Touching hearts

Canberra Glassworks presents two exciting installations in the upcoming Hearts and Minds exhibition opening 6pm, Wednesday 25 January, 2018.

Hurt Locker, by Penny Byrne, was created for Glasstress Gotika, a collateral event of the 2015 Venice Biennale. Made from mild steel and Murano glass, this is the first time the work has been shown in Australia. “Mr Hurt Locker”, as he is affectionately known, is an imposing two metre tall glass figure standing sentinel in the Canberra Glassworks Smokestack. Byrne’s work is full of socio political comment but the playful nature of her compositions has a way of balancing the biting with the blasé. Artworks such as Hurt Locker demonstrate that difficult messages, whether subtle or overt, can resonate with a viewer allowing contemplation of difficult themes to become an easy, intellectual joy.

Harriet Schwarzrock, as the current Art Group Creative Fellow at Canberra Glassworks, has spent her six-month fellowship researching and developing the presentation of an ambitious blown glass and neon installation. Titled between stillness and movement, it consists of an interactive exhibition of over 60 exquisitely blown, neon filled glass heart forms installed along the long wall of Gallery One.

Exploring the notion of interconnectivity and embodying electrical impulses, their internal illumination enriches a darkened space. Schwarzrock speaks of her experience of the fellowship as allowing her to “… expand my technical expertise both in the hot glass studio and with neon tube bending, enabling me to acquire the skills to present such a complex installation.” Harriet has worked in collaboration with Sound Artist Brian McNamara to create a series of four hearts that when touched gently create a direct, visible interaction with sound. The viewer becomes an active participant; in essence contributing to the artwork by allowing sound and visuals to come together to interact in one experience.

Both installations will coincide with the increasingly popular Enlighten Festival.