12 Mar 2014
As Treasurer of Ausglass, the Australian Association of Glass Artists, I was obliged to travel to Adelaide several weeks back to attend the AGM and annual Face-to-Face Board Meeting. Ausglass is a Not-for-Profit organisation and as such must be publicly accountable and follow all the rules set out by ASIC. Finance is not really my forte but I've managed to have been of some use over the past 18 months, helping to keep the organisation on track (with much assistance from Fiona Holmes our bookkeeper).
So Feb 15/16 was a heavy weekend of meetings but we did have the Saturday evening off and it was FRINGE! I made my way down to thee Garden of Unearthly Delights just to see what sort of mischief I might get up to.. and managed to score tickets to 2x shows, Cabaret Cloathanger and The Hot Dub Time Machine, both of which I thoroughly enjoyed
05 Feb 2014
Measuring roughly 50cm square overall this Coat of Arms or Family Crest was achieved by two firings of Reusch Tracing Black Best with a stippled wash of Hancock's Grey Green on the back followed by seven different enamels laid down in four firings. The piece was then leaded together andd will have copper wire hooks soldered onto the sides for hanging.
22 Jan 2014
Earlier last year I had the opportunity to visit the Scallabrini Village @ Austral in Sydney's south west. The village is a retirement centre catering in particular to the Italian community. The chapel appears to have been built in the 1960s or '70s and has some very fine stained glass by Anzolo Fuga, who it seems was a glass designer for Arte Vetraria Muranese, Italy. The windows are very distinctive and unlike anything I have seen in Australia- perhaps the closest would be the work of Jean Orval in Victoria. Like much of Orval's work, Anzolo's windows still have a freshness today
14 Dec 2013
Greville Wilton, of Golden Wattle Studios in Glen Innes, NSW, would be the first to declare he is no artist. He is an excellent leadlighter. But making that statement denies the brilliant design skills on display in this exhibition. Together with Tanja Robertson-Cunninghame they make an awesome team. This whole exhibition at Maitland Regional Art Gallery is predicated on close collaboration. Tanja has produced an enormous body of exciting new canvases referencing the Australian modernist abstract canon and it is these which form the basis of the 16x stained glass panels on display.
Greville's design and engineering skills also came to the fore in setting up the show and making full use of the space available in the atrium of the gallery's main entrance. A welded steel frame is attached to the ceiling and from this the stained glass works are suspended on steel cable. Each panel is cleverly framed in a welded steel frame comprising a fin of metal into which the lead came is inserted: this provides an essential foil of darkness to separate the glass from its background and allow it to live in the ambient space.
I particularly enjoyed the placement of stained glass panels in the stairwell and installed over the glass of the back exit. And the surprise pieces in the balconies also delight the senses. All in all a great exhibition, one which should raise the profile of Golden Wattle immensely but also go a long way to furthering the somewhat marginalised artform of contemporary stained glass.
06 Dec 2013
The Centaur was an Australian hospital ship sunk by the Japanese off the coast of Queensland during WW2. A tragic event. But the window commemorating the lives lost is beautiful. It is located in the front entry foyer of Concord Hospital in Sydney NSW.
I'v been writing up an Assessment Report for the stained glass of St Mary's Catholic Church Concord and needed to visit the Church once more. It happened that my good friend Bronwyn Hughes, a stained glass historian from Melbourne, was visiting Sydney and expressed a desire to see the St Mary's windows on her way to visit the Centaur window. And so it came to pass... I became tour guide for Bronwyn and was able to shoe her not only the Centaur window but also the Armed Forces Memorial windows in the Concord Hospital Chapel: a bonus, since Bronwyn's current research subject is War Memorial stained glass windows.
This window is not only beautifully designed but exceptionally well painted. Its certainly a very traditional window for Martin van der Toorn, who sometimes works quite loosely, but its a fine piece of work and a fitting tribute to a horrific event.
Later I showed Bronwyn around Hibernian House, as she is also quite interested in public art and 'street art', of which there are some excellent examples on the roof of my building. All in all a great day
16 Nov 2013
The Director of Head On photo festival, Moshe Rosenzveig, delivered an excellent opening address, describing Garth as an engineer, which I found very interesting. Moshe went on to discuss the dichotomy between 'real' and created or manipulated imagery and, ultimately, the validity of both. Garth's manipulated images depend completely on the real: to create 100 Breaths (illustrated above and below) he wrote a program, took 100 photographs of smoke from burning insence and applied that program to all 100 images. The variation in the results is stunning; the beauty of the geometry breathtaking.
The exhibition was curated by independent curator Angeline Collings
24 Oct 2013
I've been extremely busy over the last few months, undertaking a specialist cleaning project and assessment of stained glass at St Mary's Catholic Church, Concord, pushing on with a new window for St Edmund's Anglican Church in Maroubra and developing a design for St Andrew's Presbyterian Church in Bowral (see progress shots in my ABOUT page) However during this time I have also managed to complete two new abstract stained glass panels.
Splash Dance is a richly textured work, as much for the play of texture as the necessity for privacy: it is window to a toilet which backs onto a courtyard used for entertaining. And naturally some ventilation is also required. The stained glass replaces a pair of double-hung timber sashes which had a fixed vent installed at the top. I proposed to the client dispensing with the vent and instead incorporating expanded metal mesh within the artwork. This idea appealed immensely and allowed me to 'give vent' to my desire for found object: there are antique pieces of Meccano, metal mesh and a stainless steel drainage sieve leaded into the work which all provided a degree of ventilation as well as playfulness. The residence is located in Darlinghurst, NSW.
Also relying heavily on found object, Lyrical Work is to be installed early November in a front door of a residential extension at Weston Creek, ACT. No ventilation holes in this piece, as outside temperatures around Canberra can fall below freezing at times, but a similar need for privacy and so much use of heavily textured and obscured or 'mechanical' glasses.
The lyricism of this piece is derived from classical string and piano works- Vaughan Williams, Debussy, Liszt and (a particular request of the client's) Scottish Airs. So as the design developed I found a need to incorporate floral and naturalistic elements: the painted acanthus leaf from a Church window, a treasured remnant of one of my painted rondels, some pressed "flannel flower" glass. Also there is quite a lot of iridised glass employed to enliven the work at night. A similar approach was used in Splash Dance, with the iridising both inside and outside.
Nov 10th: I've just returned to Sydney after installing the door panel yesterday. While the install didn't quite go according to plan, I have to say I'm very impressed with the quality of the timber joinery by Gino Monteleone of Select Custom Joinery in Hall, ACT. In fact the whole extension is quite impressive in its detail and finish. Its being built by Canberra firm ABC Constructions
Sat 10th saw the opening of Isidro Blasco's new Sydney exhibition, his 2nd at the Dominik Mersch Gallery in the Dank Street gallery complex at Waterloo. And what a treat! I fell in love with Isidro's work 2yrs back when I happened upon the show (I'm a regular visitor to the Dank Street Galleries).
I wrote at the time that I was very impressed with the freshness of the work, the raw expressive quality of the construction showing through and felt that this artist was taking photography to a totally new place, invigorating the two disciplines of sculpture and photography. This new body of work builds solidly on that foundation. The colours are more high key than I recall and there is also a great sense of fun in these new works.
Brenda May Gallery
A the end of the corridor in the Dank Street complex is Brenda May Gallery. I'm SO impressed by the consistently high standard of diverse and intelligent art produced by Brenda's stable of artists. The moths of Marguerite Derricourt, illustrated below, are poetic in their beauty. There is seemingly suspended action here, a gathering or coalescing of forces to create something hushed and wonderful. I don't know whether I like the cut-out sheet metal or paper constructions more...
One of the artists I discovered at Brenda May was Tanmaya Bingham. I stood there absolutely gobsmacked by the fine detail, the lyrical storytelling of these diminutive but totally captivating images. And then Brenda told me they were done in coloured pencil!
You can be guaranteed of finding something stimulating and generally quite left field so make sure you visit Dank Street Galleries and wander up that corridor.
06 Jun 2013
Well not actually a new class but a new one for me: I've taken over from the previous tutor who had to disappear overseas at short notice. And it's going really well! We've just finished the 4th week and I'm thrilled with the student's progress. All 5x are beginners (though one chap has some experience with foil work) and they are taking to the craft with enthusiasm and dedication. I get home very tired of a Monday night but I do enjoy the teaching process.
Each of the students have been able to spend time on their projects at home, which really helps with their progress. And being a small class I'm able to spend quite a bit of time with each person. As well as their individual projects I bring in items for discussion each week such as the Maroubra Anglican Church commission currently underway and magazines like Stained Glass Quarterly for them to borrow.
We have one more week to go, then a two week break. Another 8x week Session begins 22nd July. Several of the current students will be re-enrolling to tackle more advanced work but there is plenty of space if you are considering learning the craft. Enrolments can be done online and all relevant information is available on the Sydney Community College website
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