Update on Trish Roan…

7 08 2008

Patricia Roan, Clouds

We decided it was time to take a little peek at Trish Roan’s latest delectables, and were pleased to see she still had her head firmly in the clouds. Thank God.

Looks like she might have a natural immunity to that dreaded commercialitis lurgy that’s been afflicting the ‘art glass’ sector over the last few years. 



                               Patricia Roan, Bottle (detail)

Patricia Roan, Bottle


Patricia Roan, Lightbulb                                                     Patricia Roan, Match

Hang in there Trishy, you’re a star. (See earlier post)

Accent on the French

17 08 2007


Last night was Trish Roan’s opening at Alliance Francais (along with ceramicist Cristina Baratinskas-Goodman and painter Ian Robertson.) The usual mob came out of the woodwork, and a beeline was made to the bar – Alliance always turns on superior French tipple (mais, naturellement.)  And the cheese aint bad, neither. Not that we were partaking (the Gang’s on the perennial diet…)

Meanwhile Gordon Bull opened the show with customary panache, and Trish – shy as ever – did her best to inhabit the shadows, though we dragged her out for a photo op regardless. The work has a more cryptic than metaphysical edge this time around, with more of a pop feel (…if that makes any sense.) She shares a studio at ANCA with Charlie Sofo now – so there’s bound to be the odd stray tendril of influence, mutually inclusive (actually, I’d like to see a two-man/Trish and Charlie show sometime not too far down the distant track [note to Nigel.])

There wasn’t a lot of goss to be had around the room, except a whisper from Phil (Spellman) that he’s super-busy making work for several destinations at the moment – one of which being this year’s Sculpture By The Sea, of course and that it’s been such a bumper year that his accountant is extremely pleased with him. Gotta love that. And Timo had just arrived back from an opening of his own at JK Gallery in Thredbo. For everybody else it was merely business as usual.

Check the dials on


Infinitesima: the art of curiosity.

29 06 2007

pearlsdetail.jpgbowl.jpgoil2.jpgTrish Roan 

If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is: Infinite.  William Blake from ‘The Marriage of Heaven and Hell’ 

When I first met Patricia (Trish) Roan she was a first year student at the ANU School of Art glass workshop – shy, diminutive, sweet of nature, but with an unmistakable streak of unyielding determination. Stephen Procter would have loved her. For the term of her undergraduate years (4) her desk was nothing short of Darwinian – a literal laboratory of mysterious organic experimentation, not quite ‘eye of newt and toe of frog’ (never so dark), but certainly all manner of detritus in divers states of metamorphosis. And glass, of course, but nothing…conventional. She steadfastly resisted all attempts to steer her towards the ‘safety’ of the shallow end of the pool – commercial exhibition product – thank goodness, and as a consequence her art practice is uncompromisingly singular. And wonderous (in the true, non-hyperbolic sense of the word.) Roan graduated with first class honours at the end of last year – and remains shy, diminutive and  sweet of nature, with that unyielding determination still firmly in place. 

  Her work is best described as intriguingly metaphysical, with scientific overtones softened by a pervasive sense of considered intimacy. There’s something faintly Victorian-Gothic about it, even – the very nature of the observation perhaps, the patience. And that eye for the beauty of oddity. She’s not particularly concerned with the ‘Big Picture’ as such, preferring instead to investigate the seemingly modest though no less fascinating ‘infinity of the interior’. It’s in the small things that the big picture is encapsulated, of course, and it is precisely this that makes the work so successful. 

 In The Eye Of A Fish, The Volume Of A Room, for instance, the small sphere of oil – which floats inside the sphere of water/alcohol, inside the sphere of glass – reflects the entire room. Attaining the balance is painstakingly difficult, a process of meticulous tweaking and tuning to achieve an equilibrium so fragile that it barely lasts a day before disintegrating. Ring on the other hand required a protracted wait for the natural evaporation of liquid from the bowl, the residue of pigment itself being an integral element of the piece. Pearl was ‘seeded’ by a found object, the nature of which was lost through consequent coverings (in this case wax rather than nacre.) 

It is the ephemeral, the impossibility of keeping things perfect, and the contemplation of the reflected universal that specifically interests Roan. The process of making is meditative, she finds, regardless (or rather because) of the degrees of difficulty. Moreover it leaves her plenty of space and time to savour the ambiguities, and dream all those possible dreams.

Join a blog tour of her graduation show via the link below




Trish was recently a selected finalist in Young Glass 2007 held at the Glasmuseet Ebeltoft, in Denmark. (See Neues Glass/New Glass magazine, Summer 2007, 2/07)

Her work will also be featured in two upcoming exhibitions in Canberra:

The ANCA Members Show, ANCA Gallery, Dickson, opening 14th July, and a group show at Alliance Francaise, in O’Conner, with Ian Robertson and Cristina Baratinskas Goodman (as recipients of the ANU School of Art’s EEAS program), opening 16th August.  

And she will be conducting workshops at the Canberra Glassworks: a four week casting class commencing July 11th (Wednesday evenings, 6-9pm), and two children’s classes during the school holidays, July 10-12th and July 17-19th (mornings from 9-12)