova became research professor and a teacher of glass sculpture at the University of Sunderland in England. She then transitioned to visiting professor in 2003 so that she could focus on her own work.
“Her understanding and use of glass is gestural, emotional, and grounded in the natural world, rather than being philosophical or geometry-based. She prefers to work with light using rough textures and transparent color in glass, rather than with its reflection off the smooth surfaces of colorless optical glass. Yet, the discipline of working with glass in conceptual and theoretical ways (during her years of study with professor Cigler), has provided an important framework for her highly expressive sculpture, which is imbued with an emotional depth and intellectual gravity.”
Excerpt from Corning Museum of Glass lecture mediated by Tina Oldknow, October 17, 2008
Palova works almost entirely in glass, a material that she loves for its myriad qualities – its transparency, its reflectiveness, its opacity, its strength and fragility. She completely understands her medium and uses it with great simplicity and directness in sculptures that are abstract and compelling. Glass technology and its artistic application are well developed in Czechoslovakia, and Palova has contributed to its contemporary use. She has participated in a number of symposia on her subject in her home country since 1988 and has received awards including the WCC Prize, Interplays 92, Bratislava (1992) and the Triennial Prix, Glass Sculpture Triennial, Nuremberg (1993). Exhibiting widely throughout Europe, her sculpture is in many public and private collections around the world. She has also worked extensively to commission, and her glass pieces feature in prominent public spaces as far afield as Bratislava, Rotterdam and Sunderland.