The legacy of a Canberra artist who led the world in developing a new technique to shape glass has been remembered once again as his contributions to the ACT and the world received new accolades.
Klaus Moje, who began the Australian chapter of his astonishing career in Canberra in 1982 when he founded the Glass Workshop at the ANU School of Art and Design, was one of the 2020 ACT Honour Walk recipients recently named.
Mr Moje, born in Germany before moving to Australia, died at the age of 79 in 2016.
The artist is known for his pioneer in kiln-formed glass in which glass is heated in a kiln to become soft and sticky, allowing artists to shape it.
Hundreds of others followed in his footsteps and adopted the technique.
His artworks are held in more than 60 collections around the world and he has made a significant contribution to Canberra Glassworks.
Scholar and writer Nola Anderson, who began collaborating with Mr Moje in 2013 on a book about his life and achievements, is someone who has had a close affinity with the artist after they met in 1982 at ANU.
"I was teaching history at the time and Klaus was very keen on promoting writing about glass, which I was doing at the time, so it was really through the opportunity he offered through glass workshops that I was able to extend my practice regarding critical writing about the artistic practice," Ms Anderson said.
"I started the book because he was one of the most important artists in contemporary glass works.
"He was also a very appropriate subject for this book as there had been very few in-depth and critical works about him and his works."
Ms Anderson said Mr Moje was generous in time and resources.
"We have 30 hours of interviews and Klaus had developed a very good archive, which he gave me complete access," she said.
"That was in itself the foundation for the research."
Ms Anderson said Mr Moje's legacy was well established and his works across the world was "a mark of his amazing contributions".
"One of the most distinctive things that Klaus did was to engage with the future of what Canberra and Australia might be," she said.
"He did that by ensuring his students had the best basis and foundation for ongoing work as artists themselves.
"He also did it by being involved in the establishing of Canberra Glassworks so students who graduated would have somewhere to work."
Asked about his key achievements, Ms Anderson said there were many and that Mr Moje's fondness for Canberra could be seen in his work.
"He never lost focus on the city and indeed Australia," she said.
"I was very happy to see that he was one of the honour walk recipients. It's a great program that recognises not only people's success but what they have done for their community."
ANU Glass Workshop lecturer Nadège Desgenétez, who met Mr Moje in 1992 at Pilchuck Glass School in the US, said the honour walk recognition was "very meaningful".
"Klaus was a pioneer educator, he established new standards for material-based research, innovation and engagement with industry," she said.
"He partnered with glass manufacturers in the USA to develop new products that changed this field completely and mentored some of the most successful Australian glass artists during his 10 years at ANU and beyond.
"The glass program he started celebrated traditional craft-based knowledge, experimentation and cutting edge contributions to contemporary discourses - a legacy ANU academics in Glass upheld."
Other 2020 ACT Honour Walk recipients are Ethel McGuire, Lyall Gillespie, Ross Gengos, Tracey Whetnall and the Homosexual Law Reform Society of the ACT.
- Ms Anderson's book Glass: The Life and Art of Klaus Moje will be published in August by NewSouth Publishing.
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