Distorted Trajectories, Marcel Hoogstad Hay, Madeline Prowd and Emerging Contemporaries. Craft ACT Craft + Design centre. Until March 21, 2020.
Marcel Hoogstad Hay and Madeline Prowd are both early-career artists who work in glass. They are graduates from the ANU School of Art and have both completed the Associate Training Program at JamFactory, Adelaide.
The Distorted Trajectories exhibition is at first sight rather overwhelming. There are so many works and, like leading actors on a stage, they all seem to be jostling for attention.
The Distorted Trajectories exhibition is at first sight rather overwhelming
Each artist's work is the result of some complexity of thought and mastery of traditional techniques of glassmaking.
Hoogstad Hay's work arises from his interest in astrophysics and quantum mechanics and Prowd has developed considerable skills in her study of Venetian glassmaking
The patterns and linear markings on the shiny black opaque surfaces of Hay's round plates and rectangular wall plaques are inspired by the scientific imagery of astronomical phenomena and by the linear charts used to map gravitational and magnetic force fields. The irregular bands of brightly coloured marks that decorate the wall plaques follow these complex diagrams. The flowing marks on the plates reflect the artist's success in creating patterns that trace the spatial dynamics of the universe yet also succeed in creating decorative surfaces.
Prowd creates complex variations in pattern and optical effects in her series of cylindrical and ovoid glass forms. Her work is an exploration of the Venetian technique of using glass canes to create twisted coloured patterns in the blown glass forms. These works seem alive as their surfaces erupt visually with exuberant glass bubbles, twists and twirls.
Twenty-one artists are included in the impressive Emerging Contemporaries exhibition.
Chi Yusuf's desk and chair is an accomplished display of woodworking skill. The unusual angles in the desk are echoed by the curved back of the chair that swings elegantly into its supporting legs.
Kazu Quill's Kamidana cabinet in pale Queensland silver ash is based on the concept of a traditional Japanese household shrine. It is an elegant and tall open cabinet designed to hold an object and a display taken from nature.
Rosie Armstrong's weaving Disintegrating Pattern has a chilling impact. The long narrow strip of fabric, woven on a dobby loom, begins with a traditional and intricate geometric pattern that dissolves into a much coarser pattern that eventually disappears, leaving only the strands of yarn. I was reminded of The Odyssey where Penelope at night undoes the weaving she did during the day to discourage her suitors. However, I think the artist is concerned with a more contemporary reference to the intricate patterns of the natural world that are being threatened or destroyed.
In her large installation of painted blue and white ceramics, Henrietta Farrelly-Barnett uses images and text to chart the wider implications of the deaths of rivers and their wildlife.
Angela Coleman's two black embroidered dresses make attractive and intricate silhouettes on the wall. Kristina Neumann's jewellery is a tiny wry glimpse of Canberra life. The jewellery based on Canberra's red brick walls is witty and fun.
There is also a collection of jewellery by Indigenous artists from the Honouring Cultures Indigenous Jewellery Project. It was established by Jennifer Kemarre Martiniello and is tutored by Wayne Simon at the ANU School of Art.
It holds great promise.