HABATAT GALLERY – Royal Oak Michigan
GLASS 50 EXHIBITION – Celebrating 50 Years of Glass
Grand Opening APRIL 30, 2022
2022 is the International Year of Glass, sanctioned by the United Nations.
Habatat Galleries in Royal Oak, Michigan, USA, has curated an international exhibition of selected Glass Artists from around the world to showcase their artworks. The diversity of glass as a medium and the artworks displayed, highlight just how magical its transformation can be.
I have had a long and valued relationship with Habatat, and they continue to encourage artists to push the boundaries in contemporary glass. On this occasion my contributions are two collaged handblown glass wall sculptures.
Ode to the Hinterland – 71.5cm x 7.45cm / 28″ x29″
The design of this piece refers to the general location of where we lived and where I maintained a studio for 32 years, at Huonbrook in the Hinterland of Byron Shire, Northern New South Wales, Australia.
I recently shifted studios to a location nearer to where we now live, on the Pacific Coast nearby, but thought the subject of the Byron Hinterland a worthy topic for a collaged glass abstraction. It’s a dynamic volcanic (Mt. Warning / Wollumbin) landscape up there, with towering rhyolite escarpments, deep rainforest gullies, raging waterfalls and a high degree of biological diversity. It was during our lives up there, the 32 years, many of which I spent immersed and scrambling through that intense Sub-Tropical forest, that the artworks I created evolved into ‘Power Objects’, embedded with an intent around the increase in biological diversity (which I witnessed was ‘thinning out’) as it is diminishing all around the world.
During the latter stages of assembling this sculpture, an unprecedented (in historical terms) event occurred up at Huonbrook when a “rain bomb” formed dropping over a metre of rain in 24 hours causing enormous landslides, crushing homes, washing away roads and changing the face of the rainforest in a super rapid manner. The impact on its wildlife is inestimable.
As I was pondering this event while completing the parts and assembling them into this composition it occurred to me that the finishing touch might be to turn the piece upside down to illustrate a new and optimistically positive future for the area. Maybe I’d been working upside down all along and had ultimately rotated the Ode to the Hinterland into its correct aspect.
Above the Corcvado – 80cm x 80cm / 31.5″ x 31.5″
This piece made from blown glass refers to a birdwatching event when we visited Costa Rica in search of parrot species. We were keen to go to the Corcovado National Park on the Osa Peninsula – a location considered one of the most biologically diverse on the planet. The basic composition – a tilted square – has to do with painting (which is typically a rectangular format) – a practice I obsess over continuously. The colors in the glass relate to the endangered Scarlet Macaws we found there.
The technique in both these sculptures is a version of collage where glass rather than paper is used. This is a hybridized artform – part painting – with colored glass rather than paint, and part glassblowing. I’ve ground each individual segment to give straight edges that are required when it comes to bonding the parts. The glass is then fixed to an aluminum armature that enables hanging the sculpture on the wall – just like a painting.
At a time when energy from fossil fuels has become a hot topic particularly around climate change, it’s been on my mind to waste as little as possible. My interest in biological diversity which is ‘under the hammer’ due to our human hunger for growth demands an approach to art making that lessens the energy footprint in its creation.
Follow the info below to check out the full list of activities Habatat are hosting during this time, and enjoy the breadth of available artwork on offer.
Habatat Galleries welcome enquiries and I hope that those of you who can make it to this wonderful exhibition will come away exited by what you have seen.
ph: + 1-248-554-590
4400 Fernlee Ave
Royal Oak MI 48073 USA