Ann Robinson is acknowledged as one of the most important glass artists in the world. This exhibition Masterworks features her primary bowl and vase forms.
Environmental dialogues, a South Pacific sensibility, an acute purity of design and essence of form are fundamental to and in her work. The remarkable single-cast Antipodean Bowl obviously references the ceremonies and rituals of the kava bowl, but in the way it interacts with light – by seeming to levitate – it comes to have spiritual and humanistic content. The rippling, inside surface of the Hemisphere Bowl reminds us that we live on the outer crust of a molten core. The similar (unadorned, pure) form of the Landscape Bowl is a courageous work where glass mass and tone speaks of shape, substance, permanence.
Robinson uses colour with restraint and deftness. In Wide Bowl raised circles radiate from the centre, as if we are viewing water moving. The acid-etched internal surface and the polished lip allow light to inform and interact with the bowl in complex ways. From some angles the blue flares brightly; from others in darkens into depth.
The Nikau Vase, Flax Vase, Side Carved Pod demonstrate Robinson’s unique ability to establish a stylistic language from the natural world of trees and plants. The Spiral Vase and Curved Vase forms conclusively demonstrate that Robinson’s aesthetic, design sense and control of form operates at the highest level.
Ann Robinson is indisputably New Zealand’s leading exponent of cast glass. She has received numerous national and international awards, such as the Lifetime Achievement Award (2006) by the American Glass Society and appointment as one of New Zealand’s Art Laureates (2004). She is also acknowledged on the world stage as a pioneer of cast glass. Her work is represented in major collections worldwide (such as Victoria & Albert Museum, Corning Museum etc) and Te Papa recently added 14 new works to their existing collection.