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Sue Hawker: Florescentia (2011)


Sat 25 Jun 2011, 10:00am–6:00pm
Sun 26 Jun 2011, 10:00am–6:00pm
Mon 27 Jun 2011, 10:00am–6:00pm
Tue 28 Jun 2011, 10:00am–6:00pm
Wed 29 Jun 2011, 10:00am–6:00pm

Where: Milford Galleries Queenstown, 9a Earl Street, Queenstown

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Admission: Free


Listed by: Milford Galleries

Sue Hawker recently received the Ranamok Award, Australasia’s most significant glass prize, for a tall vessel comprised of individually modelled flowers. The Ranamok judge (Tina Oldnow, Head Curator of the Corning Glass Museum, N.Y.) acknowledged Hawker’s radical reinterpretation of the traditional style and techniques of pate de verre and thus pioneering achievement of developing an entirely new way of working. The result is works of astonishing complexity, quality and remarkable presence.

The vessels in “Florescentia” have the characteristic sugar-like texture, vibrant colours and precise colour placement of pate de verre. However the size of Hawker’s works takes that style into sculptural scale for the very first time. Hawker’s inventiveness is seen in “new methods of mould making and commanding the widely different melting temperatures of the variously coloured glass” but this is only one component of her considerable artistic achievement.

Two forms dominate – the tall cylindrical vessel (such as “Renaissance” or the “Too Much is Never Enough” series) and the wider flared vessel form (such as “Fallen Up,” “Moody Blues,” “Quilted Dreams”). All of these works are composed of individual flowers, delivered with a celebratory, colourist’s flourish. Visual contradictions abound – the suggestive fragility of the pate de verre style (its fragmentary, sand-grain quality) has been retained but this is an illusion, for these cast works have considerable structural strength. While building the cylinder and flared vessel form Hawker is simultaneously deconstructing them: negative space – gaps – appear everywhere between the flowers, augmenting the sensations of fragility with notions of immateriality.