You can’t see White, if you won’t see Black

Currently showing at the National Art Glass Gallery, in Wagga Wagga: a very cool exhibition of works selected from the Collection. Ordinarily we’d encourage a road trip, but given the current barricades (aka the ever-shifting regional covid lockdowns) it’s sadly become a persistently ‘yeah-but-no-but’ proposition.

Still, never say never – we may yet get a clear path, fingers crossed, for a lightening dash across the mountains before close-of-show on the 5th December (perennial optimists that we are)…

Image: Megan Bottari, Post-Modern Tokenism III 2007-2013 (detail) lost wax cast lead crystal.

Gallery statement:

Curated from the National Art Glass Collection, You can’t see White, if you won’t see Black seeks to comment on the coexistence and unity of opposites as well as duality in politics, spirituality and morality.

Day, light, and good are often linked together, in opposition to night, darkness, and evil. These contrasting metaphors represented as White and Black go back in human history, and across cultures, including in the Judeo-Christian tradition, ancient Chinese Yin and Yang and ancient Persia.

As seen in this exhibition, the use of black and white creates a focused attention upon content, form, pattern, texture or upon the way in which the object has been made. Glass itself presents as a particularly expressive medium to explore abstract ideas. Both solid and fluid, glass absorbs and refracts light, and in so doing communicates spiritual purity and intensity of feeling, such as the oneness of the universe might be felt.

Showtime: Saturday 24 July – Sunday 5 December | National Art Glass Gallery

Nota Bene: shameless self-promotion alert! Megsie is in the show.

A sampling from the studio of an Aussie Studio Glass pioneer…

We just had a missive from our fave glass curator, Michael Scarrone, with a pictorial spread of Wagga Wagga’s National Art Glass Gallery’s summer show, Peter Minson: Six Decades of Reflection.

To quote MichaelThe latest exhibition we have here is a solo effort from Peter Minson. I visited Peter a couple of years back on one of my treks to Canberra and was gobsmacked at the variety of working styles and techniques he has developed and perfected in his working life as a glass artisan. The art glass works were not created specifically for this exhibition, rather I have chosen from his studio several works from the huge variety of his working styles and displayed them in groups so as to represent the breadth of his palette.

I think it is vitally important that the National Art Glass Gallery honour’s glass pioneers like Peter Minson and brings attention to the impact they have had on the Australian studio glass scene. As you know Peter has mentored, taught, displayed and demonstrated for over 60 years; what a monumental achievement. Peter told me he had never had a solo exhibition. It is so great that the National Art Glass Gallery not only display new or mid career artists but can offer art glass pioneers like Peter the opportunity to display his wares.”

Which is one of the pivotal aspects of the Wagga Wagga Art Gallery’s importance in the scheme of Australian Studio Glass. The NAGG isn’t predicated on only the Pick of the Pops and/or the latest kachingable darling being lionised by the commercial glass gallery scene. Its charter instead is to record and represent the sector as a whole; like a living collective treasury of a constantly evolving and exciting art/craft movement that took hold here – like a veritable fulgurite lightening strike – in Australia (and in Wagga Wagga most particularly) back in the early 1970’s.

Peter Minson is the latest in a long line of stalwarts of the Australian Studio Glass Movement to be showcased at the NAGG during Michael’s 21-plus year tenure as the Curator of the National Art Glass Collection, joining a stellar cast of germinal movers and shakers: Stephen Skillitzi, Julio Santos, Gerry King, George Aslanis, Denis O,Connor, Nick Mount, Stephen Proctor, Elizabeth Kelly, Judi Elliott, Rish and Alistair Gordon, Kirstie Rea and Emma Varga.

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Peter Minson art Gallery Blurb

 

 

Fast approaching: Open Studio Day at Prisoners of the Crown…

A declaration of rampant self-promotion!!

The Gang is pleased to announce its upcoming annual event at the Hideout – Prisoners of the Crown holds an Open Studio Day on the Sunday closest to the anniversary of Ned’s hanging day (11 November 1880), which this year it falls on Sunday 10th November.

Anyone visiting the environs of the Bega Valley/Wyndham on the Far South Coast of NSW is welcome to swing by for a mooch around the workshop studios (contemporary jewellery and glass) and our in-house Courtroom gallery. And of course there’s the additional lure of booty with the Lucky Mugshot Prize. Drawn at the end of the day, this year’s winner will leg it with a pair of Ginger’s cast silver Crownie earrings.

 

 

For the vast majority of you who are entirely unfamiliar with our practice, you can check out previous Annual Open Studio Day chat here and here and here.

And there’s plenty more to explore at prisonersofthecrown.com

Doors swing open at 10.30 and slam shut at 3.30pm. Don’t stress too much if you miss it, there’s always next year(!)

Prisoners of the Crown is situated in the Old Police Station and Courthouse, in the village of Wyndham, a scenic 20 minute drive inland from Pambula, on the Far South Coast of NSW. We’re easy to find, just keep an eye out for Maurice de Ute…

 

Maurice de Ute

 

 

Surveying the ‘nature of us’…

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…

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….

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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postcard

exhibition

book launch

 

Worth the trip, big time.

Scaling the heights…

 

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….