Pub­lic works

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Visual Arts - Bron­wyn Wat­son

Kirstie Rea, Rem­nant rhythm (2013). Col­lec­tion Can­berra Mu­seum and Art Gallery. Pur­chased with funds do­nated by the Mered­ith Hinch­liffe Fund 2013. On dis­play in ex­hi­bi­tion Kirstie Rea the land: a 20 year sur­vey, Can­berra Mu­seum and Art Gallery, un­til August 20. Kirstie Rea is an in­ter­na­tion­ally renowned glass artist. And even though she has trav­elled and worked ex­ten­sively over­seas, what in­spires her the most is Can­berra and its nat­u­ral land­scape.

She has lived in the Can­berra re­gion all her life and re­mains pas­sion­ate about its im­por­tance to her work. She has, for in­stance, been in­spired by her mem­o­ries of wan­der­ing around the Brind­abel­las look­ing for wild­flow­ers; swim­ming in the river; the gal­vanised iron from a semi-ru­ral prop­erty where she lived in her 20s; the blades of sheep shears; the smell of horse sta­bles.

It is this nos­tal­gia and sense of place that per­me­ates her work Rem­nant rhythm, which is on show in Kirstie Rea the land: a 20 year sur­vey at the Can­berra Mu­seum and Art Gallery.

Rem­nant rhythm con­sists of a found ob­ject, a three-pronged pitch­fork, but at­tached to one of its prongs is a slither of yel­lowy glass, rem­i­nis­cent of hay. It refers to a time when Rea lived on a block of land and kept horses. “It is a nos­tal­gic look back at my youth of own­ing horses and that daily rou­tine of go­ing down and look­ing af­ter them and muck­ing out the sta­bles,” Rea says from her stu­dio in Can­berra. “When I had the horses, you en­gage in ac­tiv­i­ties where you get to know ev­ery square inch of pad­dock, ev­ery bit of grass, ev­ery bit of weed in it. And I like that rou­tine. I like that rhythm to the day, the rhythm that dif­fer­ent sea­sons bring.”

Rea, who has been work­ing with glass for more than 30 years, is in­cluded in pub­lic col­lec­tions such as Lon­don’s Vic­to­ria and Albert Mu­seum and the Na­tional Gallery of Aus­tralia. But many of her works are also in over­seas pri­vate col­lec­tions, such as that of noted glass col­lec­tor El­ton John.

Kiln-formed glass and found tool; 162cm x 20cm x 20cm

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