I won the McDonald Equipment prize at the glass conference

These four pieces are part of a series based on Mussorgsky's music "Pictures at an Exhibition"

The old Castle, The Great Gates of Kiev, The Cattle and Gnomus. Below is the next in the series - Tuilerie Gardens and I am currently working on Promenade. 

These works were painted on small, sandblasted glass blanks using Paradise Paints. The paintings are based on blind contour drawings made while walking, a process I developed for investigating “the everyday” for my Masters in Art and Design. Once painted and thoroughly dried I heated each piece to 570°C overnight, picked it up on a blowing iron, gathered more glass over it and then blew, shaped and transferred it to a punti to finish.

This ongoing series of works were inspired when a friend’s son and his girlfriend returned from a trip to Europe. They mentioned that their tour included Kiev and so I asked “Did you see the Great Gates”. They looked blankly at me and asked “What gates”? I was referring, of course, to the Mussorgsky’s composition Pictures at an Exhibition. This got me wondering why we have the tastes we do; why one person may spend time watching sport and another listening to classical music. This particular family are musical: this son taught himself to play guitar, the daughter plays the piano beautifully and the grandfather was in a band and could play many instruments and had a great tenor voice. Yet their tastes in music have not yet extended to much classical music. Why did I, as an eight year old, ask my Aunty to play all of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 overture rather than just the last section with the cannons? My family had some interest in music, particular the light opera of Gilbert and Sullivan, but for me it has been a lifelong passion, along with art. While exposure and familiarity are important, I think there is also something in the things we like that resonate with us in a way that is hard to explain but fascinating to ponder.


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