Review / Big sculpture artists think small

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Lumina series brooch, 2018, by Donald Friedlich, borosilicate glass, dichroic glaass, 14K gold

MOST of the artists exhibiting in “Glass Miniatures” also work on a large scale and it is a mark of their skills and knowledge that they can create work in miniature that mimics larger pieces.

To do so successfully, is much more than making smaller versions. Both form and surface decoration need to come together to make a successful work.

“Little Round” by Jess Loughlin

Jess Loughlin, whose work is not often seen in Canberra and who is more known for her large wall pieces, is exhibiting for the first time at Bilk. Two works, “Little Round” and “Little Square” reflect her larger works. Perhaps because they sit on a flat surface, rather than hanging, they have depth to them. Loughin’s work explores the horizon and illusory distance. For me, these small works capture the essence of what is possible with glass as a medium. Her work is sophisticated and resolved, whether on a large or small scale.

Ben Edols and Kathy Elliott are experienced glass artists who continue to explore the qualities and techniques of glass. Edols blows the forms and Elliott carves them. They live in Manly and doubtless the regular sound and movement of the ocean is a constant part of their lives. Elliott has carved deep waves into the surfaces of tall, translucent vessels. The surfaces are dynamic and reminiscent of the waves in Japanese wood prints. The engraving on “Evening Surge” a small flask dusted with gold lustre, enhances the surface adding further interest.

Donald Friedlich, another artist new to Bilk, is showing clear, pastel glass brooches from the “Lumina Series” on borosilicate glass and dichroic glass. Blues, greens, and yellows are combined in pencil shaped forms. The glass is one colour when seen by reflected light and another when light shines through it. These brooches are elegant and colourful.

The spinning tops and round forms created by Tom Rowney capture the eye whether they are large or in miniature. He combines several techniques to create complex works that appear deceptively simple.

Other artists exhibiting in this Bilk biennial exhibition are Mel Douglas, Ian Mowbray and Moje.E.

Miniatures are an appealing way of looking at glass and this exhibition is an excellent way to start.

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