An innovator in the use of dichroic glass and polished crystal, Toland’s approach to his glass sculptures is one of exploration, always looking for form and energy. His perspective is one of trying to reveal an interior complexity while not forgetting simplicity and elegance of form. The attention goes in and then back out, attempting to take in the totality of the work. It is like architecture for consciousness. Access is given to the interior of the sculpture and then one can exit, just like an architectural form. One’s attention becomes the fulcrum of the piece’s existence. It becomes a reflection of the viewer.
Influences and sources of inspiration can be found in ancient and contemporary architecture and sculpture. Toland spent five years in Greece, attending high school in Athens and traveling as much as possible. Stone formations were everywhere, in both natural and manmade forms. An ancient marble quarry was just down the street from his home. Laborers chiseling marble for municipal projects were a common sight. Seeing ancient sites with remnants of temples were simply part of everyday life. The Temple at Sounion, the Parthenon, and the Agora were monuments to the golden age of Athens.