Shared fascination with light and surface

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A work by Jo Victoria in her ‘Ocean’ series.

craft / “Transference”, Craft ACT Craft + Design, or until June 27. Reviewed by MEREDITH HINCHLIFFE.

CRAFT ACT Craft + Design Centre has put this exhibition online during the constrictions of COVID-19, although it is installed in the gallery. 

We are told in the essay that forms part of the catalogue that “Transference” is a collaborative exhibition by artists Robyn Campbell (ACT) and Jo Victoria (NSW).

The artists exchanged their knowledge of glass and porcelain through learning, teaching, experimentation and play and the exhibition expresses the artists’ shared fascination with light and surface and “the potential of glass and porcelain to convey fragility and transience”.

The overwhelming feeling I have from having viewed this exhibition is coolness, calmness and tranquillity. The works tread lightly – something I know is close to Robyn Campbell’s heart. Many are light in colour. Both artists take inspiration from the natural world.

Enhancing the exhibition there are three videos – one of a walk through the gallery, moving around the plinths on which the works are placed, and a very brief one of each of the artists talking about her work.

There is a similarity to the work by each artist, which is unsurprising given the collaboration. For example, Victoria is showing “Ocean #2” in glass and porcelain. A slip cast and carved porcelain “bowl” rests on a sea-green slip cast and hand-built slumped glass “plate” but by using these descriptive terms, I do not mean to imply any sense of function. Her work is ethereal and pale. Much of it is carved, allowing light to flow through it. The walls are egg-shell thin, which also allows light to pass through it. Victoria casts leaves and sticks, highlighting the fragility of each piece.

Robyn Campbell, ‘Blaze’

Campbell is showing several egg-like forms in glass and porcelain resting on “plates”. Her work is refined and resolved. “Blaze”, a red glass form sits in a carved glass ‘plate’. A section of the ‘plate’ has been cut out, giving visual tension to the work.

Craft ACT is open by appointment at 6262 9333, but it may open in the near future, giving interested viewers the opportunity to see the works. The images, even though they are excellent, do not convey the materiality of the work.

I look forward to visiting the exhibition and seeing the works, seeing the different surfaces and their spatial relation to each other.

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Helen Musa
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