On Tuesday, glass artist Harriet Schwarzrock took up residence in a dedicated studio in the Engine Room at the Canberra Glassworks.
She showed off a couple of word forms made of glass including one called illusion - but she was celebrating a happy reality.
The Sydney College of the Arts graduate, who has lived in Queanbeyan with her family since 2003, was chosen from Australian and international applicants as the recipient of the inaugural Art Group Creative Fellowship.
Canberra developer Art Group donated a total of $50,0000 over two years which will be used to fund a number of six or 12-month fellowships depending on what successful recipients want to achieve.
The inaugural fellowship, which was launched by MLA Tara Cheyne and Canberra Glassworks chairman Michael Snare, will give Schwarzrock six months of residency at the glassworks, a stipend and access to mentoring and materials as she develops her craft. Schwarzrock's piece breathe won the sculpture prize in the Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize in 2014.
She said, "In my application I said I would be looking at the area of neon, a new area at the glassworks ... I want to work with blown-glass forms, illuminating them with neon."
Schwarzrock said she was interested in the human body and had made many pieces using the heart as a form.
"I'll make an installation of a heart form at the Enlighten festival next year if it all works out."
She said she would be "very much looking at the 'glassiness' of glass and ways of seeing" and was interested in ideas of interconnectivity - between people and between ideas such as people and the environment and biological systems".
"I'm looking forward to working with different glass artists and learning from them both formally and simply from being alongside them in the studio and seeing how they worked," she said.
Art Group project director Brett Smith said the organisation's investment in art began with a $400 million urban renewal project when it acquired land last year and got local artists involved in it.
The glassworks fellowship, he said, was a way for the company to support art in the wider community.
Snare said this fellowship was the single biggest donation from a business the glassworks had received in its 10 years of operation.
"It aligns with our strategic objectives of presenting glass art in the modern international space."
Canberra Glassworks' general manager Beverly Growden said Schwarzrock's tenure would cross over in December with that of the next fellowship recipient, Steven Ciezki from the US.
Glass artists interested in applying for future fellowships can read more at canberraglassworks.com.
Note: The original version of this article said the amount donated was $25,000 over two years. The error was in information supplied.
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