Holy crumbs!! Its the end of a crazy, w.t.f. kind of year. 2016 has been tumultuous and stormy with lots of wind from all over. But, with lots of wind one also travels faster and further.
The year past was filled to the brim with experiences, events and new shores. I hope to use these new notations on my life-map to travers the proverbial waters of the coming year.
2017 is a clean slate. Things have changed. The norm is gone and that is not necessarily a bad thing. New shores will test our skills – with many new discoveries lying ahead. For one, glass has made an impact on our local, very local, mostly in Pretoria, art scene. I hope to continue this conversation in the coming years and see how we can bring this niche genre into the mainstream spotlight. I would like to see more collaborations between mediums and develop new ideas and markets for unique handmade glass.
What 2016 taught me is that there is much potential for good ideas. And that good ideas take time to manifest. Many hills and mountains have been climbed and the views are spectacular!
Out of the Fire, Into the Light
This seminal exhibition hosted by the Pretoria Arts Association and curated by Dr. Ingram Anderson and myself brought many glass practitioners from all over Southern Africa together again. The last such encompassing event was held in 2005 in Cape Town, Worcester and surrounds under the auspice of the South African Glass Art Society. SAGAS does not exist any more but the time might be just right to kindle another such supportive network. (Wink, wink, nudge, nudge…)
There is much potential in quality crafted, well designed and creatively articulated glass. I just feel the market is not quite tapped yet and there is enough room for many makers. We just have to up the game – explore our African identities.
Blow Your Sculpture
BYS was made possible by the participating artists. Some are familiar with glass and others explored the possibilities from a different perspective. Overall everybody got to map new shores and develop new possibilities which has opened the path to future ventures along these lines.
Bringing light into the mix was an added challenge which will probably stay for future BYS projects and events.
BYS is from the outset a collaborative project. It is meant to foster new ideas and development in glass and sculptural lighting ideas and to promote the hand-made glass industry in Southern Africa.
Watch this space…
This trip was a privilege. In the five days I spent at the Glass Art Society conference I learned so much and made many new friends. An event such as this has shown me again that glass people are a big family. There is always that odd cousin and weird aunt but everybody respects and engages with another. I love the sense of sharing and nurturing that was palpable wherever you went.
This sense of community is in part what I want tot bring to the glass scene here in SA. And community is not just the artists but also curators, collectors, technicians, museums, galleries and future generations.
I would like to see glass inspire new frontiers.
With over fifteen exhibitions this year has been busy indeed. It has been a prolific year and looking back at my work from last December I have sailed far indeed.
Unfortunately the general market in terms of sales has been dismal. In Rand/Dollar terms our works are extremely affordable. Collectors should have a look at our work. Us Africans have always been innovative and don’t necessarily follow the rules.
Ready or not, 2017 here we come!!
I wish everybodyy a wonderful productive year ahead filled with love, happiness and lots of health.