Raw elements of earth, light, line, and power of form are reflected in the work of Australian artist Kirstie Rea. Internationally recognized as a glassworking pioneer, Rea presents her signature kilnformed glass sculptures in New Light, a calm, meditative view of the natural landscape and our place in it. The Bullseye Connection Gallery, June 2 – July 3, 2004.
Portland, OR –The Bullseye Connection Gallery presents Kirstie Rea’s New Light, an exhibition of kilnformed glass on view June 2 -– July 3, 2004. In conjunction with the exhibit, Rea will give an artist lecture and slide show entitled “Kirstie Rea: Artistic Path in the Glass Landscape” at the new Bullseye Connection Resource Center on May 29, 2004. Bullseye will also host an artist reception with slide show and lecture entitled “Kirstie Rea: The Scent of Light and the Color of Air” at the Bullseye Connection Gallery on June 5, 2004.
Rea is concerned with landscape and place, identifying with the clean, spare qualities of open country. “Out there things become clearer, and more free; there is a sense of simplicity,“ she says. “All is pared back, reduced to the basics, the light smells and the air is full of color. I am in awe of the power and resilience of these landscapes and environments and their ability to heal what happens to them.”
Her strong forms echo this sensibility, their hand-worked surfaces a muted contrast to their clean lines, her colors echoing the natural landscape and capturing the light of an early dusk or sunny mid-morning. “Rarely in my experience does contemporary glass engage the viewer so immediately and directly in the formal argument of the work, and in so calm and tempered a manner, stripped of all distractions and devoid of tricks,” says Andrew Brewerton of Rea’s work in Craft Arts International.
A graduate of Klaus Moje’s first Canberra School of Art Glass Workshop, Kirstie Rea early on created kilnformed wall panels that reflected her keen sensitivity to the Australian landscape, yet the relative opacity necessitated by their wall mounting often precluded the qualities of light and shadow that might have been allowed in the free-standing format of the glass vessel. Searching for a new form and process ultimately led to a pioneering method: “the Australian Roll-up.”
In 1995 and 1997 under Rea’s direction, many of Australia’s best blowers and kilnformers assembled at Australia’s Canberra School of Art with material sponsorship by Bullseye to push the frontiers of the glassworking method. The resulting Latitudes projects subsequently traveled from Australia through Asia, America and Europe as exhibitions and workshops. Out of Latitudes grew the innovative working method now referred to as “the Australian Roll-Up”: a glassworking technique that allows the artist to blow 3-dimensional forms without the necessity of a furnace and with the extended time needed for reflective concentration during the making.
Rea has had numerous international solo and group exhibitions. Her work is included in many public and private collections, including the following:
American Museum of Glass, USA
Alexander Tutsek-Stiftung Foundation, Germany
Art Gallery of Western Australia
Canberra Museum and Gallery, Australia
Ebeltoft Museum, Denmark
Latrobe Valley Art Centre Collection, Australia
National Art Glass Collection, Wagga Wagga Regional Art Gallery, Australia
Victoria & Albert Museum Glass Collection, UK
Victorian State Craft Collection, Australia
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Download: Kirstie Rea: New Light 2004