Collecting Nostalgia explores ideas about collecting and art making, through the humble glass marble. Marbles can showcase great technical artistry, but they are also treasured objects imbued with memory. If you collected marbles as a child, you are not alone. Marbles embody a special sense of delight, which is perhaps why they have been collected throughout history. In Collecting Nostalgia, marbles are both objects and metaphors for collecting.
Collections are stories told with objects. Holding beloved objects in our hands gives us a tangible relationship to our own histories. Museums and galleries also hold collections. They collect significant artworks and artefacts, using them to tell stories and preserve memories for future generations.
Many people collect glass objects: paperweights, bottles, beach glass, ornaments, figurines and marbles. Artists are often obsessive collectors. From materials to oddities, artists find beauty in the discarded and forgotten.
Canberra Glassworks has invited nine artists from across Australia to respond to the notion of collecting, using marbles as inspiration. Some have reinterpreted their own marble collections, or drawn on the sound of a marble rolling along the floor. Others refer to social media, botanical collections, or pay homage to time-honoured techniques of glass-art.
Each artist’s work reflects a unique relationship to collecting, within the context of contemporary glass art.
Participating artists: Alexandra Chambers (NSW), Tom Moore (SA), Emilie Patteson (ACT), Phoebe Porter (ACT), Danielle Rickaby and Jaan Poldaas (SA), Jan Ridgen Clay (TAS), Trish Roan (VIC) and Mikki Trail (ACT)
Curator: Aimee Frodsham
Image: Collecting Nostalgia, Installation Shot, Canberra Glassworks. Photo by Adam McGrath.
18 February to 24 April
6:00pm 17 February
Smokestack Piano: Ken Unsworth
Smokestack Piano by Ken Unsworth with the Canberra International Music Festival and Canberra Glassworks
One of Australia’s most iconic artists, Ken Unsworth is represented in Australia’s major collections. His ongoing obsession with pianos, stones and large scale theatrical installations has earned him a place on the international stage.
Ken’s latest work, a grand piano featuring large glass and lighting elements, made at Canberra Glassworks, will be showcased during intimate performances as part to the Canberra International Music Festival.
The Smokestack Piano was also accompanied by a display of work featuring the highly skilled artists commissioned by Ken Unsworth; Tom Rowney, Matthew Curtis, Brian Corr, Harriet Schwarzrock, Annette Blair, Scott Chaseling and John White.
Image: Peter Hislop
29 April to 22 May
6:00pm 29 April
Previously exhibited at the prestigious Glasmuseet Ebeltoft in Denmark Light Translations features the work of Australian Glass artists Lisa Cahill and Holly Grace.
Both Lisa and Holly have had experiences with the Danish landscape that have had a strong and lasting influence on the direction and aesthetics of their artistic practices. This engagement with the Danish landscape has been matched by a long-term concern with and examination of the Australian landscape.
These differing landscapes and the light that inhabits them has informed the group of works that make up this exhibition. Lisa and Holly have given us an insight into their experiences of the culture and physicality of Denmark and Australia.
Inspired by both the natural world and the transitory nature of the urban experience, my dreamlike images allow viewers to draw associations with their own remembered landscapes, resulting in a meditative and or emotional response.
…. Rather than a direct reproduction they are more my own interpretation of the quiet intensity to be found therein
My time spent in Denmark has been formative for my development as an artist and as a maker. It was the first time I picked up a camera and the first time I began to truly study the landscape. The subtle colours of the Danish landscape were so different from the coastal environment that I grew up with in Perth, Western Australia – Lisa Cahill
It was this change from one extreme to another that altered my perceptions and I became aware of the sublime qualities of light within the landscape – Holly Grace
Image: Holly Grace, Light Translations, Installation Shot, Canberra Glassworks. Photo by Adam McGrath.
02 June to 17 July
6:00pm 01 June
Mr Takeyoshi Mitsui has been a Japanese glass artist for over a decade. His passion for glass is truly evident in this new body of work which capsulizes and personalises his feelings into beautifully-crafted lidded vessels and objects.
During his Asialink Reciprocal Residency at Canberra Glassworks in 2016, Mr Mitsui wanted to step away from the functional production work that he is well-known for in Japan. He wanted to explore the sculptural potential of objects in relationship to each other. In Mr Mitsui’s first Australian solo exhibition, supported by Asialink, artsACT and Canberra Glassworks, he has crafted these works from a very personal perspective and they display incredible craftsmanship.
In first applying for this Asialink Reciprocal Residency at Canberra Glassworks, he wanted to know how overseas people would look at his work. As Takeyoshi Mitsui has been practicing his artwork for 10 years in Japan, he wanted to know how popular glass was overseas. Glass isn’t as popular as ceramics in Japan. He has been an employee at Toyama Glass Studio for the past four years doing production and artwork. He recently decided to follow his passion for creating artwork in preference to production work.
Takeyoshi Mitsui‘s work reflects boxes as a craft in glass. Through this body of work, he wanted to discover new perspective from his functional work to artwork in his practice, because the meaning to him is something very personal. He feels that closed shape as a box is almost life (space/capsule/vessel/universe) and it reflects his personal world expansion.
Image: Works by Takeyoshi Mitsui. Photo by Canberra Glassworks.
20 July to 25 July
5:30pm 20 July
Hindmarsh Prize Exhibition
Canberra Glassworks is proud to present the inaugural Hindmarsh Prize, an annual prize which will offer the winner $5000 and a four-week residency at the Canberra Glassworks.
It’s been 34 years since Klaus Moje, Canberra Glassworks Artistic Patron, taught the first class in kiln formed glass at the Canberra School of Art. This marked a point in time that began Canberra’s journey from unknown to an international centre for studio glass.
Today, Canberra’s artistic community boasts some of the world’s most highly recognised glass artists and a state-of-the-art glass making facility. These artists, sharing a common passion for material, may appear to concentrate in either sculpture and installation, contemporary design or traditional craft technique, but each will continually draw from and effortlessly cross over from artist to designer to craftsman, no part the less important.
Recently, there has been a shift towards handmade, ethical, limited-edition and design-led production which affirms that there is an increasing need to celebrate, share and protect the skills seen within this exhibition. These skills are gained through countless years of training and refining, with artists often acquiring their knowledge through the apprentice/master model. Artists are also embracing technology – and in doing so, pushing their work into the realm of what may have once been impossible.
It is this dedication to craftsmanship that cannot be understated within the studio glass world. It is fundamental to this material – in both the learning, and the time invested in the creation of each work.
In 2016, the Hindmarsh Prize showcases eighteen finalists who have been selected based on their exceptional skill, thought process and sublime quality of work.
By showcasing works of such high calibre, the Hindmarsh Prize acknowledges the need to foster and promote this depth of talent, to provide visibility to a local, national and international audience, and to support the
artistic leadership essential to cement Canberra Glassworks as the pre-eminent access facility for artists
across the world.
The Hindmarsh Prize hopes to support this thriving local industry by telling the story of the makers, their skills, their ideas and retain the inherent breadth of knowledge for future generations of makers.
Curator: Aimee Frodsham
Hindmarsh Prize was exhibited in the Fitter’s Workshop between 17th to 19 June & in the Canberra Glassworks’ gallery between 28th July to 4th September.
Image: Hindmarsh Prize in the Fitters Workshop. Masahiro Asaka, Surge 19, cast glass 2015. Photo by Adam McGrath.
28 July to 04 September
6:00pm 17 June
Reflections, works from Canberra Glassworks and the Parliament House Art Collection, features nine internationally renowned glass artists who have created works that respond to the art, architecture and landscape of Parliament House.
Annette Blair, Lisa Cahill, Mel Douglas, Hannah Gason, Jeremy Lepisto, Ruth Oliphant, Emilie Patteson, Kirstie Rea and Harriet Schwarzrock.
Image: Emilie Patteson. Photo by David Foote courtesy of Australian Parliament House.
22 June to 11 September
Drawing inspiration from spring and to celebrate Floriade, Fresh Glass pairs studio glass vessels and sculpture with fresh botanical installations. Artists have been invited to collaborate across the mediums to elaborate on one of the most functional forms of glass.
Curator: Narelle Phillips
Artists: Amanda Dziedzic, Benjamin Edols and Kathy Elliott, Rose-Mary Faulkner, Amy Hick, Sui Jackson, Peter Nilsson, Harriet Schwarzrock, Belinda Toll and Jonathon Westacott
Floral artists: Shizuko Barber, Bloomin Mad Floral Designs, brave botanics, Lady Larissa, Moxom + Whitney, Nature Child Botanical Styling and Peking Spring
Image: Harriet Schwarzrock, Fresh Glass, Installation Shot, Canberra Glassworks. Photo courtesy Canberra Glassworks.
15 September to 30 October
6:00pm 14 September
In Depth: Joanna Bone with Aaron Micallef
Artists Joanna Bone and Aaron Micallef have collaborated in hot glass and shared studio space in Brisbane for the past four years. While Aaron is born and bred in Queensland, Joanna chose Brisbane as her new home after emigrating from the UK in 2002 – a move that brought her closer to one of her key sources of inspiration, the Great Barrier Reef.
Inspired by found objects including sea grasses, sand dollars and other marine creatures, Joanna Bone has revisited her childhood love of pattern and repetition in this new body of extraordinary glass works. The sense of depth and layers within the surface of these pieces engages viewers and invites intimate observation and quiet contemplation.
Image: Joanna Bone, In Depth, Installation Shot, Canberra Glassworks. Photo courtesy of Canberra Glassworks.
10 November to 15 January
6:00pm 09 November