Over the last little while I have made two kilnformed glass pieces. Each of these works are outside of any standard series of work and are stand alone ideas and concepts.
The first work is made to look like an old tradesman's toolbox and is called "Implement". I feel that these types of toolboxes are iconic forms that relay an individual’s ability to improve or repair the function and form of their environment. The central panel of this toolbox holds an imagined image of a common city corner store. Across the base of the box are several silhouetted images of basic elements that are needed and utilized to maintain, deliver and secure the daily activity and agency of a corner store. These shapes have been arranged to mimic the way tools would be displayed on a shadow board in a tool shed.
The combination of the toolbox form with its integrated imagery aims to activate the work's title (and meaning) as a construct that is both a verb and a noun as well as address the relationship of the separate components to bring this area of the built environment into form and function.
The second work is called "The Bend" partially because it was bent to mimic the shape of a tunnel and to address the idea of what lays just beyond the curve in any metaphoric path. This work also holds together and apart two halves of a horizon. One side of the horizon being an action and the other being either the objective or simply perhaps just an obstacle for the action to bypass.
Here are some images of these two works completed and in construction:
Aside from these finished works, I have a couple other works now showing in a couple of great and distant places. One is my entry for the Tom Malone Prize 2016 at The Art Gallery of Western Australia in Perth (WA, Australia). They have now posted a digital online catalog of the show. You can find it here. The other work on display is an older work from my Watertower Series . It will be on display at the Toledo Museum of Art (OH, USA) starting this month. You can see more about the exhibition here and read about it here.
Currently, I have work in two exhibitions. One here in Australia and one in America.
The show in Australia is that of the finalists for this year's Tom Malone Prize that is held and exhibited at The Art Gallery of Western Australia. The show is called Luminous: Tom Malone Prize 2016. It is an honor to be selected and included in the line up of artists and be considered a finalist for this award. The piece that I entered is called Built in Layers and is a sheet glass and fabricated steel work that comments on the development of history and the construction of the artwork's multi-panel image as items that are built in layers. Here are a couple full images:
The other work that I have currently on display is part of a show in Columbia, Missouri in the United States. The gallery that has invited me to include work in this small group show is called the Sager Braudis Gallery. My two works are both earlier glass pieces that are inspired by shipping forms that address perceived worth and commodification as well as the desire to receive the un-deliverable. Here are images of both:
If you did not get a chance to catch the edition in stores, you can find previous editions of the magazine here.
In the article, there is mention that we will be opening up our studio in conjunction with Craft ACT's 2015 Design Canberra Festival. I will also be participating in a talk as part of the festival discussing making and collaboration. Come to Canberra in November to check it all out...
In pursuing the path of an independent art practitioner, I have found that the path usually has multiple concurrent levels of concentration and effort that need to be engaged to make up a sustainable balance of material outcomes as well as maintain a modicum of momentum.
In the upcoming weeks I will attend the opening of a group show that I am part of in Melbourne, begin a part time position at the ANU, continue the pursuit of my academic research as well as complete some small client projects for my studio.
The upcoming show (that I will be in) will open at the Incinerator Gallery on August 7th, 2015. This show has been co-curated by Nadia Mecuri and the Incinerator Gallery. The idea for the show is this:
"A selection of nine contemporary artists working with glass have been invited to re-contextualize these technical and industrial practices to reference the origins of glass and its industrial and scientific history. Each artist brings their own innovation, imagination to their practice, but the one thing common to them all is the continuation of process, materiality and skills that are now reflected in concepts relevant to today and glass industries at large. Closes 27 September."
For this exhibition, I have made three separate pieces that all relate to the history and production of sheet glass. My focus on this particular area of glass production is inspired by the major layers of my personal professional history (my first job in my field, the place I found gainful employment after college and the methods of production I employed to begin my own custom fabrication business) being all based on situations or sites related to sheet glass.
The compiled image in the work Built in Layers, is a hand rendered version of a historic photo of the end of the Colburn sheet glass process production line in my hometown of Toledo, Ohio in 1916-1917. This short-lived process was developed at the Libbey Glass Factory (my first major employer in my field) and was one of the important precursor methods of sheet glass production leading up to the advent of today’s modern float glass process (that began in the 1950’s). The title of this work addresses the production of the separate sheets, the compilation of the rendered image as well as the subject matter’s presence and role in the evolution of the material’s production history.
The form of the work Drawn from the Factory is derived from the basic idea of a single roller sheet glass machine. This process is one where a mass of molten glass is squeezed into a sheet by a roller that is positioned a particular distance from the forming bed. This method of sheet making has been in use since the 16th century and is still used today to create colored hand rolled sheet glass at the Bullseye Factory in Portland, Oregon (my major employer after college). With this work, the two images have been hand drawn to illustrate the relationship of the (glass) factory to its receiving society and surrounding structures.
The third work I have for this exhibition is called The Factory Windows. The construction of this set mimics the scale and structure of the windows that were in my first commercial studio in Portland as well as ones that can be commonly found in industrial buildings from the early 1900’s onward. Each of the panes on one side of this work hold an etched contour drawing made from a photograph of an individual working within a factory. The opposite side of each section holds another illustration of the actual factories where each worker would be found from the 1930’s to the 1960’s. The construct of this piece looks to highlight these concurrent interior and exterior views to relay the viewpoint of importance that each existence had in relation to the success and development of the other.
Mel and I have finally given our small studio a name!
We have called it Workshop Level.
I feel that the name for the new studio is a nice nod to our previous studio (Studio Ramp) and the role that it played in developing our current position and placement. Practically, the name describes the physical placement of the studio within our commercial building as being the workshop level of the structure. I hope the name also refers to the way the studio will continue to help us both maintain and balance our individual practices as well as being an implement to increase the degrees of our standing.
Now that the studio has a name, we have built it a website to further give form to its identity. The Workshop Level website will focus primarily on the physical development of the studio, projects that it will take on for clients and any endeavors that we will attempt beyond the scope of our personal practices.
I hope you can take a moment to visit the site as well as return periodically to see the projects we will help others to conceive, construct and complete.
Hopefully, this is the year that I can get my degree done.
Towards this goal, I have put many engagements and projects on hold. The idea is to do less better, but I have a feeling that the degree work is already a great deal to get done.
For the degree, I am working on making some small glass and steel shipping containers that will stand alone as separate objects or collect to become a singular significant sculptural scale work.
In February, I was fortunate enough to present a talk at the 2015 Ausglass Conference in Adelaide. I hope the talk was good for the audience; I know that the conference was a great one for me.
And lastly, I have also made a handful of works for two different series. The first half-a-handful of works are what will be the last pieces for the Watertower Series. For this set, I have tried something a little new...
With previous Watertower works, the drawn/painted imagery circumvented the entire glass form. The idea for this was that the imagery rendered on each was the imagined landscape surrounding the tower.
For these particular pieces, I have drawn/painted the imagery to cover only half of the forms and to fade at its edges. Within each of the scenes there is a water tower depicted within. The shape of the glass and the form of the metal base has been made to mimic the tower in the image. This is done in the hope to make each Watertower becomes the remaining reserve of itself -- in image and form. With this idea, each piece in this small collection of Watertowers has been titled "Still Held". These works will be the last of this series. I feel this is a fitting finale given the fact that these vernacular forms no longer exist upon the range of my own horizon and therefore pay homage to a time and place when they had.
The other set is the first work for a new series (the Watertank Series). I feel these works are a natural progression from the Watertower Series, but relate more specifically to the scene and scope of my southern horizons. This series utilizes an emblem of the everyday from areas that stretch far beyond urban boundaries and their resources. The rendered idea of each water tank’s available supply is made to also present an event that is equal in duration to the time it will take to draw down its remaining reserve.
This is a quick update on some areas of activity that have occurred here and there...
HERE: In December, I was included in a group show of small works at Beaver Galleries here in town. For this opportunity, I constructed a few pieces for a new series of work that I have called the Coordinate Series. I took some care in recording the method of thinking and making of these works in preparation of presenting the process at the upcoming Ausglass Conference in Adelaide this February. If you are interested in seeing the path of production for these forms, please come to the conference and check out the talk.
Over December and January, Australia went into holiday mode. This gave me the available time and focus to address the overdue fabrication of some important bits of infrastructure for our studio as well as build some new additions to the Watertower Series. The finalization of these forms are awaiting the return of their metal bits from the powder coaters, but when they are complete and constructed I intend to post a small entry to share the outcomes...
THERE: Besides advancing some areas here at home, there have been some small wins happening beyond the horizon.
In Knoxville (at the Knoxville Museum of Art) a piece of mine (from the Bridge Series) that had been gifted in memory of a patron was finally given a new permanent home. I am excited about this placement and the ability to have a piece in their collection. If you find yourself in the area, please pay the Museum a visit.
At Traver Gallery in Seattle over January, some small works from my Parcel Series were included in a group show of their gallery artists. Please check out the gallery or their website to see the works and that of their other more talented artists.
It has been a busy time in and out of the studio.
I have been spending most of my days over the last couple of months filling in as the Technical Officer at the ANU Glass workshop. It was a challenge and a pleasure to help out at the school.
Beyond this, it is now coming up on summer down here and I have been working late (and early) in order to complete several studio projects and personal artwork. In the midst of this activity, I was awarded a generous CAPO grant (The 2014 Canberra Weekly Award) to further the ability of our studio by affording the purchase of a new tile saw. Here are some scenes of recent highlights...
As for my personal work, I constructed a handful of works from two new series for SOFA Chicago 2014. This new work will be shown with Beaver Galleries and hopefully all of it will find good homes during the show.
One of the new series is called the Parcel Series.
These works look to connect two seemingly separate connotations of the word “parcel”. The first idea explores a “parcel” as something you would send/receive and the other refers to a specific piece of land.
Upon first glance, these solid glass blocks have been fused and formed into the shape of a transparent and wrapped shipping package. The address labels of each package have been polished to clearly reveal the content of the bundle while also attempting to subtly and perceptually connect the separate physical positions of its sender/receiver with their shared view of the shipped form’s single subject.
By looking into a block, a single hand drawn image of a patch of land can be seen. In particular, each block holds a scene of a liminal area of activity that would connect, expedite, deliver or drain the flow of possibilities for the places that they exist between.
Here is a look at their construction and final form:
The other new series that I will be sending to Chicago is called the Segment Series.
The Segment Series is a look at the idea of shipping containers and the componentry of their individual and collected constructs.
Each work in this series is made of separate flat fused geometric components that are made to mimic the shape and stack-ability of the common shipping container. Being glass, the interior of each component is visible and holds within it a possible scene of the container’s journey.
The singular title of each work (ie. One and Four) is meant to allude to a number of possible destinations of denotation. The one title could refer to:
-the number that the representative containers are in the total count of cargo,
-the time of day when the scene held within each form is occurring or perhaps
-the current step that each container is at in advancement towards the successful delivery of its shipment…
With these few things accomplished, it is now time to enjoy the spring by getting back in the studio to complete some commissions, studio infrastructure projects and exhibition work. More soon...
Since last posting, I have been back to the States (to visit Portland, to teach a workshop in Texas and to also help with an art fair in Oregon). The trip was a chance to see some wonderful friends and make some new ones. On all points it was a successful and all too quick a visit. Here are a handful of images from my travels...
Since returning, I have sunk many moments into designing, fabricating, installing and getting council clearance for a small (but significant) studio development. It is a work sink. This little wonder will now give us hot water for the first time ever in our studio history. Here are some shots of this lovely new studio addition along with some shots of other plumbing done in pursuit of the sink and a couple images of work being created in a space now with hot running water...
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