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Clear-cut win for Whanganui glass artist

17 April 2014

Clear-cut win for Whanganui glass artist

A Whanganui Glass Lecturer has beaten out more than 40 finalists from around the world in an international juried kiln-glass exhibition, and has been named one of the best new artists in kiln-glass.

Kathryn Wightman, who came to Whanganui from the UK in 2012 to teach at Wanganui Glass School on the Whanganui UCOL Diploma in Glass Production and Design programme, has picked up the Gold Award in the Bullseye Glass Company Emerge 2014eighth biennial kiln-glass exhibition for emerging artists.

Bullseye Glass is a United States based manufacturer of coloured glass with worldwide distribution and a commitment to research, education, and promoting glass art.

Dr Wightman will receive US$1000 worth of Bullseye Glass materials, and her winning work, ‘Posy’, will be part of a US tour later this year.

Dr Wightman says she likes making glass not look like glass and ‘Posy’ utilises glass to mimic textile surfaces, which aim to challenge the viewer’s sense of reality.

“Hybrid decorative patterns are deconstructed to create multiple layered compositions. Each layer is stacked to add depth, allowing the patterned form to grow from the surface of the glass.”

The process used involves screen printing using glass powder.

“I discovered the process through my PhD study and it’s now of interest to people,” Ms Wightman says.

Last year Dr Wightman travelled to the UK, Switzerland and the US to deliver workshops on her process. In June this year she will travel to Seattle to teach at the internationally renowned Pilchuck Glass School.

Mayor Annette Main says Dr Wightman’s award is a testament to the quality of work coming out of the Wanganui Glass School.

“It is fantastic that Dr Wightman has been recognised on such an international scale. Her artwork challenges the idea of what people might expect a glass work to look like and her ability to use the material in such a way demonstrates how incredibly valuable she is as a tutor at the Glass School.

“This award is another way we can put our community on the map, attract potential glass artists and grow our internationally-known arts community.”

The Wanganui Glass School is supported by the Wanganui District Council.


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