Tuesday, June 21, 2011

'a natural world' Featuring the work of Miki Kubo and Amanda Louden

Peter Kolliner OAM, Gallery Director, together with
management and staff at Kirra Galleries would like you
to join us at the opening of a new exhibition featuring
the work of Miki Kubo and Amanda Louden.

This long awaited exhibition brings together two extraordinary
glass artists with much in common. Miki and Amanda are both
respected glass blowers and makers who share a passion for
nature. They both possess exceptional drafting and engraving
skills and they use their art glass as a canvas to express their
observances and love for a natural world.

“When I choose a subject for my art, I find and connect with
a spark in it – a glimpse of its perfection and purity that it reveals
to me. When I engrave an animal, it is a portrait of that animal.
Every individual animal is its own spirit. Each piece I make is
an individual portrait of that animal, of that spirit.” Miki Kubo.

“Why do I do what I do? Simply, I thought it would look nice.
My enjoyment of the Australian bush is most definitely my
inspiration and being able to promote some of the incredible
range of species out there is a joy. I like the idea of showing a
natural world in a permanent form and I do love working with
glass.” Amanda Louden.

The exhibition will be opened by internationally
renowned Australian glass artist, Brian Hirst.

Opening:   Thursday 7 July 2011
Time:         6.00-8.00 pm
Where:       Kirra Galleries, Federation Square (enter via Atrium)
                    Cnr Swanston & Flinders Streets
                    Melbourne VIC 3000
RSVP:        4 July 2011
                   Ph: 03 9639 6388 or Email: kirra@kirra.com


Monday, June 20, 2011

Closure of Monash University Glass Studio a Tragedy

21 June 2011
Dear Clients


Those of you who have a penchant for reading The Melbourne Age's 'Letters to the Editor' would find an edited version of a letter to The Editor in today's edition of The Age.  The letter and the signatories thereto, in its unabridged version, is re-printed below:

17 June 2011
Letters Editor
The Age
 PO Box 257
 Melbourne VIC 3001
Dear Sir  
Closure of Monash University Glass Studio must be reversed
The proposed closure of the Monash Art & Design Glass Studio highlights the fragile nature of Victoria's fine arts heritage.
Instead of closing this major part of Victoria's art infrastructure, Monash University should be leveraging on the positives of this internationally recognised school and be working to keep it open in conjunction with government agencies and community stakeholders.
This is a glass studio with a significant thirty one year history in the development of glass art in Australia. It represents 25% of the teaching capacity in Australia and the only facility in Victoria.
As the closure is based on a lack of students it is quite clear a recruitment campaign is needed with Monash University and Ausglass, the national industry body, creating a wider awareness of the opportunities for future glass artists.
"The Monash Glass School offers courses for talented students, which are professional, flexible, contemporary and relevant. The faculty produces skilled graduates who shape the future of art and design practice nationally, and on the International stage." These words on Monash University's own website describe accurately the important role the Monash Glass facility plays in the development of Art Glass in Australia.
The University, in conjunction with State and Federal Government agencies, should hold negotiations to look at the positive ways Monash University can undertake to keep the Monash Glass School open for future generations of glass artists.
Once it is closed, the door not only closes on today's glass artists, Monash University will close the doors on generations of Glass Artists. 
Yours sincerely
Peter Kolliner OAM, Director, Kirra Galleries
Marcia Bacon, Director, Seaview Gallery
Tali Dalton, Director, Healesville Glassblowing Studio
Eileen Gordon, Director, Gordon Studio Glassblowers
Bev Kenna, Director, Axia Modern Art
Veronica Kukawski, Director, Veronica George Gallery
Denise Orchard, Director, Glass Plus Gallery
Stuart Purves, Director, Australian Galleries
Philip Stokes, Director, Philip Stokes Studio Glass
Joanne Wolswinkel, Director, Town & Country Gallery

The closure of the studio is a big retrograde step for art in Victoria particularly and art in Australia in general.

Inexorable budgetary measures are being forced upon Universities who, by dint of necessity, respond by closing courses where income through students attending is below the cost of running them.  A vicious circle of cost cuts result in the downgrading of the prominence of courses, which in turn result in declining student numbers resulting in further cost cuts.  This causes Universities' decisions to narrow the spectra of courses offered, and this time it is Monash's Glass Studio which is scheduled to be wiped off the map.

There are four (4) universities offering the studies of glass art in Australia and prominent among these has been Monash.  The closure of this studio which was decided upon in 2010 but not announced until a few weeks ago, will reduce the number of teaching facilities to three (3). 

Ausglass (the Australian Association of Glass Artists) has today issued a news blast to its members in which item 1 reads, in part:

"Monash Website and Petition: Ausglass is proud to announce that in partnership with the National Tertiary Education Union an autonomous website has been set up http://saveglassatmonash.org.au/ is now operational and a hub of background information, and the latest news.
This beautiful site makes it easy to sign petitions, get background information and lodge your support. It is still in the process of completion but all links are functional and we urge you to have a look and to make use of it."
No decision is irreversible and this one must be reversed.

This letter is sent to all of our clients who have registered their names and email addresses with us, and therefore we presume that you are interested in saving the Monash University Glass Studio.

Please take a moment of your time to visit the website mentioned above, specifically built for the purpose of having the decision reversed.  If you agree that the Monash Glass teaching facility should be retained please sign the petition at http://saveglassatmonash.org.au/.  If you have friends, acquaintances, or organisations who you think are interested in maintaining Australia's prominence in the World of Art Glass, please forward this email to them.

Universities are there to teach and not merely to cover ever shrinking budgets.  If the current trend is allowed to continue, Victoria will degenerate into a bland, colourless, tasteless, odourless and uniformly grey society.

Yours sincerely

Peter Kolliner OAM

Monday, June 6, 2011

Light in Winter

Peter Kolliner OAM, Gallery Director, Kirra Galleries and Kate Brennan, CEO, Fed Square Pty Ltd at the 'Light in Winter' opening

The Light in Winter is Federation Square's annual celebration of light and enlightenment. The program brings together local and international artists, designers and multicultural communities with a series of light-based artworks, community events and forums and a mid-winter Solstice Celebration.

Kate Brennan, CEO Fed Square Pty Ltd officially opened the Kirra Galleries  "Light in Winter" exhibition last Thursday evening.
Ms Brennan opening the exhibition said -  

"At Federation Square the richness of Light in Winter is achieved through its many collaborations and none are more than with Peter and the team at Kirra.

In a new initiative, The Light in Winter is partnering with Kirra Galleries to present a brand new light - the Kade Beacon, designed by Toucan Forged Glass. These lights are the result of over five years of development and will be seen in and around Federation Square for the first time in 2011 unifying the site with beautiful and unique beacons of light. Please do journey around Federation Square and see how many you find!

Even more special is this now annual commitment to celebrating Light in Glass through this exhibition. I am sure you agree it features an extraordinary display of light emitting artwork made by some of Australia's most talented, established and emerging glass artists and designers.

Thank you to Tim Bassett, Rebecca Coote, Tali Dalton, Miles Johnson, James McMurtrie, Harriet Schwarzrock, Tim Shaw, Jason Sims, Stuart Williams, Robert Wynne, Laurie Young and Takemura Yusuke for showing your work here.

This year's light and glass show has a strong contemporary feel with many works resonant of the public realm and public buildings.

Each of the artists have responded to the introduction of the adventure of light in their pieces (and often this has significant technical difficulty) in different ways. We imagine ourselves floating with Rob Wynne's jellyfish in a mysterious space, or lost in Jason Sims Light Boxes' hypnotic corridor, cradling Stewart William's Firefly Light or astral travelling with Tim Shaw's wondrous orbs. As Tim said earlier today we take light from our lampshades for granted. This work pushes light and glass into a new realm. It is enthralling and limitless in applications of wonder.

These exhibitions at Kirra showcase the extraordinary range and flexibility of the glass medium and the inventiveness of the artists involved.
I wish the exhibition well and encourage those buyers of you here to take the Light in Winter to your hearts and homes."

KADE Beacon light - designer Waynne Rayson of Toucan Glass

'Light in Winter' exhibition

 2 June 2011 - 3 July 2011

Kirra Galleries, Federation Square
(enter via Atrium)

The 'Light in Winter' exhibition

Passing II by Jason Sims

Shine-Lime by Takemura Yusuke 

Cape Bruny Lighthouse Stairwell Lamp by Rebecca Coote

Glass Pods 1 by Stuart Williams

The Light in Winter exhibition

Kirra Galleries 
Federation Square (enter via Atrium) 
Cnr Swanston & Flinders Streets

Phone:   +613 9639 6388
Fax:       +613 9639 8522
Opening hours: Monday - Sunday 10.00am-6.00pm