Richard Whiteley’s sculptures are hybrids of the expected and the unexpected: there is geometry and abstraction, but there are also elements of nature. The metaphysical undercurrent in his work relates it to the dramatic geometric cast glass sculptures of the Czech artists Stanislav Libenský and Jaroslava Brychtová. But his forms—the result of years of experimentation and development—are distinctive and unique. Soma, from the Greek word meaning “body,” represents relationships that may be interpreted as theoretical, physical, or spiritual. Since 2002, Whiteley has been the head of the internationally recognized glass program at the School of Art of the Australian National University in Canberra. A graduate of the School of Art, he came to the United States for his graduate studies in glass at the University of Illinois, Urbana–Champaign. Whiteley’s early training in stained glass inspired him to become involved in glass sculpture, and this training is reflected in his ability to modulate light and color within the architectonic structures of his sculptures, which are monumental and complex in their layering, folding, and wrapping. Whiteley’s works in glass have a strong sense of presence, artistic authority, and a unity of concept and material. “The works are built from the inside out,” he says. “Voids are ordered first and external structures are built to encapsulate those spaces. The works explore space, using glass as a substrate activated by light.” Soma, which represents a special achievement for the artist in terms of its scale, is the largest work that Whiteley has attempted to date. Signed “R.WHITELEY” on front lower left edge of sculpture. Published in Tina Oldknow and Dan Klein, Richard Whiteley, Canberra, ACT, Australia: R. Whiteley, 2009, pp. 20–21.