Kathryn Wightman

My practice is an interpretation of human experience expressed through distortion and manipulation of printed imagery and pattern. Recent explorations consider aspects of identity and motherhood, specifically an internal struggle to find a new “normal” in an idealized society. The work challenges us to consider the ideals that we place upon ourselves and the consequences of those ideals to our own existence in the world. Image and pattern play a pivotal role in my compositions. I draw from the floral and the decorative as a means of expressing my narratives. The nature of the printmaking and glassmaking processes I combine results in intensely controlled methods, yet the outcomes present an element of surprise. It is this balance of control and chance that pushes me forward in the exploration of idea, material, surface, and form.


Kathryn Wightman began working with glass as a student at the University of Sunderland (UK) in 2000, where she obtained a degree in Glass and Ceramics, followed by an MA in Glass in 2005. In 2006, she was awarded a Craft Council placement to establish her creative practice. This led to PhD research at the University of Sunderland in 2012, focusing on the integration of glassmaking and printmaking processes, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, UK. Wightman has been a visiting lecturer at the University of Sunderland and worked as a glassmaker at the National Glass Centre, Sunderland. In 2012, she relocated to New Zealand as Glass Lecturer at the Whanganui Glass School. Since relocating to New Zealand she has been awarded the Emerge 2014 Gold Award, the Ranamok Glass Prize 2014, the Young Glass Kvadrat Prize 2017, the Whanganui Arts Review Open Award 2018, and was a selected finalist in the FUSE Glass Prize 2016 and 2018. Her work has been selected for New Glass Review 33, 37, and 38. Wightman leads workshops around the world and lectures in multiple creative areas across the UCOL Whanganui School of Creative Industries.