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“Permutations”:
blown glass by Australian glass artists

Alysia Duckler Gallery
Portland OR May 1-31, 2003

Clare Belfrage - Quite Shifting #13, #14
Clare Belfrage, Quite Shifting #13, #14 (2003), blown glass with cane drawing, acid etched
[Foster White Gallery/Rainier Square, Seattle, WA, Jun 5-Jul 31, 2003]

Adelaide, South Australia has become a national center for art created with hot glass, much like Seattle in the United States. Permutations is an exhibit by five Adelaide artists: Giles Bettison, Clare Belfrage, Gabriella Bisetto, Tim Edwards and Mark Thiele. The show is curated by Margot Osborne in association with Jam Factory Contemporary Craft and Design in Adelaide. The exhibition is also part of the Glass Art Society's conference in Seattle this June.

The artists use archetypal vessel forms in a metaphoric manner rather than as functional objects. Elements of the Australian landscape are present in each piece. For example, broad bold orange forms reminiscent of hot sun and sparse desert can be found in the vessels of Tim Edwards. Clare Belfrage’s pieces mimic the texture and colour of the bush with cane-drawn, stringy green surfaces. The loose influence of Aboriginal culture is present in the patterning and colouration of Mark Thiele’s opaque vessels.

The blown glass is treated with cold-finishing processes like acid-etching, sand-blasting and wheel cutting. These techniques result in delicate surface textures with subtle and elegant organic patterning. Gabriella Bisetto achieves a smooth yet scratchy wheel-cut finish on her asymmetrical forms that speak of physical balance and references the pregnant female body.

Giles Bettison - Vista NY #91, #86, #68
Giles Bettison, Vista NY #91, #86, #68 (2002-3), cold-workedhot-assembled
murrine glass, blown and ground
[Foster White Gallery/Rainier Square, Seattle, WA, Jun 5-Jul 31, 2003]

Giles Bettison is the only artist in the show to maintain a second studio in New York. His work fuses dense grid-like city structures with the warm tones and patterns found in Australia’s outback.

© Allyn Cantor

 Fri, Aug 1, 2003