21 August - 9 September 2014
about the exhibition
Nick Wirdnam is a highly regarded Australian glass artist whose work covers more traditional forms of glass as well as conceptual glass sculpture. “Beliefs” explores superstition and in particular the idea that events can be influenced by certain objects, acts or sayings. “…While I accept these are irrational beliefs, I am willing to harbour them as they may possibly hold some truth and offer some hope and comfort…It is the power of the object which interests me.”Incorporating a language of recurring symbols and motifs often associated with good fortune, hope and consolation, Nick sets up a dream-like and ambiguous narrative that allows roomfor open ended interpretation. The realistic glass forms adopt the surface texture and colour of the object they represent. With a masterful distillation of all the sensuality inherent in glass, Nick creates beautiful coloured, hot sculpted objects that immediately attract and then confound, lyrical groupings that challenge in unexpected ways.
Born in Portsmouth, England, Nick Wirdnam became a foundation member of the studio team at Isle of Wight Glass in 1974, where he stayed for the next nine years, producing award winning decorative functional work and art objects. Moving to Australia in 1983, Nick took up a teaching position at Monash University, Melbourne, where he continued to lecture until 2007. In 1998, Nick was awarded the Pilchuck Scholarship to attend hot-sculpting classes with Italian master, Dino Rosin and, in 2002, he accepted a residency at North Lands Creative Glass Centre in Caithness, Scotland. Nick has been a regular finalist in prestigious awards such as the Ranamok Glass Prize, Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize and the Tom Malone Prize. He has had numerous solo and group exhibitions both in Australia and overseas, and is represented in major public collections including the National Gallery of Australia, Queensland Art Gallery, National Art Glass Collection at Wagga Wagga Art Gallery, Nijima Glass Art Museum, Japan and the Shanghai Museum of Glass, China.