Cultural Echoes

As a medium, glass is particularly adept at capturing the ephemeral… But glass is not only useful for reflecting the ephemeral nature; it can also recognise the fleeting in our modern lifestyles…

As a pure and radiant medium, glass offers rich alchemic opportunities to capture the fleeting essences in our world. The works by B. Jane Cowie and Dominic Fondé reveal the magic of this stuff ‘in between’. Cowie’s figures in her Wallpaper series ‘falling’, ‘flying’, ‘floating’ suggest a graceful flight, giving human figures the agility of a sparrow. And correspondingly, Fondé’s Light and Shadow uses birds themselves to animate the refractive qualities of glass.

…Jane’s collaboration with artist Noriko Suzuki-Bosco encloses origami birds in Senbazuru, a glass house with water jet engraved designs. Here flight is suggested as a source of potential, underpinning the light that would radiate from the sculpture…

…Another dimension of alchemy is the quotation of traditional motifs associated with the aesthetics of the Arts & Crafts movement and Art Nouveau. Glass Houses are embossed with an elaborate foliation and red glass discs  are engraved with the famous Chinoiserie Willow Pattern. Normally found on ceramics and textiles, the design is transposed to glass to highlight the formal qualities of the illustration, abstracting colour and shadow from its material essence.

In developing this dialogue, the artists draw on the richness of their craft traditions to create original new artworks for a contemporary setting.…

…Art Glass Solutions is a meeting point for two halves of the world. Jane Cowie emerges from the antipodes in Australia, where she had established a strong reputation in the creation of poignant glass sculptures with a narrative context. Dominic Fondé has come from the other end of the world, Britain, where he developed a prominent career in glass engraving, sharing with Cowie an interest in story-telling through glass. Given the history of Australia and Britain, it is fitting that they meet half-way between the North and South, in Singapore, where they have the opportunity to create something bold and new together.

Good art finds a play in the spaces between tradition and modernity, concept and reality, earth and sky.

Excerpts from the Cultural Echoes catalogue essay by Dr Kevin Murray.