…and there was light

3 05 2017

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The Wagga Wagga Art Gallery is currently showing George Aslanis: Experiments in Light, a retrospective survey exhibition celebrating the practice of the loved and respected (late) artist/educator George Aslanis – former Head of the Glass and Ceramic Studio at Monash University, Melbourne.

This large body of work, sourced by National Art Glass Gallery curator Michael Scarrone from private collections across Australia, navigates the decades of George’s exuberant, investigative art practice…

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Media release….

George Aslanis: Experiments in Light 

Wagga Wagga Art Gallery is proud to present a retrospective survey of one of the most influential and innovative artists in contemporary Australian glass, George Aslanis (1960-2016). Aslanis inspired a generation of glass artists to develop their passion and their understanding of the artform, and this new exhibition, George Aslanis: Experiments in Light reveals the great scope of his practice and his ideas.

George Aslanis began his artistic career in ceramics, but became drawn to the paradoxical qualities of glass, which he described in one interview as “dense and heavy and solid… it is the antithesis of light, yet it describes light in so many ways”. As head of the Glass and Ceramic Studio at Monash University for many years, Aslanis was a tremendous influence on glass students and artists across Australia, and many of the works on display in Experiments in Light have been loaned from former students.

Aslanis’ practice involves a dialogue that describes ‘states of being’, and symbols and metaphors are important motifs in his work. Drawing from cultures past and present he combined various elements to create visually complex cast glass sculptures. These objects are read from two sides, a sculpted textured surface and an open view into the interior space of the glass. The question of what exists beneath the surface, the interior life often unseen is a constant aspect of George Aslanis’ work.

As well as his artistic practice and his influence as a teacher, George Aslanis was also known for his passion as a collector, with an exceptional eye for objects of art, craft and design. His later works combined his collections with his art, with installations that intermingled early Venetian glass vessels with found chunks of furnace glass, detritus from the casting process.

George Aslanis himself once described his work as “a discussion about glass, its inherent material properties; these include the sensual and the metaphorical. Glass is a material in a state of becoming, an endless multiplicity of potentials.” Experiments in Light is itself a tribute to Aslanis’ own multiplicity of potentials, and the home of the National Art Glass Collection is a fitting venue to reflect upon the life and career of such an influential artist.

George Aslanis: Experiments in Light is on display in the National Art Glass Gallery at Wagga Wagga Art Gallery from Saturday 25 March until Sunday 9 July, 2017. An official closing for the exhibition will be held on Thursday 6 July at 6pm.

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[Big thanks to Michael for the imagery and info. What an absolute joy it must have been to put this show together! We can feel a road trip coming on… n(Ed)]

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Because we can…

31 03 2014

You’ll have to forgive a weenie bit of breast beating, because we’re just so chuffed; the Gang did a drive-by of the Wagga Wagga Art Gallery yesterday to eyeball it in the flesh…

 

New Acquisitions

 

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Lead-in to Ausglass 2013…

4 03 2013

Just in from our main man of the hour Michael Scarrone (currently up to his nethers in pre-production for the conference…)

 


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Ensemble

Ausglass Members Exhibition

 

Over a hundred glass artists from across Australia are now on display at Wagga Wagga Art Gallery, in Ensemble: Ausglass Members Exhibition. Proudly by Wagga Wagga Art Gallery, in conjunction with the 16th Biennial Ausglass Conference, The Collective Vision, Ensemble showcases the depth and diversity of contemporary glass in Australia, from time-honoured traditions to cutting edge experiments.

 

All the artworks in this stunning display have been created within the past two years, as a snapshot of the current state of the art; and every state and territory in the nation is represented, highlighting the geographical spread of the passion for glass across Australia. The pieces on show in Ensemble range from delicate jewellery and fragile pâte de verre vessels, to elaborate installations, imposing sculptures, and vivid stained glass hanging works.

 

Beyond the diversity of forms and styles, Ensemble also illuminates the extraordinary range of techniques currently practiced by glass artists across the country. Hot and cold working, kiln forming and engraving, glass blown, carved or assembled; all these methods and more, in every imaginable configuration, can be explored and admired in Ensemble.

 

Variety in form, diversity in technique – and in addition, artists at every stage of their career, from the emerging and recently graduated, to the established, the acclaimed, and the acknowledged masters of their craft. Ensemble invites them all, and displays their work in contrasts and complements that underline the truly collaborative nature of glass in Australia, as an artform in which all continue to learn and to grow in their art together.

 

Ensemble is open to the public from Saturday 16 February until Sunday 21 April, 2013. The exhibition will be launched on Thursday 4 April, from 6:00pm until 8:00pm, in conjunction with the official launch of the 16th Biennial Ausglass Conference, The Collective Vision.

 

Exhibition Dates

When: Saturday 16 February – Sunday 21 April, 2013

Where: Wagga Wagga Art Gallery

 

Exhibition Launch

When: Thursday 4 April, 2013, 6:00pm – 8:00pm

Where: Wagga Wagga Art Gallery

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The Gang loves Wagga Wagga as you know, but sad to say we’ve got a serious clash this year – we’re packing the Poo and heading for Burma again (this time to mooch around the Mergui Archipeligo and Moulmein.) Bummer, eh.

Thanks for the teaser, Mikey, you’ve done a great job of the install – as always. We’ll be with you in spirit.





Liz Kelly at Wagga Wagga…

14 10 2010





Lines Through Light at Wagga Wagga…

3 02 2009

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The Gang braved last Friday’s scorching heat wave and drove to Wagga Wagga (via Canberra to hook up with La Gropp) for the opening of the Stephen Procter exhibition Lines Through Light.

Now, this may seem an extreme thing to do – given the distance and the weather conditions and the fact that we’d already covered the show when it opened at CMAG last year – but there was definitely a method in our madness. And, oh, how pleased we were to have made the effort.

 

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Lines Through Light  is a wonderful exhibition wherever it hangs, but the Wagga Wagga factor has transformed it into something close to sublime. That fabulous ‘glasshouse’ of a gallery (attached to the National Art Glass Collection) has given the show an incredible ‘lightness of being’; a dimension that was somehow missing in Canberra. Not that you necessarily noticed it at the time, mind you – but here in Wagga Wagga, nestled within so much plate and bathed in sunlight,  there’s an ethereal dimension to the show that is simply stunning.

 

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Christine Procter curated it herself this time (with the Wagga gang) and it’s a little less…ponderous, perhaps. It’s fresh and weightless, and the drawings merge into a seamless whole, like a gentle refrain sonorously repeated.

Too poetic, youthinks? Not a wit – this is, when all’s said and done, an extraordinarily poetic show.  And a classic demonstration of the importance of revisiting shows in the continuum of changing venues. Curatorial interpretation can vary quite dramatically, and it’s fascinating to catch the nuances thrown up by the differing perspectives.

Wagga Wagga Art Gallery always runs its openings in a job lot – which is incredibly sensible, not the least because it delivers the punters more bang for their travelling buck. On this occasion Stephen’s stablemates were Wendy Teakel and Meg Buchanan in Parched, a collection of works ( including Diane Fogwell’s) in Rough Country, and Connie Burns’s Atrabilious: A depression of the spirit.

 

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And as an added bonus Klaus opened Stephen’s show. What more could you want!! Except a post-exhibition repast with that seriously friendly gallery mob…

All in all it was a great little overnight stay. We thoroughly recommend it.

More snaps of the evening here.





Wagga Wagga this Friday night…

1 02 2009

Uh, oh…we only just this moment realised that we didn’t put this post up as intended last week. We’d been terribly efficient and had it ready in our ‘drafts pending pen’ – and then somehow managed to persuade ourselves that it was already a fait accompli. Bummer dude. The good news is that the Gang did make the pilgrimage to Wagga Wagga – and we’re processing the snaps right now…

Meanwhile…Wagga Wagga LAST Friday night…

Darlings, don’t be confused – regardless of the start and finish dates, this Friday night is the celebratory gala event for the Stephen Procter exhibition at the Wagga Wagga Art Gallery.

 

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All roads lead to Wagga Wagga…

6 06 2008

Denis O’Conner, (l) The glass blower No. 1 ud  and (r) Eroded form No.1 1982

The Gang spent glasscentralcanberra’s first birthday over at the Wagga Wagga Gallery checking out the National Art Glass Collection courtesy of Cath Bowdler and Michael Scarrone. [Yes, imagine, one year old – our very first post went out on 27th May 2007. It was really just serendipity that found us in Wagga precisely on the anniversary, but it was a rather nice coincidence nonetheless…though we didn’t actually put two and two together until later, when we were already back at the hide-out. n(Ed)]

Megsie went over specifically to get the feel of the Charles Butcher and Brian Corr two-man-show, Intrinsic Elements (cos she’s been asked to write a piece about it), and happened upon the added bonus of Crossfire, a fabulous show that counterposes Wagga Wagga Gallery’s own home-grown and very significant collections; The Margaret Carnegie Print Collection and the National Art Glass Collection. Both were begun in 1980, the former with a donation of original prints dating back to 1940 (it now holds some 1200 works) and the latter as a nascent project subsequently launched at the First Wagga Wagga National Contemporary Australian Glass Exhibition in January 1981 (it now has in excess of 500 works.)

Cath Bowdler (the newly appointed director/manager of the Wagga Wagga Art Gallery) and Michael Scarrone (the National Glass Collection’s curator), through the selective pairing of works from each of the collections, have hit upon a mutually beneficial way of showcasing both. It makes for an intelligent and animated gallery experience, full of stimulating visual dialogue – with each and every work informed by a fresh and enlightening perspective.

Some matchings are the work of the same artist; Denis O’Connor (opening snap above) and Brian Hirst (below)…

                                      

…some are of art imitating art; Basil Hall’s homage to Klaus Moje…

                         

                                                    

…some are sobering and thought provoking; John Pratt and Tim Storrier…

     

                                         

…others are charming and whimsical; John Olsen and Andreas Ruhz…

                    

                                                         

…and some are astonishingly harmonious; Jorg Schmeisser and Emma Varga…

                                 

 

We haven’t taken snaps of it all (it’s a really extensive show) and we were stymied by the highly reflective environment (as you can see, Megsie’s only an amateur photographer at best) so we must apologise for the numerous missing links (the marriage of Liz Kelly and Dorrit Black was just one of many favourites that didn’t make it through the editing process…) So we can only provide an abbreviated overview, and encourage you to make the pilgrimage yourselves. The accompanying catalogue is worth the drive alone.

It was great to see so much life in an exhibition. More pics at…

http://www.flickr.com/photos/glasscentralcanberra/sets/72157605458752059/