Surveying the ‘nature of us’…

13 05 2019

For those of you who can’t make it to Wagga Wagga to catch the National Art Glass Gallery’s current offering, Michael Scaronne has sent the next best thing – a slide show of the exhibition, This Australian Life, with the accompanying curatorial essay by guest curator Suzanne Brett (former curator of Kirra Galleries, Fed Square.)

 

MURRAY,-R-2008.056_1000x400.jpgRobert Murray, Coolamons, 2008, kiln formed, painted, perspex, dimensions variable. Purchase funded by Wagga Wagga City Council, National Art Glass Collection 2008

W a g g a W a g g a A r t G a l l e r y P r e s e n t s

This Australian Life:

Works from the National Art Glass Collection – Curated by Suzanne Brett 

Driving to Wagga Wagga last December the road was strewn with
detritus from the recent floods that stranded cars on the Hume
Highway and washed away the bridge at Wangaratta. Trees were
scarred and blackened by fires weeks and years earlier and the
undulating landscape continually changed with darkened skies and
ominous clouds on the horizon. It left an impression that influenced
my thoughts when viewing the vast collection at The National Art
Glass Gallery.

Amongst this extraordinary collection of important contemporary and
historical pieces I was drawn to sculptures with a common
narrative. Beautifully crafted objects both powerful and ordinary that play
a part in daily life, works that express a love for the landscape, portray
hardships endured and others which define Australian society and
culture. These came together to form the exhibition “This Australian Life”.

The exhibition includes pieces by many luminaries who were
pioneers in the Australian art glass movement in the 70s and 80s,
and of those who came from the United Kingdom, the United States
and Europe to teach at universities and studios around Australia.
Students were encouraged to defy convention, embrace technology and
pursue their own individual artistic direction. Armed with a broad
knowledge and practical skills they honed their practice and went on to
become some of the most innovative glass artists in the world today.

Having travelled to remote areas in Central Australia and the Northern
Territory I was mesmerised by artworks celebrating Indigenous culture
by artists Robert Murray with his powerful installation “Coolamons”,
Jenni Kemarre Martiniello with her delicate blown cane-worked piece
“Medium Green Rushes Eel Trap # 4 “, and Dorothy Napangardi’s “Salt
on Mina Mina” representing the long journeys of women ancestors
from Mina Mina, a sacred site in a remote area of the Northern Territory
west of Yuendumu.

Wendy Teakel’s sculpture “Just Walking” using kiln-formed float glass
and grasses, Jessica Loughlan’s minimalist piece “Close Distance 42” and
Stephen Procter’s “World Turning” in fused and carved glass evoke a sense of
stillness and of moving through the land with no beginning and no end.

Social injustice that came with colonialism is also expressed in
several works. “Please don’t Sit” by Gerry King fabricated in kiln-formed
glass in part references a demarcation between western society and those
various colonised cultures for whom the chair is alien and to be
associated with the dominant power and status. His sculpture
“Toledo Blade” cast in the shape of an axe with desolate mountains depicted
within is of a series initially inspired by recognition of the role the
axe-blade played in both building and destroying the colonised landscapes of
Australia.

There are sculptures I added because they fit within the landscape
of the exhibition although the source of inspiration was unclear. They
include Nick Wirdnam’s “Little Straw School”, a quiet contemplative piece
in blown glass and Vicki Torr’s untitled double cone bowl which evokes
joyous memories of huge raindrops exploding on the surface of water during a
tropical storm and jumping in puddles in the drenching rain.

The imagery contained in this collection of over thirty-five art glass
sculptures by twenty-seven artists express a diversity of ideas shaped by
environment, cultural beliefs and circumstance. They provide a snapshot
of Australian life and the collective experiences that form our identity and
continue to inspire and connect the generations.

 

 

Makes for a very pleasant stroll through the Australian glass-historic psyche and landscape – it’s a pretty thorough sampler of the oevre (and, indeed, the National Art Glass Collection itself.)

Exhibition on until 21st July. Always better to see it in the flesh if you can. More info here.

 

 

Paul Sanders and James Thompson

Paul Sanders and James Thompson, Rust, blown, raku glass vessel, hand forged glass spikes, bone and metal, size variable. Purchase funded by Wagga Wagga City Council, National Art Glass Collection 1998

 





Catch up…

25 03 2019

Very late mail on the Tom Malone Prize (we’ve been a tad distracted) but just wanted to send a big congrats to winner Mark Eliot for his fabulous piece…

tom_malone_prize_mark_eliott.Mark Eliott, Down at the water table, 2018, borosilicate glass – blown and hot sculpted, recycled Australian Red Cedar, water, 58 x 69 x 16cm. Photograph: Richard Weinstein

‘It all started down at the local (where else?), after a solid rain. We were having a good natter over a drink when we accidentally bumped branches under the table. Next thing mycorrhizal fungi connected and it was all on for young and old. Since reading Peter Wohlleben’s The hidden life of trees, I am no longer able to see these organisms merely as chunks of wood with bark and leaves on, but as entities with some kind of undeniable intelligence and character. Instead I now commit the different sin of anthropomorphising them. In this 3D cartoon the human/canine story is incidental while the trees take centre stage.’

Very cool. Ticks all our boxes; topical, humorous, beautifully made. Totes deserving of the win.

Meanwhile, we also really like Jeremy’s work (notwithstanding that it’s at the polar opposite end of the aesthetic range!)…

 

Tom Malone Prize 2019_Jeremy Lepisto_360x360 Jeremy Lepisto, Structure 2 (from the Aspect series) 2018, kiln formed and fabricated glass, 25.2 x.25.2 x 25.2. Photograph: Rob Little

 

For the full story/field of finalists go to the Art Gallery of Western Australia’s Tom Malone 2019 announcement, here

 

[…we’re heading straight out to share a bevie with our trees. (n)Ed.]





This summer’s cultural road trip; destination Wagga Wagga….

26 11 2018

An exhibition and book launch celebrating the continuing practice of one of the Australian Studio Glass Movement’s pioneer members, Denis O’Connor, has kicked off in Wagga Wagga…

 

Wagga 4

 

Grace Cochrane, author and former Senior Curator of the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, will be doing the honours at the official opening and book launch (An Unlikely Address: A Regional Gallery and the Genesis of a Collection; Wagga Wagga Art Gallery) on Friday 14th December, 6 – 8 pm…though the exhibition is already up and open for viewing for all you art/glass lovers travelling to/through Wagga Wagga in the interim.

 

 

brochure

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brochure3

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postcard

exhibition

book launch

 

Worth the trip, big time.





Opening tonight in the Big Apple…

9 11 2018

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Holy smoke!!

28 09 2018

“You’ve enjoyed seeing CHEB around the city of Adelaide and its surrounds, now get ready to welcome them into your home.”

  

 

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Yes please!!
CHEB (the design entity comprising the fabulous Christine Cholewa and Deb Jones) launched an online shop today. Check out their signature, classically understated range here.

 





Scaling the heights…

23 08 2018

 

Just in on the international tom-toms…

Dread & Delight: Fairytales in an Anxious World, a group exhibition curated by Emily Stanley at the Weatherspoon Art Museum. Included in the show is ‘Mother-Lode’, a 9 ft long x 6.5 ft high baroque carriage encrusted in crystallized rock sugar, alongside works by 21 artists including David Hockney, Cindy Sherman, Kiki Smith And John Baldessari. Weatherspoon Art Museum, cnr Spring Garden and Tate Streets, Greensboro, NC. Reception: 5-7pm Saturday, August 25. Exhibition runs till December 9, 2018.

 

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Timothy Horn, Mother-Lode, 2008 Crystallized rock sugar, plywood, steel.

 

Install of Mother-Lode at the Weatherspoon Art Museum here.

Great company Tim – how marvellous.

STOP PRESS (as in BUT WAIT, THERE”S MORE!!):

Timothy has just posted…

“Extremely grateful to the Powerhouse Museum (MAAS) in Sydney for the recent acquisition of Gorgonia 15. A special thank you to curator Eva Czeris-Ryl for making this happen. This work is part of the exhibition Fantastical Worlds curated by Eva Czernis-Ryl at the Powerhouse, alongside works by Alexander McQueen, Kate Rohde and Timorous Beasties. Exhibition runs till January 2020″

 

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Looks like a road trip to Sydney is in order….





On the high road…

9 08 2018

Rose-Mary Faulkner with her winning work

 

Michael Scarrone from the National Art Glass Gallery at Wagga Wagga has sent the following news….

The 2018 National Emerging Art Glass Prize winner Rose-Mary Faulkner is currently on her art residency in Scotland. Rose-Mary has received an all-expenses-paid trip, two masterclasses and a conference at North Lands Creative Glass facility in Scotland with her work acquired into the National Art Glass Collection, as well as $4000 prize money. North Lands is internationally recognized as the best institute for the study of glass art in Europe.

Lucky Rose-Mary, eh! So, for the interminably curious, Rose-Marys’ journey can be followed via the NEAGP blog link and – for a broader squizz at her practice – go to her website.

Meanwhile for those of you not in the loop, here’s a little background on the winning work…

Media Release - National Emerging Art Glass Prize 2018 - media image 2 - Rose-Mary Faulkner detail

Rose-Mary Faulkner, Continuum 2017, kiln formed glass and decals

Artist statement:

My current work presents a study of my own body from the restricted, subjective line of sight we have of ourselves, aiming to map the female figure through abstracted and layered photographic imagery in order to analyse form and surface. I investigate ways to observe and experience the body, expressed visually through soft dappled imagery, evocative of feeling and sensation. Exploring decals techniques, I transfer photography to glass with water and heat, combining several related images before further manipulating the surface. Continuum presents a mapping of my form – its shape, folds and colours – and its delicacy is enhanced with a skin like surface and sensation.

 

[Thanks for the headz-up, Mikey. We enjoy following these residency blog feeds. n(Ed)]