Alexander Beleschenko

Honorary graduates 2012-13

Alexander Beleschenko (DLitt)

Saturday 19 January 2013 3:00pm

Born in Corby, Northamptonshire in the early 1950s to Ukrainian parents Alexander Beleschenko knew from a very early age that he wanted to be an artist. After a secondary school education and against the advice of the careers master he studied Fine Arts at several art schools. A chance opportunity after his education took him to Italy and the renaissance city of Florence where he lived for two years. The experience of being immersed in a cityscape where art and architecture were so intrinsically interwoven redirected his artistic ambitions. Alexander’s focus was now set on working with glass in architecture rather than gallery oriented work.

Without any knowledge of the medium he spent a brief spell in the Glass Department of Swansea School of Art before making a move to Exeter in the early 80s where he began his independent pursuit of developing his new-found career. Initially progress was slow with small commissions for a local hotel, schools and private houses. Opportunities for larger commissions came when his experimental approach became appreciated by the architectural community. Alexander embraced the fast-emerging glass-working technologies and his inventiveness with techniques secured many major and important glass commissions, both by invitation and competition.

He returned to Swansea in 1986 to set up a studio. He has since produced a huge body of glass artworks for underground stations, office spaces, transport hubs, education establishments and religious and civic buildings. These can be seen in Britain, Germany, France, USA, Japan and the United Arab Emirates.

Alexander’s architectural glass artwork forms the artistic centrepiece of the Forum. Its concertina spiral design produces dynamic colour swirls of movement across the North and South glass entrances and at the University Reception.