Tacoma, Wash. — Australian artist Mel George will be in the Hot Shop at Museum of Glass from Wednesday, May 29 through Sunday, June 2 as part of the 2013 Visiting Artists Summer Series. This residency concludes with a lecture on Sunday, June 2 at 4:00 p.m. which will be streamed live and available to Australian audiences on Monday, June 3 at 9:00 a.m. EDT.
“Remarkably subtle in her use of glass and as if influenced by ghosts from the past, George brings a fresh aesthetic to the medium,” notes Susan Warner, Director of Museum of Glass.
After eight years of co-owning Studio Ramp LLC, a custom glass fabrication studio, in Portland, OR, George recently moved back to her hometown of Canberra, ACT. Her travel and time away from Australia has affected her perception of self and relationship to the concept of home. Recently, George has been making work based on intimate reminders such as postcards, calendars and Polaroid’s®, objects that explore nostalgia. George’s piece Frame of Time depicts the days of one year, broken down to the essence of the color of the day. Each tile, shaped like a photographic slide, serves as a marker of a moment and grouped together, they create a complete timeline.
While at Museum of Glass, George plans to continue to explore the theme of longing for the past. “I suffer from nostalgia,” notes George. “I have a bittersweet longing for people, items and situations from my past. This wistful desire and sentimental yearning plays into my artwork and I use the materiality of glass to create vignettes that echo the fragility of a moment.”
Inspired by a love of word games and designed specifically for children, in 2012 George created the exhibition alphabet at Craft ACT Gallery: Craft and Design Centre in Canberra, Australia. George invited 26 Australian glass artists to develop a work each based on one letter of the alphabet. The result was a showcase of the skills of the artists and the diversity of the medium of glass. George states, “alphabet (was) an exhibition designed to encourage parents to bring their children into the gallery to view, discuss and connect with the work on display. An exhibition of glass was developed to promote this idea, driven by the socially accepted concept that a child’s interaction with a glass object is seen as ‘forbidden’.” Subsequently the exhibition was acquired as part of the permanent collection of Australian Council for the Arts.
A graduate of Australia’s prestigious Australia National University Canberra School of Art glass workshop, George also she completed a residency at the Bullseye Glass Co. in Portland, OR. George is currently the artistic programs manager at Canberra Glassworks. She teaches and continues making and exhibiting her own work nationally and internationally.
Currently on view at Museum of Glass as part of Links: Australian Glass and the Pacific Northwest are several of George’s pieces which feature skyscapes that explore the way wind currents and clouds can symbolize the cyclical, temporary and ever changing nature of moments in time.
After the residency, George will be teaching “Kiln Allegories” June 3-14 at Pilchuck Glass School in
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From: Hillary Ryan, Communications Manager for the Museum of Glass