Review / ‘Miniature Glass 17’ at Bilk Gallery

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FOR several years, Bilk Gallery has invited artists to exhibit miniature versions of their work. This year artists were also invited to include larger scale works as a reference for audiences. Some artists achieve the concept more successfully than others. 

Miniature group, Giles Bettison and Clare Belfrage
Richard Whiteley who is known for large, architectural works with precise angles and crisp edges, is showing several smaller cast works which are more organic in form. They could be vessels, as they have apertures. The surface is freer, the form more organic and they are bi-coloured. It will be interesting to see where he takes these works which contrast so strongly with his more familiar works.

Tom Rowney is a regular exhibition in Bilk’s Miniature shows. He miniaturises his materials as well as creating tiny works. In this exhibition, he is showing tiny closed top forms using traditional Venetian blown glass techniques. A larger work shows how he uses glass graphically to decorate the surface. His work is outstanding, whether in miniature or not.

Giles Bettison, Textile 15 #4, cold assembled, hot worked murrine, blown and cold finished. 27cm x 20cm.
A relentlessly inventive glass blower, Tom Moore plays with his forms and enjoys the art of glass blowing. He adapts traditional techniques and creates hybrid objects – like creatures – that include aspects of animals, plants and industry. A duck in “Duck in Boots” sits on top of another duck, proudly wearing boots on its head. His work in a constant source of fun and hilarity, but it packs a punch that reminds us that in the future these creatures may become commonplace in the environment.

Another artist who miniaturises her materials as well as her work, Mel Douglas is showing several tiny vessels that rest on their rounded bases. The forms lend themselves to the miniature, as well as the monumental.

Miniature works of art are a great way for collectors to acquire art, and for artists to experiment and explore techniques: often the making process is more complex than larger works.

“Miniature Glass 17” is another successful show from Bilk.

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