Glass from the Collection
Deb Jones, Australia b.1963 | Kink oil bottle 2011 | Hot-worked pale green glass with rubber and metal fittings | Purchased 2011 with funds from Gina Fairfax through the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation | Collection: Queensland Art Gallery | © The artist
Tom Rowney, Australia b.1971 | Goblet 2011 | Hot-worked clear and blue glass | Purchased 2011 with funds from Gina Fairfax through the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation | Collection: Queensland Art Gallery | © The artist
22 June 2013 - 24 August 2014
Queensland Art Gallery (QAG)
Daily: 10.00am – 5.00pm
Glass has always held a magic appeal. Until the middle of the nineteenth century, it was a rare commodity – the great heat needed to fuse silica, and many failures in both production and decoration, ensured that glassware was afforded by only a privileged few: the poorer classes made do with wood, pottery and pewter vessels. Because of the benefits of mass production, glass ware is now found in almost all homes.
Throughout history, glassblowers have regarded the goblet as a benchmark of their skills. This display includes an outline of various goblets, from simple English works from the eighteenth century, to elaborately decorated Bohemian presentation pieces from the mid nineteenth century, alongside recent examples of Australian studio glass.
The work of the artisan gradually gave way to mass production. Although designers were employed in the glass industry in the nineteenth century, it was principally the Scandinavian countries, from the 1930s, that promoted modern design principles to improve the quality and distinction of their products. Prominent Swedish factories Orrefors and Kosta Boda, who continue to be known for their production wares, worked with individual artists and designers to produce unique ‘art wares’ later in the century.
Today in Australia, studio glass practitioners produce works mainly for exhibition but a few of these, such as Deb Jones, Nick Mount, Matthew Larwood and Tom Rowney, have developed production wares for the Australian market. Their individually crafted works sit between the art and commercial lines of the major manufacturers.
In this diverse selection of works, we can appreciate the magical qualities of glass still apparent in the play of light: transmitted, reflected and refracted.