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FORGET the glittering crystals hanging from the ceiling, “The Chandelier Show” at the Canberra Glassworks pushes boundaries of what a chandelier is.In a show billed by The Glassworks as “swanky, slinky, slick and sophisticated”, artists Christine Atkins, Scott Chaseling, Ngaio Fitzpatrick, Jacqueline Knight, Kate Nixon, Tom Rowney and Wendy Dawes, John and Ruth White have created new glassworks, sometimes from old materials reworked and occasionally with a look to light fittings of the past.
Curated by Jane Cush, the show comprises breathtakingly imaginative hanging installations involving blown glass, kiln formed glass, metals and in a relatively new development for the chandelier, LED lighting and neon.
Kate Nixon’s “Afterwards”, 2015, blown glass, brass and incandescent lights, gives a nod to modernist design – with recognisable pieces from home and the workplace.Ngaio Fitzpatrick’s “Nebulae”, 2017, made from recycled kiln-formed glass, steel and LED lighting, has been influenced by observations of the moon and constellations while working with an astro-photographer earlier this year, but has also been inspired by the beauty of vintage glassware.
Christine Atkins’ “Illumine”, 2017, blown and hot sculpted glass, steel and LED lighting, shines light on the interactions between light, glass and, by implication, water.Jacqueline Knight’s “Bird Cages”, 2017, made of neon and found objects and hanging high over the exhibition, shows how light can be seen to represent life, animating inanimate objects – like bird cages.
Scott Chaseling’s “Afloat”, 2017, uses blown glass and LED lighting to represent nautical buoys reflecting on the water’s surface. Chaseling says the yellow chains tether the buoys to the ceiling.
Tom Rowney and Wendy Dawes’ work “Bush light”, 2017, made of blown glass, copper, wood and LED lighting has been inspired by Australian impressionists as they use the “material qualities” of blown glass to replicate Australian light in the heat of the afternoon.John and Ruth White’s “Shady Lady”, 2017 is the first studio work by the “whiteglass duo” and features fine line engraving and pate de verre work by Ruth and industrial design elements and colourful patterning by John.
If you suffer from vertigo you might want to steel yourself for this exhibition with a quick visit to the cafe, but it makes a fascinating companion piece to the Hindmarsh Prize showing in the nearby Fitters Workshop. And you could always buy one for yourself.
“The Chandelier Show,” Canberra Glassworks, Wentworth Avenue, Kingston, 10am–4pm Wednesday to Sunday until August 7. Entry by donation.