I installed ARC in the foyer of the Canberra Glassworks for Defining Moments, a joint exhibition with Harriet Schwarzrock.
I am fascinated by the exquisite architecture of organic cellular structures. These forms and pairs of delicate formations reflects upon the complexity of growth.
Another aspect of this work is the material language of steel and glass: that of our built world, with the engineered frame constraining these almost fluid glass elements.
The amorphous curves expose the structure of organic growth. On closer inspection each element is similar but not identical to the next, the whole becomes reliant on the sympathetic pliability between the intersecting forms.
This work affords an exploration on continuity. With the contrasting convex and concave surfaces providing different aspects to investigate the structure of these delicate elements.
My entry for the inaugural Hindmarsh Prize was shortlisted and will be exhibited in the Fitters Workshop in June.
Glacial Blue Paired Section
blown glass, cut, fused, carved, stainless steel frame
23 x 59 x 10 cm
From the Canberra Glassworks website:
Matthew Curtis made an outstanding contribution as the Canberra Glassworks inaugural Creative Fellow. His work is highly regarded and exhibited locally and overseas. This much sought-after opportunity, which drew interest from glass artists across Australia and around the world, provided Matthew with a dedicated studio space at the world-class Canberra Glassworks facility for 12 months from 1 February 2015. He also received a cash stipend of AUD$20,000 which was supported by Canberra Glassworks and donations to a special public fund, the Canberra Glassworks Foundation.
Matthew was provided with free access to the facilities and equipment with very few limitations for the term of the Creative Fellowship. “It was a privilege to be able to make a dynamic contribution to the ongoing growth of the Glassworks, whilst also facilitating developments within my own practice,” said Matthew.
Below, some work from 2015, with much of the work made during the Creative Fellowship at the Canberra Glassworks.
I begin sketching with chalk on the ground; this is a part I really enjoy. Making these preliminary impermanent sketches allows a certain freedom. Working through ideas for forms and exploring geometric elements. Puzzling together in two-dimensions, whilst tussling over interpreting these as three-dimensional forms. This then leads on to technical drawings and maquettes. Through all of the steps the ideas are sharpened and refined.
The work I make is often constructed from individual elements, crafted from molten glass. Here the geometric components are fused into a partial hemisphere. The cell-like elements form an organic yet architecturally inspired structure. With multiple imperfect lenses distorting and magnifying our experience.
This work continues the development of sculptural objects, using multiple glass elements to build larger tensile forms. The process of making the glass elements is pared back. The individual yet incrementally similar elements are amassed. Then fused into these simplified geometric forms, or set into these architecturally inspired stainless armatures.
The objects describe intersecting and vanishing lines. Whilst the sheltered spaces beckon, defined by the glass facets and molten edges in these arching and reaching forms. This work draws upon an ongoing fascination with the structure and architecture of biological growth. Where the scaffolding of similar cellular forms describe fascinating and complex structures.
This body of work, addresses a broad confluence of techniques. The inspiration behind these works merges my interests in minimalist modern architecture, whilst juxtaposing this with a fascination for the (at times microscopic) architecture of growth in plants. With this work I am very interested in achieving a hybrid blown and cast feel to these glass forms.
I have been developing various mould techniques in order to blow these individual components. I am by and large melting colours in my pot furnace in order to achieve tints of transparent colour. The components are blown into a series of steel moulds and have a trapped pocket or envelope of air within. When assembled the regularity and/ irregularity of these components create an internal structure within the larger form. The forms are assembled with multiple components, the pieces are then carved and lathe worked as a whole.
The finish of the sculptures captures a veiled aesthetic, where the transparencies of the colours fade and gather intensity depending on the thickness of the glass.
This series is a smaller scale (approximately 43 cm high each) - my intention is to continue working with the idea of cellular growth in plant forms. The pieces are worked hot with 'submerso' like gathers of glass.