Internationally recognised for her sculptural cast glass works, Ann Robinson has been at the forefront of national and international glass art for many years. With a practice that stretches back more than 40 years, Robinson’s continued innovation and experimentation have spearheaded the development of New Zealand glass art and ensured her recognition as a master in her field.
Robinson draws on inspiration from the natural environment and incorporates the geometries of seed pods, leaf forms and growth patterns into her cast glass pieces. Sculpted contours, rich graduations of colour and refined surface finishes combine to create commanding works. As well as exploring the inherent characteristics of volume, mass, and texture of glass, Robinson uses it as a conduit for the passage and capture of light, an intrinsic part of the medium. The artist’s personal experience of her surroundings can be seen in the suffuse glow of a vessel which recalls the filtered light of the bush, or the sharp refractions reminiscent of sun glinting on ironsand:
“[The New Zealand light] is reflected in my work. Sharp, clear, even hard, colours: strong sun yellows, yellow green forest, dark copper blue evening skies, light blue summer skies, deep blue-green seas.” (1)
Ann Robinson was born in 1944 and lives in Auckland. She has achieved major national and international recognition for her accomplishments in glass. In 2001 she was awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit, followed in 2004 by her naming as an Arts Laureate by the Arts Foundation of New Zealand. In 2006 Robinson was awarded the prestigious American Glass Society’s Award for Lifetime Achievement. Robinson is represented in major international and national public collections, some of which include the Corning Museum of Glass (United States of America), the Victoria and Albert Museum (United Kingdom), the National Gallery of Victoria, (Australia), the Auckland Museum and the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.
1. Ann Robinson, Artist statement, 1995.