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