Kirra Galleries opened in 1997 and for more than a decade now, have focused on building the finest commercial exhibition galleries focussing on glass, sculpture and jewellery artworks in Australia. They now have an established reputation as leaders in the Australian Contemporary Art Glass Movement.
Kirra Galleries hold a number of exhibitions each year highlighting the incredible diversity of Australian art glass as well as works by artists working in a variety of different media.
Emma Varga’s solo exhibition Antarctica-Icebergs was officially opened by Gallery Director, Peter Kolliner, on Thursday 18 July 2013. During his opening remarks Peter mentioned that he visited the gallery on the eve of the opening to view the work in private and this was his observation – “Looking around and seeing the pieces for the first time, I suddenly became aware that the temperature within the gallery appeared to have fallen, and I began to feel cold! When this realisation dawned on me I recognised that my body was reacting to messages my eyes were receiving from the work I was observing. The inspiration and the emotions Emma gained in the Antarctic transmitted themselves to me and impacted in the way I felt.” It is obvious from his comment that Emma has been able to translate her journey to Antarctica into her amazing sculptures and wall panels. The panels Emma has produced are inspired by the various forms of Antarctic ice and the surface textures of the massive icebergs she encountered during her study tour in December. The exhibition will be open until 6.00pm on Sunday 12 August 2013.
Also on display with Emma’s glass works are a number of selected images of her trip – Emma is a keen photographer and from her enormous collection of photographs. We have selected 7 images which are available for sale in limited editions of 9. Each one will be accompanied by a certificate of authenticity, signed, numbered and dated by the artist.
Iceberg #4 By Emma Varga
Dimensions. H: 29.5cm W: 43cm D:5cm
Iceberg #8 By Emma Varga
Dimensions: H29cm D:3cm
Underwater Turquoise # 3 By Emma Varga
Dimensions: H:8cm W: 48cm
Left: Iceberg #7 By Emma Varga
Dimensions: Left H:29cm W:29cm D:4cm
Right: Iceberg #13 By Emma Varga
Dimensions: H:40cm W: 20cm D:4cm
Iceberg Surfaces #23 By Emma Varga Dimensions: H:29cm W:29cm
Top Left: Iceberg Surfaces#9 By Emma Varga Dimensions: H:29cm W:29cm Top Right: Iceberg Surfaces #12 By Emma Varga Dimensions: H:29cm W:29cm Bottom Left: Iceberg Surfaces #13 By Emma Varga Dimensions: H:29cm W:29cm Bottom Right: Iceberg Surfaces #10 Dimensions H:29cm W29cm
Artist of the Month Emma Varga
Emma Varga was born in a region of mid Europe, rich with tradition and art evident in a civilization dating back 2,000 years. Emma studied at the University of Applied Arts in Belgrade from 1970 to 1975. Initially she was enrolled to study ceramics but as a third year student she fell in love “with the magical and unique medium of glass”. Unlike universities of today she was required to attend 6 days per week for 5 years and as part of her course undertook design projects in factories, and in 1973 joined the emerging glass movement in Europe. After graduating from University Emma became a designer for the Sebastian Gallery in Dubrovnik and collaborated with the Gallery for almost 13 years on a series of projects involving glass for a range of design stores in Yugoslavia.
In the early 1990s Emma fled Yugoslavia because of the war and made the brave decision to relocate to Australia, arriving in Sydney in 1995. Emma was inspired by the colours of the landscape as the plane flew across the coast, and enthralled as she looked down and saw more amazing colours in the centre of the land. Over the past 15 years Emma has developed a technique of ‘multiple layers fusing’ which enables her to create and gain control over three-dimensional images inside large transparent glass objects. To make each of these sculptural objects it is necessary for her to cut thousands of tiny glass elements from clear and transparent coloured glass sheets, combining them with glass frits and stringers. The sculptures comprise 20 to 400 thin transparent glass layers – a mosaic from coloured glass frits and stringers is assembled on each sheet according to a three dimensional plan. The layers are then fused in a particular order to form the image and create a sense of movement in the sculpture. It takes two weeks to fire and slowly cool down the large sculptural works and a further two weeks to grind and polish all of the surfaces to perfection.
In December 2012 Emma, with the assistance of the Australia Council for the Arts, realised a dream and went on a study tour to The Antarctic. On this trip she took some 10,000 photos as reference for the body of work – “Antarctica: Icebergs” – which was inspired by her experiences of the region. Emma has been working on this exhibition since her return in December and has used a number of different techniques, casting and pâté de verre to produce glass sculptures and panels synonymous with her memories of Antarctica.
Just prior to the opening of the exhibition at Kirra Galleries, Emma was in Istanbul, teaching at The Glass Furnace, and this is just one of the many education and mentoring sessions that she has been involved in since finishing her studies. She is keen to share her knowledge with emerging and established glass artists and has the respect of her peers.
In 2013 Emma is celebrating 40 years working with glass and she is still as passionate about her art as she was as a student and, according to Emma, her mind is full of new ideas and the more she works, the more ideas she has and the only limitation is time. For Emma glass offers a wide range of possibilities and she enjoys the challenge of creating her ideas in glass.
Emma’s works have been exhibited nationally and internationally and can be found in many major collections, both private and public, throughout the world. Kirra Galleries are proud to be able to represent Emma Varga in Australia and also for the past 5 years at SOFA (Sculpture Objects and Functional Art) in Chicago, USA.
Antarctica IV By Emma Varga
Dimensions: H: 57cm W: 85cm
Antarctica II By Emma Varga
Dimensions: H: 57cm W: 85xm
Antarctica VI By Emma Varga Dimensions: H: 41cm W: 61cm
Antarctica I By Emma Varga
Dimensions: H: 57cm W: 85cm
If you have any questions or would like further information on any of our pieces, please drop in or give us a call.
Kirra Galleries are thrilled to present an exciting exhibition by renowned glass artist, Emma Varga. This solo exhibition has been inspired by her recent study tour of Antarctica, developing new ideas through drawings, photography and a life changing experience. Emma is fascinated by the clarity and transparency of glass and the ability to capture the beauty of Antarctica’s wild environment in her work. This is also a milestone year for Emma as she is celebrating 40 years of working as a glass artist, having started working with glass in 1973 as a 3rd year student at the University of Applied Arts in Belgrade, and graduating in 1975.
Emma moved to Australia in 1995 and as the plane flew over the coastal areas and the desert areas of Central Australia she knew that this was the place where she would find endless inspiration for her work. Emma’s multiple layer fusing technique enables her to create and gain control over three-dimensional images enclosed within her sculptures – it takes two weeks to fire and slowly cool down large sculptural works, then a further two weeks to grind and polish all of the surfaces to perfection. She is passionate about her art and is constantly sharing her extensive knowledge at workshops in Australia and overseas.
The exhibition will be opened by Peter Kolliner OAM, Gallery Director, Kirra Galleries.
Please join us on Thursday 18 July 2013 to meet Emma and view the remarkable work: Antarctica – Icerbergs.