Scott Chaseling at Sabbia…


While the Gang was up in Sydders last week we swung past Sabbia to check out Scotto’s solo exhibition, An Antipodean Journal – which, we must confess, having been privy to various conversations post his lecture at the Ausglass conference in January, we were very curious to see. (We didn’t attend the conference program, and even if we had we would’ve missed Scotto’s presentation in any case – courtesy of that pesky business of doubling up on lectures, his talk was on at the same time as Luna’s…)

It’s certainly an interesting show, and a huge shift – which shouldn’t be surprising given that he’s (semi-permanently, at least) transplanted himself to Europe. His signature fused and blown vessels have transmogrified into a kind of cryonic encapsulation; large semi-cylindrical ‘tablets’ hot cast for posterity. (Each one anything from 40-80 kgs, Anna was telling us – seriously weighty work.) They still hold the ‘my life as a cartoon’ narrative edge, but now with an ‘I’m living in a fishbowl’ twist. Given that the works “tell a story that often reflects key moments in Scott’s life, or issues close to his heart” the fishbowl analogy is somewhat apt.

But the biggest departure is the new line of large blown and sandblasted vessels which he designed and had manufactured in Czechoslovakia. These ‘vases’ are slick and pop, and carry a sweep of art-‘n-craft historic references that deliver an immediate sense of comfortable familiarity and connection.  Black and white and cobalt blue (the classic ‘buy me’ button, as we all know!!), these pieces are extraordinarily ‘interior designer’ friendly. And they obviously hit the right note with the punters – the room was awash with red dots.

It’s rather fascinating, this growing return to ‘the factory floor’, don’t you think? It’s almost as though the studio glass movement has gone full circle – artists are becoming increasingly sophisticated and removing themselves from the making process entirely; handing it back, as it were, to specialized European glassworks. This is by no means intended as a criticism, it’s merely an observation. The trend, after all, is de rigeur across the international contemporary art scene – particularly in the stratospheric stakes (ie Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons, et al.) You only have to look at the ‘biennale industry’ to know that the artist has evolved into the auteur. 

Anyhoo, we enjoyed the exhibition and we’re looking forward to having a good chin-wag with Scotto across the ether – about life, glass and the universe – in the not too distant future…

For a squizz at the show go to…

Meanwhile, Sabbia’s site is…

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