Working primarily in blown and cast glass, Fairclough’s enigmatic still life works also include cast bronze and concrete components. The exhibition includes three major new works that Fairclough made as a result of her time with the Sarjeant Gallery in Whanganui (her home town) as artist in residence at Tylee Cottage.
With blown and cast glass, Common Ground also includes elements of mixed media that are poetic, beautiful and finely crafted. Works specific to Fairclough’s Tylee Cottage residency examine food sources in Whanganui for both Maori and Pākehā during the time of European settlement. Although it’s easy to categorise these works as still lifes, they are anything but. What Fairclough is interested in is the ‘common ground’ that connects us all.
At the age of eighteen, Wendy Fairclough left Whanganui for a ‘wander
around’ Australia that resulted in her settling in Adelaide. In the early
1990s, she completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in printmaking and
sculpture at the South Australian School of Art. She later returned to art
school to study glass, graduating with an applied arts degree in 2000. Since
then Fairclough has been hooked on the magic of glass and has gone on to
establish an impressive practice that has seen her exhibiting in Australia and
around the world.
Fairclough discovered that the medium of glass provided her practice with discipline, technical boundaries and physical challenges. The three-dimensionality of objects in a space, and in conversation with each other, has provided fertile ground for her work. Her exploration of casting glass has led to her also using materials such as aluminium and concrete, and more recently bronze, in her sculptural installations.
Wendy Fairclough speaks about her glass making at her home studio
Curated and toured by The Sarjeant Gallery Te Whare o Rehua Whanganui
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