I have just completed five artworks that explore the complex construct of the common shipping container.
Each work looks to address the origin/affect/ support/relationship of what the common shipping container carries between its origin and and its port of destination.
I believe that there is a duality in this delivery. For what these containers can carry/support/build/extend they also include the ability to crush/deconstruct/limit the path of the receiving end.
These works expose the available interiors of the containers that have within them the ability to hold the enduring impact of their journey...
Mel and I have acquired a new studio here in Australia!!
It is exciting and feels like home. I must give thanks to her family for all of their help and care in helping us with this transition.
It is a place full of potential...
"Slow Rise" by Karen Natapoff
Late last year, I completed a commissioned Watertower work titled "Slow Rise" for a client in California.
As with all commissions, I worked to incorporate the identity and ideas of the client into the resulting work. I feel that this method develops a collaborative construction that blends maker and receiver through form.
I am happy to say that the final piece resonated with the client and was received happily. Much to my surprise, it seems that the journey is now the book! Needless to say, it is a sweet memento of the making and a first for me.
I have just returned from a whirlwind adventure to the UK, Northern Ireland, Ireland and France. In three of these four areas, I presented some lectures, small workshops and visited some of the major art programs that provide majors in glass.
My trip was fantastic and all the people I met were excellent. I did notice that as I talked to many students, lecturers and practicing artists that it seemed to be much more difficult to build a thriving practice without the support, integration and connections of a wider community. In the talks that I gave on my own practice, I reflected on my good fortune to have always been able to construct my path within areas awash with artistic activity (such as Portland and Canberra) as well as
quicken the pace of my development through my involvement with formalized organizations (such as GAS
and the Pilchuck Glass
School). I also focused on how I work to progress my path by first building
a foundation of ability and access to support the structure and span of a career in art. I see this as developing the skills to build your way as well as the support to hold you in place. For me, I owe a lot to those who have educated and employed me and also those who are my friends and colleagues (especially Mel George
is a link to a write up by Fiona Byrne
on the talk I gave at the National College of Art and Design
in Dublin.Now returning from this trip and back to focus, I am excited and energized to start back up on my PhD and all of the various projects circling the areas of my available free time.
I have just recently completed a handful of new work from two different series of work.
The first couple of works are from the Barrel series and are entitled "Production Level 1" and Production Level 2". Each contain a set of seven mold blown barrel shapes with hand blown glass inserts and fabricated float glass lids. The number of the barrels relate to the number of available productive days in a week and address the realistic oscillation in the quality and completeness of effective effort.
The second set of works are related to my current PhD research on shipping containers. This work is from a new series entitled the Container Series. These works both highlight the historical utilization of glass as a container as well as make transparent the impact of the normally obscured use of the modern shipping container.
My hope is that each of these works lead to inquiries into the contents of containers, their relationship to their destination and origin and the necessity vs. the ability to utilize our modern globalized network of shipping.
For instance, the work The Full Extent, contains a form that is at the full linear capacity of what the interior void can accommodate. The work is a reflection upon my own personal experience of using a shipping container to move between countries and at the question of whether I employed its use to its fullest advantage and whether its contents were all that I required in making the transition.
It has been a busy time here in Canberra since returning from the States last month. I am mainly focused on my PhD but am also taking on some small projects to afford the decadency of academia. In the mix of all of this, there is always some random, surprising and wonderful happenings...
Here are some developing works from my research:
Here is a presentation platter that I created for the Australian Culinary Team (check them out here
Here is a lovely little project that I completed for a fantastic man...the author Bryce Courtenay:
And, as you do in such a tight knit community, an Italian Maestro came down under. Here he is with an Australian Maestro:
Lino Tagliapietra and Klaus Moje