Congratulations to New South Wales-based glass artist Matthew Curtis, winner of the 2022 FUSE Glass Prize, a biennial non-acquisitive $20,000 cash prize for Australian and New Zealand glass artists.
The Prize provides a platform for artists to push themselves and their work to new limits, and focuses public attention on the importance of glass as a medium for contemporary artistic expression.
The works of twelve established and six emerging artists were selected as finalists by the 2022 judging panel: Justine Olsen, Curator of Decorative Art and Design, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington; Aimee Frodsham, Artistic Director, Canberra Glassworks; Rebecca Evans, Curator of Decorative Arts and Design, Art Gallery of South Australia; Cobi Cockburn, Glass Artist and 2020 FUSE Glass Prize Winner; Brian Parkes, Chief Executive Officer at JamFactory.
Curtis is based in Queanbeyan, NSW, at a home studio where he and his partner Harriet Schwarzrock run a vibrant glassblowing studio and arts practice. As a visual artist with a material practice concerned with glass, Curtis is fascinated by the production of objects inspired by the minutia of architectural structures in nature. Refining his eye for detail whilst expanding his material knowledge, he has focused his practice on researching and experimenting with unconventional approaches to extend his understanding of traditional techniques. Over the course of his career, Curtis has developed a rigorous approach to his work and his affinity, dexterity, and experience with manipulating glass is extensive. He is particularly interested in capturing a depth and complexity to the blown and cast glass components featured in his work, with the hues of transparent colours fading and gathering in intensity depending on the depth or delicate edge of the piece.
On Curtis’ winning work titled Margin, 2022, Cockburn says that the “totemic sculptural work exudes a deep understanding of the material properties of glass and incorporates a variety of techniques. The piece holds light within while the brightness of colour and levels of translucency change and delight as you move around the form.”
The David Henshall Emerging Artist Prize, providing $2,500 cash and a professional development residency at JamFactory, was awarded to Sydney-based artist Bronte Cormican-Jones for her entry Sightlines, 2020.
Cormican-Jones is an emerging contemporary visual artist and writer living and working in Sydney on the traditional lands of the Garrigal and Darramuragal people. In her visual arts practice, Cormican-Jones often explores the field of spatial practice through her sculptural works, installation, performance and documented works. She is drawn to glass and the industrial materials of steel, bricks and timber, and is interested in the way that these materials are used in architecture and the infrastructure of the world around us. With these interests as a foundation, Cormican-Jones understands glass as a material that frames our perception of and interaction with space: a transparent membrane from which windows, doors and (in contemporary architecture) walls are constructed. Cormican-Jones is particularly drawn to the ways in which glass can both hold and reflect light, with her current body of work exploring the way that we interact with our reflections in panes of glass.
The 2022 FUSE Glass Prize exhibition of finalist’s works is on view at JamFactory, Adelaide, from 13 May to 3 July 2022, followed by a tour to Canberra Glassworks from 24 August to 25 September 2022 and Australian Design Centre from 7 October to 16 November 2022.