2 - 20 August 2007
about the exhibition
Nick Wirdnam has been a major contributor to the Australian art glass scene for many years,and after a solid grounding in traditional glass practice has made a shift toward conceptual sculpted form. Incorporating a language of recurring symbols and motifs, Nick sets up a dream-like and ambiguous narrative that allows room for individual interpretation. We are immediately drawn to these objects by their colour and exquisite surface texture, then mystified by the particular arrangements, the subtle changes of detail and the suggested story. Fish are a recurring symbol in much of his current work, as is the teardrop, both forms loaded with symbolism and open to many readings; the anonymity of fish within a school, the plight of the individual or of humankind. With a masterful distillation of all the sensuality inherent in glass, Nick creates beautifully coloured, hot sculpted objects and lyrical groupings that immediately attract yet challenge in unexpected ways.
Born in Portsmouth, England, Nick became a foundation member of the studio team at Isle of Wight Glass in 1974, where he remained for the next nine years, producing award winning decorative functional work and art objects. Travelling to Australia in 1983, he was appointed as a tutor at the Chisholm Institute of Technology (now Monash University) where he gained a Bachelor of Arts in Ceramic Design in 1990, and where he is now Glass Co-ordinator. In 1998, Nick was awarded a Pilchuck Scholarship to attend hot-sculpting classes with Italian master, Dino Rosin and, in 2002, he accepted a residency at Northlands Creative Glass Centre in Scotland. Nick has had numerous solo and group exhibitions both in Australia and overseas, and his work is represented in major public collections including the National Gallery of Australia, Queensland Art Gallery and the Glass Museum in Nijima, Japan.