Thursday 6th June – Wednesday 24th July 2013 – Garter Lane Waterford

Three x 3: Contemporary Studio Glass

The essence of the global Studio Glass movement that began in the early 60s was to take the material out of its usual industrial setting and put it into the hands of artists. Glass production had long been governed by utilitarian needs and the demands of the marketplace, which were met by industrial designers and modern methods of mass production. When artists were involved with the glass factories’ typically in the design of limited edition pieces he traditional division of labour between designer and maker was respected, and the resultant work reflected no direct, hands-on experience by the artist. Studio Glass was an experiment that merged the sensibility of artists with the skills of a craftsman, that scaled industrial technologies down to a manageable size for private studios, and that made an ancient medium into a vehicle of contemporary expression.

Several years ago Andrea Spencer, Sean Campbell and Scott Benefield banded together with the aim of exposing a wider audience in Ireland to contemporary Studio Glass. They were three artists working with three different techniques and addressing completely different subject matter, but found a common ground in the relative scarcity of artistic glass on view. Their strategy was to present a range of wide work to the widest possible audience, and their tactic was to stage a series of exhibitions around the country.

Each of the artists employs a different method of working with glass, and each pursues a substantially different artistic agenda:Andrea Spencer’s finely detailed hollow sculptures exploit the material properties of transparency and fragility characteristic to flameworking, whilst also addressing form, content and qualities found in the nature. Sean Campbell’ s work references wall mounted artwork, such as painting and printmaking, by fusing together multiple layers of coloured sheet glass into thick panels. Visual themes are explored through colour, shape and composition but with added dimensions of transparency and depth. Scott Benefield’s intricately patterned blown vessels are closely tied to the forms of functional glass objects, and engage the history of the medium through their innovative application of traditional Italian glassblowing techniques.

All enquiries to Garter Lane Box Office 051 855038

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