Craft / “Seasonal landscapes” by Nicole Ayliffe, at Beaver Galleries until March 22. Reviewed by MEREDITH HINCHLIFFE.
NICOLE Ayliffe captures the optical qualities of glass. As I look at the work, an internal bubble distorts the images on the surface of the glass.
Glass is the only material which can create so much drama and interest in the one piece.
This is a very controlled exhibition, with two groups of work. The pieces in one group have a raised surface of leaves in a variety of colours – the bright green of new growth, the gold of autumn leaves and the dark colours of decomposing leaves. These are titled “Optical Landscapes”. The tops of several pieces in this group have a sharply bevelled edge, which enhances the effects of the internal bubble. I find these more resolved than those in which the top is perfectly horizontal.
Several squat forms sit on an angle, and these offer the opportunity of seeing the decoration on an angle.
A small group of optical landscapes have less formal engraving such as “Optical Landscape – Line 2”, which has seemingly random lines circling and crossing the form. These lines give dynamism to the surface. “Optical Pod – Line 1” is a tall, elegant form with a delicate vertical pattern emphasising its sophistication.
Those in the second group – titled landscapes – are in clear glass which surrounds overlapping rounded shapes of coloured glass, creating a third colour. Artists using this particular technique have considerable control over the intensity of colour encased in the clear glass. The colour is often intensified at the base of the work, as it is in “Summer Landscape 2”.
Ayliffe has won several awards and is represented in several national and international collections. This exhibition is a continuation of her professional approach to exhibiting glass.