Sunday, 25 September 2011

Kharen Hope Made Flat Glass Too

I blogged a few days ago about a piece in my collection by Kharen Hope, and outlined the information I had been able to gather on this artist, previously unknown to me.  Several people I met in Whanganui recently during the Festival of Glass recalled Kharen when she was a student and a staffer in the Glass department at UCOL, and suggested she now lives in Wellington.

However, new information has come to light from an unexpected source.  A reader of my blog offered me a piece by Mel Simpson, which will feature in a forthcoming entry.  With the piece he gave me a copy of the catalogue for the 1984 Philips Studio Glass Award.  This is great, since while I had 1985 and 1986, I lacked this first exhibition catalogue.

Browsing through, I was surprised and delighted to see number 12, a piece entitled 'Aging', entered by Kharen Hope of Matapouri.

The catalogue images are not brilliant, and are all monochrome.  It's not easy to see the detail of the lettering around the left and top borders, but it appears to say 'aNd So tHeY GRoW old, AnD sO wE gRow olD aNd SO I groW OlD'.  At $2665 this was one of the most expensive works in the show. The late James Walker had the most expensive entry at $4500. Ann Robinson's pioneering pate de verre bowl was priced at $500 - I think Auckland Museum bought that.  Kharen  was the only artist giving Matapouri as her address, Matapouri being a coastal settlement northeast of Whangarei.

So now I know that Kharen began her glass career working in flat glass, before going to UCOL in Whanganui to develop her skills under Tony Kuepfer's tuition, and branch out into hot glass, and make the pieces I showed in my earlier blog.  The catalogue also confirms the spelling of her name with an 'h' in Kharen.  It's great to be able to add a little more information.