Canberra Glassworks and Ranamok Glass Prize 2011 - 23rd Aug 2011

Canberra Glassworks and Ranamok Glass Prize 2011 As a first time Ranamok finalist I was very keen to attend the opening and check out Canberra Glassworks. The event was well attended by the kiwi finalists. Those who made the trip over were Lee Brogan, Sue Hawker and Kim Logue from Northland; Chris Cathie and Jenny Judge from Auckland and myself (Di Tocker) from Waikato.

The team at Glassworks did an awesome job of presenting the show. With 32 finalists and 35 works, there seem to be just the right amount of works to fill the spaces. In the large entry area 6 works were placed on low-ish plinths with clear perspex boxes protecting the works. Chris Cathie's O-void was in this space. This is the first of these works I have seen finished and I have to say it was impressive; although the work oozes fluidity, the form is so strong it absolutely commands the space. I couldn't get a photo of Chris's work due to the perspex box cover. Through to the next area smaller works were displayed on plinths and also some wall hung works. Here was Jenny Judge's Discarded, Sue Hawkers Joseph's Ewer and Kim Logue's Exposed. My work Stick to your knitting was hung in this area also. It was a relief to see it hung correctly after needing to supply 3 pages of installation instructions! It certainly would have been the hardest work for the team to install - thanks Glassworks! In the last space, a round room of red bricks there were 7 plinths containing medium to large works, including Lee Brogan's Ficticious Shores and Keryn Whitney's Destruct; Construct. All works were in clears, reds and blacks; this space was magic; moody and still, just right to contemplate the works.

It was here that Masahiro Asaka's winning work Surge 12 was. Thoroughly deserved of the title Masahiro's work is beautiful and harsh all at the same time. In my opinion this work was a very worthy winner. It was clear that everyone in the Glassworks 'family' was absolutely rapt for him. Masahiro is working out of Glassworks as an artist in residency this year, working towards his first solo show in January.

The following day after the opening us Kiwis that were still in town were given a 'behind the scenes' tour of Glassworks from Mel George. It was awesome to see the just what they have achieved in 4 years, to see the well thought out working spaces and imagine the possiblities of working in such a facility. An added bonus was that Masahiro Asaka was back in the studio (“after little sleep” he said!) and removing two large works from the kiln. I was able to hang around and watch this process, during which he has to be so careful because his works really are so sharp!

It was an awesome trip; great to meet new 'glassies' from Australia, to get to know my kiwi colleagues a little better, to spend time exploring art, glass and Canberra with Mike (my husband) and to thoroughly check out Canberra Glassworks.

Photo: Masahiro Asaka's winning glass work Surge 12

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