Monday, 4 November 2013

A Glass Mini Road Trip - Part 1 'Off the Main Road'

Recently I had a chance to combine a non-glass related visit to Auckland with seeing several glass exhibitions and activities. Nothing particularly links these things except my participation, but they did provide some acquisitions for my collection. I'll divide them up so they don't make too big a blog - there'll likely be three in this series.

Off the Main Road III at the Red Barn Gallery
First up, I went to see Off the Main Road III at Graeme Hitchcock's Red Barn Gallery at Churchill (west of Te Kauwhata, if like me you didn't know where Churchill is). This was an exhibition of glass by Graeme and colleagues Karin Barr, Judi Hadfield and Michelle Judge, with stone sculpture by Jonathan Bowman and bronzes by Todd Butterworth and Phil Neary. It was great to meet Michelle who was on exhibition-minding duty, but otherwise I was the only one there (a mid-week afternoon not being peak exhibition viewing time). There had been good numbers the previous weekend, and on the subsequent Labour weekend as well, I understand. 

There was a great range of Graeme's distinctive glass sculptures, which enabled me to select a 'Man Looking' for my collection, something I have been meaning to do for a while.  Graeme's ability to create almost cartoon like figures in glass is quite remarkable. 

'Man Looking' makes me wonder what he is looking at

I loved Karin Barr's quarry scree installation in Re:Fraction - the Outdoor Glass Exhibition at the Waitakaruru Sculpture Park and Arboretum in October 2012. Karin has been a sculptor in stone, and her affinity for rocks shows through in her glass.



This 'Rock' by Karin Barr looks beautiful in the sunshine
I was delighted to see a range of Karin's colourful 'rocks' in Off the Main Road III - another purchase.


In 2012 I also saw Graeme Hitchcock's installation at Waitakaruru, where he used a pond very evocatively to speak to the plight of boat people.

Sadly, the glass exhibition scheduled for Waitakaruru this year had to be cancelled.  It's a great shame that the Trust that runs the park struck difficulties - it's no longer open to casual visitors, but only to pre-arranged group visits.  It is greatly to be hoped that things can be resurrected. 

See for more information. If you drill down on that site to you can see all the works in the exhibition, including Graeme's and Karin's. I referred to Lou Pendergrast-Mathieson's tamarillos I acquired there in an earlier blog in March 2013.

And so on to Auckland, for the next step in this saga...