I missed the annual Sculpture by the Sea exhibition this year, being rather busy finishing and then installing my window for the Bowral Presbyterian Church last Friday. I always enjoy the show: such beautiful location, always interesting and artistically stimulating and invigorating. And its wonderful that this exhibition is so well attended: many thousands of Sydneysiders make the walk from Bondi to Tamarama (or in reverse), not only to look at the view, but to look at Art!

However this is not the only sculpture show in town. Running more or less concurrently, in the beautiful old Waverley/Woollahra Town Hall on Old South Head Road, is the Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize. A strongly contested, selected exhibition, the Small Sculpture Prize is an intimate show, similar in many ways to the Ranamok Glass Prize. While the latter tended to favour plinth-based works, the former is exclusively such, with each work restricted to a maximum size of 80cm x 80cm x 80cm.

HO-ZUKI by Yasuke TakemuraHO-ZUKI by Yasuke Takemura

SERAPH by Peculiar AnnesSERAPH by Peculiar Annes

The diversity of ideas represented in this show always amazes me. What this means is, being such a small show with only 40x sculptures, it almost doesn't work as a cohesive exhibition. The observer bounces from one extreme example of creative thought to another. There are some links however, some threads to follow and works to compare. In this year's show there were quite a number of figurative pieces, each one of them very powerful and expressive. Henry, for instance, by Miraslav Kratky is almost talking to you. He stands there full of attitude and wisdom, espousing his particular philosophy on Life. Stephen Bird's Ancestral Figure, by contrast is almost impregnable, teasing you with so many unrelated symbols and references (like English Toby Jugs) that the artist seemingly defies you to make sense of the work, delighting in making something both arcane and beautiful.

Henry by Miraslav KratkyHenry by Miraslav Kratky

2014 Winner2014 Winner

Puppy by Natelie ThomasPuppy by Natelie Thomas

Triplex (detail)Triplex (detail)

Triplex by Morgan ShimeldTriplex by Morgan Shimeld

Ancestral Figure by Stephen BirdAncestral Figure by Stephen Bird

Several of the works are laden with humour, some of it quite wry. The winning sculpture for instance, Form for Modern Living #2 by Natalie Guy, is a suavely tongue-in-cheek dig at Interior Design, the mores of contemporary fashion, Modern Art and sophisticated consumerism. It somehow encapsulates all of this in a pithy statement of bronze Barbara Hepworth.

And with an hilarious take on Jeff Koons' giant Puppy, Natalie Thomas takes us back to those ultra-kitsch souvenir shops of the 1950's and 60's beachside holidays where you would find all manner of artefacts made of seashells.

AnthropomorphismAnthropomorphism

by Freja Jobbinsby Freja Jobbins

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A constructivist steel sculpture which caught my eye was Triplex by Morgan Shimeld. I know of Morgan as a stand-out graduate in glass studies from SCA, making really interesting work. Clearly he has pushed on to great heights and moved beyond glass.

But Freja Jobbins' Anthropomorphism #1 surely takes the prize for Absolutely Creepy. Is it just me? I find these conglomerations of baby doll parts very disturbing (while also, admittedly, decidedly funny). There are unexpected echoes here with both Bird's Ancestral Figure but moreso with Thomas' shell-encased Puppy. All three share a strong sense of the absurd.

My personal favourites were Yusuke Takemura's Ho-Zuki and Seraph by the Peculiar Annes. Totally unrelated and appealing to completely different aesthetics, yet both works share a highly developed sense of finesse in both craftsmanship and concept. Take's work celebrates the beauty of materiality and technical virtuosity while the Annes' magical figure possesses such power and spirit that it can transport the observer to another place entirely. And that surely is the achievement of Art.

The 2014 Sydney exhibition of the last Ranamok Glass Prize drew to a close on Sat 18th October with 5x of the 28x finalists presenting talks about their work: myself, Ben Young, Paddy Robinson, Mark Elliott, Lee Howes and Yusuke Takemura.

-hale by Richard Whiteley-hale by Richard Whiteley

Farewell to the King by Christian ArnoldFarewell to the King by Christian Arnold

Blue world -Polar by Emma VargaBlue world -Polar by Emma Varga

Forest Fungi 2 by Rodger BuddleForest Fungi 2 by Rodger Buddle

There is nothing more expensive by Yusuke TakemuraThere is nothing more expensive by Yusuke Takemura

Last Supper by Evelyn DunstanLast Supper by Evelyn Dunstan

The Magpie's Hoard by Rob WynneThe Magpie's Hoard by Rob Wynne

Mount Selwin by Holly GraceMount Selwin by Holly Grace

Te Kahu by Te Rongo KirkwoodTe Kahu by Te Rongo Kirkwood

Three Painted Vessels (foreground) by Jeffrey HamiltonThree Painted Vessels (foreground) by Jeffrey Hamilton

for health and assurance by Nick Wirdnamfor health and assurance by Nick Wirdnam

Philumeny by Lee HowesPhilumeny by Lee Howes

Contemporary sculpture of the highest order: Greer Taylor has trumped it with her latest show "out of rain" at the Brenda May Galleries in Dank Street Waterloo.

seepseep

concavityconcavity

cloud 8 +1cloud 8 +1

pool and seeppool and seep

poolpool

falling throughfalling through

falling throughfalling through

Greer TaylorGreer Taylor

reboundrebound

the other sidethe other side

falling throughfalling through

out of rainout of rain

South Australian artist Tom Moore is showing an exhibition of his trademark quirky characters at the Hughes Gallery in Devonshire Street, Surry HIlls, NSW. Walking up the road from my studio in search of a cheap lunch I happened to wander into the gallery and was greeted by a lively display of glass sculpture, instantly recognisable as Tom Moore's.

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Robert Cooke, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Photography and Design, Art Gallery of Western Australia has written an eminently readable essay on the exhibition, titled Prehistoric Restraint, for the Gallery's room sheet.

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For me personally the most exciting aspect to the show was the inclusion of Tom's preparatory drawings. Being such a process-driven artist myself, these works on paper had enormous appeal both as artworks in their own right and as evidence of the thought processes involved in the production of the sculptures.

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A Tour of the Studio

06 Sep 2014

Last Saturday Diana Giese hosted a tour of stained glass in Sydney through Mosman Community College. The group looked at the beautiful windows of St John's Anglican Church in Paddington and St Benedict's Catholic Church at Broadway before heading to the Fish Markets for lunch. Then it was on to my place to view a stained glass practitioner in his studio and learn about the processes involved in making a window.

Mixed colour mouthblown sheetMixed colour mouthblown sheet

Discussing the design processDiscussing the design process

Mixed colour mouthblown sheetMixed colour mouthblown sheet

Karla Whitmore, who took the photo above, far right, was the stained glass historian accompanying the tour. She explained to the group some of the intricacies of the windows they were viewing. The other photos in this collection are by Daphne and Dom Gonzalves, the regular 'archivists' of the group. Diana leads 4x tours per year, each one focusing on a different aspect of Sydney.

A Glass Artist's bicycleA Glass Artist's bicycle

Teaching cutting of glassTeaching cutting of glass

Demonstrating glass paintingDemonstrating glass painting

A view of the studioA view of the studio

By all accounts the group of 30x people enjoyed themselves immensely. It was a bit of a squeeze but after tidying up the place all through the previous week I managed to accommodate everyone, explaining all the various processess involved, starting with the making of art glass. Although I was quite exhausted afterward, it was a privilege and a pleasure to show the group around.

Karla Whitmore is a very knowledgable stained glass historian with several articles published on Ray Brown's website Stained Glass Australia.

The lively Diana Giese is an accomplished publisher and historian, with a collection held in the National Library of Australia. The group were just as fascinated by the building itself, with some venturing up onto the roof to view the graffiti gallery there, although the weather wasn't so great.

Approach to my studio in Hibernian HouseApproach to my studio in Hibernian House

The Ranamok Glass Prize is an annual, acquisitive touring exhibition of contemporary studio glass from Australia and New Zealand. Constituted in 1994 this will be its final year: the collection of winning entries is to be donated to the National Gallery. In support of the 2014 Ranamok exhibition the Glass Artists Gallery of Glebe is showing a selection of work by those artists who have been selected as finalists in Ranamok over the past two decades.

View of HighlightsView of Highlights

front window displayfront window display

Wayne PearsonWayne Pearson

Exhibition viewExhibition view

Exhibition viewExhibition view

Sue HawkerSue Hawker

Exhibition viewExhibition view

Aliasdair GordonAliasdair Gordon

I've recently been creating a new body of work: painted and fired blown glass vessels. The first two sets of three vessels went over to Perth for the Ausglass exhibition Flair. With my third series of three I was selected as a finalist in the 2014 Ranamok. This is a prestigious exhibition and I was certainly pleased to have been selected. As a consequence I have a triptych of painted and fired stained glass panels on display as part of Highlights at the Glass Artists Gallery this month.

Jeff Hamilton, Andrew Baldwin, Tim ShawJeff Hamilton, Andrew Baldwin, Tim Shaw

Denise PepperDenise Pepper

Paddy RobinsonPaddy Robinson

Cabinet displayCabinet display

Gauge/Glass Artists GalleryGauge/Glass Artists Gallery

Just opened last weekend: an exhibition of 5x of my works alongside a collection of pastel drawings and prints by Bek Rice featuring the local Glebe and Leichhardt areas. The link is the vibrancy and colour of the works, echoing the vibe of the area.

The Director of Glass Artists Gallery, Maureen Cahill recently moved the glass exhibition area up one level while maintaining the street level as an exhibition space available for hire. She will also curate occasional shows there herself (such as this one).

Two large free-standing worksTwo large free-standing works

Diamond on the Wall No2Diamond on the Wall No2

Derived PieceDerived Piece

Gallery viewGallery view

Sunday 6th July saw a good number of people arrive at the gallery to join in conversation with myself and Bek Rice. The Director Maureen Cahill firstly introduced us both and explained some historical associations and the rationale for the show. This was Bek's first time speaking to a group about her work but she handled it with aplomb, clearly demonstrating the passion that she has for her practice.

After some questions I took the floor with a brief background to my life as an artist, followed by some detailed analysis of the works on display and the making processes involved. There was some lively discusion, with some interesting questions and comments form the audience- many of whom were of course themselves arts practitioners.

Bek Rice discussing her workBek Rice discussing her work

Audience at the Artists TalksAudience at the Artists Talks

Vale Mark Galton

25 May 2014

I learned this week from my friend and colleague Maureen Cahill, Director of the Glass Artists Gallery in Glebe, of Mark Galton's tragic death on Wednesday 25th May at a coal mining site in Boggabri (near Narrabri) NSW.

He was crushed by the collapse of an overhead metal structure while working from a cherry picker 15 metres above ground, about 8.50am. He was kept alive by work mates until paramedics arrived, but went into cardiac arrest.

Mark Galton was a very active member of his local Surf Life Saving Club at Ulladulla, becoming president from 2004. Ulladulla Boardriders Club president Kurt Nyholm speaks glowingly of Mark in a news item in the local press

A highly skilled glassblower, Mark was instrumental in developing the career of his partner Tina Cooper many years ago.

Mark recently closed down his glass studio in Burrill Lake that he ran with his wife Dominica on the South Coast of NSW. Claudine Thornton, a local photographer has produced a photo essay on the studio/gallery

I remember Mark as real character, always in good humour, full of energy and enthusiasm and passionate about glass-making. He was one of those laconic Australians they call "the salt of the earth".

I've been teaching stained glass and leadlight at Sydney Community College's Rozelle Campus for a year now; some very happy students have just completed the first term of 2014. It was a large class of 16x students but each one of them very enthusiastic and keen to learn the ins and outs of the craft.

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The class (wk 7)The class (wk 7)

The class (wk 7)The class (wk 7)

Taking a break now for a short while; next Term starts at Rozelle campus 15th July, each Tuesday night from 6.30pm till 9pm. Cost is $349incl. GST For enrolments go to the SCC website

Over the weekend of 28th, 29th, 30th March I took part in the Designers On Show exhibition held each year in the Turramurra Masonic Centre on the Pacific Highway at Turramurra. The centre has two exhibition halls accessed via a common entry foyer. It was my task to design and hang the entry foyer exhibition and then play host over the weekend, meeting and greeting visitors as they arrived.

EntranceEntrance

StaircaseStaircase

Craft Arts MagazineCraft Arts Magazine

View from the elevatorView from the elevator

The entry foyer was my exhibition space; I didn't have a display stall in the show as did the other exhibitors. In this way I was able to integrate my work into the building and take advantage of discreet spaces not otherwise utilized. It made for a strong impression when entering and also when leaving the Show.

Last (and hopefully lasting) impression exiting the ShowLast (and hopefully lasting) impression exiting the Show

Other exhibitors in the Show included Mark Jones [leather], Carol Page [bespoke shoes], Alice Leda Pettirosso [merino woollen garments], Denise Smith [lampworked glass beads], Jane Stapleford [watercolours], Bob Taber [jewellery], John Hablitschek [jewellery], Jane Slicer-Smith [hand-knits], Lyn Hart [ceramics] and many other former exhibitors from the former Australian Craft Show run by Bibby and Shields from 1984 thru to 1999 at variou svenues but primarily the old Sydney Showgrounds at Moore Park. We were also supported by Craft Arts International who had a stand displaying their magazines in the foyer.

Frozen KimonosFrozen Kimonos

Jones leather and Ken and Susan FlowerJones leather and Ken and Susan Flower

Lyn Hart ceramicsLyn Hart ceramics

Alice Leda PetrossinoAlice Leda Petrossino

Marion Matthews quiltsMarion Matthews quilts

Signature HandknitsSignature Handknits

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The Latest Happenings in my World

This blog is where you will find my latest news. It can range from posting images of progress of the current commission to art crit to political or social commentry, both national and international. Anything, basically, that's commanding my attention and I feel is worth sharing with you, my reader. Enjoy. My previous blog can be found at jeffreyhamilton.blogspot.com