17 June - 6 July 2010
about the exhibition
Nick Wirdnam is a highly regarded Australian glass artist whose work has covered more traditional forms of glass as well as conceptual sculpture in glass. Nick’s latest body of work has been inspired by superstition and explores the idea that events can be influenced by an object, an act or a saying. His hot sculpted glass forms incorporate a rich language of symbols and motifs that are exquisite and fascinating to look at whilst encouraging a broad interpretation. Each piece is titled with consideration of the desired outcome of a superstitious belief, prophesising that each key, wishbone, acorn or pig possesses the ability to ward off negative elements or ensure fortuitous results such as prosperity, strength or knowledge. Nick is interested in the personal protection and security that these talismans provide. Where the objects are presented in multiples, Nick is attempting to increase the potency of these symbols. The realistic glass forms adopt the surface texture and colour of the object they represent, and this is particularly remarkable in the keys, sticks and wishbones.
Born in Portsmouth, England, Nick Wirdnam began his career in studio glass as a foundation member of the Isle of Wight Studio in 1975. Nick moved to Australia in the 1980s and took up teaching positions at Monash University, Melbourne, where he continued to lecture until 2007. Nick received a Pilchuck Scholarship to attend hot-sculpting classes with Italian master, Dino Rosin in 1998 and has been a finalist in the Ranamok Prize from 2002 to 2004. Nick Wirdnam exhibits widely in Australia and overseas, and his work is represented in major public collections including the National Gallery of Australia, Wagga Wagga Art Gallery (National Art Glass Collection), NSW; Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane; Northlands Creative Glass Collection, Lybster, Scotland; Ebeltoft Glass Museum, Denmark and the Glass Museum in Nijima, Japan.