Clare Belfrage, A Measure of Time, collection of works, 2018, tallest height 530mm. Photo: Pippy Mount
Clare Belfrage, A Measure of Time, collection of works, 2018, tallest height 530mm. Photo: Pippy Mount

Breakthrough glass technique on show at unique exhibition

GLASS art work inspired by the 'rhythms of nature' is now on display at the Tweed Regional Gallery.

Clare Belfrage's exhibition 'JamFactory ICON Clare Belfrage: A Measure of Time' opened at on Friday.

The characteristically fluid lines now synonymous with Ms Belfrage's practice are part of a technical breakthrough involving the artist's innovative use of fine glass rods known as 'stringers'.

In this process, Ms Belfrage applies heavily stretched, thinned and lengthened stringers to her blown glass forms at an early stage in production.

The fine threads of glass are carefully positioned and fused onto the surface of the blown glass form with a torch to create the desired repetitious patterns.

The resulting surface has an almost textile-like quality akin to those produced by knitting and weaving.

Ms Belfrage said while creating her works, she thinks of the "building up of a pattern, line by line, one small element applied at a time, slowly creating a tempo".

"It is clearly different to the accumulative process in nature yet somehow reminiscent and I think the flow of making is captured within the final object," she said.

Inspired by the repetitious patterns found in nature and the woven lines of textiles, Belfrage is particularly drawn to the layered rhythms that mark growth, change and the passing of time in the natural world.

"This can be seen in a leaf, a rock, a grass tree or a particular view, a stretch of sand or water," she said.

"It is the potent combination of intimacy and power, drama and delicacy.

"It is wonder and it is the myriad expressions of time; fast and slow, fleeting and frozen."

Gallery director Susi Muddiman OAM said there was a feeling of tranquillity about the glass works.

"She speaks eloquently of the unnoticed rhythms of nature that flow around us," Ms Muddiman said.

"She recalls observing the mark made by a blade of grass moving back and forth by the wind. "This evocative image becomes a recurrent theme for her work where networks of glass threads are drawn over the surface of the vessels.

"The vessels exist as beautiful objects, but also as the visible sign of the artist's engagement with the natural world and her ability to develop a means of communicating this experience into glass."

The exhibition has been assisted by the South Australian Government through Arts South Australia and the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, Contemporary Touring Initiative.

The exhibition will be on display until May 3.