The distinctiveness, technical accomplishment and breadth of glass art in New Zealand are well represented in Glass 07.
Ruth Allen (recently selected for The Corning Museum’s New Glass Review 28) sculpts in space with glass, using shadow and cross-structure with references to knitting and stitching. Like Allen, Stephen Bradbourne makes canes of glass first, before then recomposing these by slicing and using the murrine hot glass technique to establish beautiful visual rhythms. Lyndsay Patterson (recently awarded the David Thomas Prize) uses the same technique on simpler, more elemental forms while achieving remarkable (implied) spatial depth and surface softness.
James Walker (currently William Hodges, artist-in-residence, Southland Museum and Art Gallery) and Phil Newbury have both used glass in a pictorial, narrative manner by taking works onto the wall.
Shona Firman has always used cultural and environmental vernacular in her work, blending sculpture and carving disciplines with the unique properties of cast glass. In her new series Obsidian Volcano God she explicitly references the volcanic nature of Northland. Robyn Irwin’s flared vase forms combine narratives about the natural environment with a painterly disposition that is both abstracted and descriptive.
Dominic Burell and Karen Ellett are two of the most exciting emergent glass artists in New Zealand. Burrell’s work is sculptural and diverse, with debates about spatial composition, colour layering and dialogues about inside/outside dimension. Ellett combines hot glass forms with surface carving, making works that transform their own materiality.
Christine Cathie’s command of the fluency of form plus the rare ability to establish tonal modulation whilst capturing the rhythms of gesture and movement are integral characteristics of her visual language.
Jim Dennison and Leanne Williams (currently in the United States of America as fellowship recipients of Creative Glass Centre of America; awarded Luminous Glass Art Prize 2006) have quickly established themselves as key figures of the New Zealand glass community. “Miro-miro chandelier” a three-tier collection of sixty-six tomtits is a very witty take on one of the classic objects of refined taste.