Exhibitions | 30-11-2022

CGS Glorious Glass exhibition in Torquay

As most readers are aware, 2022 has been a momentous year for glass, being both the UN-designated International Year of Glass and the Contemporary Glass Society’s (CGS) 25th anniversary celebration.

All the wonderful events and opportunities that the CGS has put on this year to mark its landmark birthday culminate in the last major exhibition of 2022 – ‘Glorious Glass’.

CGS Chair Susan Purser Hope explains, “The Glorious Glass exhibition demonstrates how utterly glorious and amazing contemporary glass is so that everyone can appreciate and enjoy its magical colours, textures, use of light and variety of techniques, and also discover their own local glass artists. This exhibition is the finale of CGS’s anniversary year-long programme of six online and 12 live exhibitions nationwide and is a celebration of glorious glass in all its many facets.”

Uniquely, this exhibition features the work of a family of glass artists – the Burke Family of E&M Glass.  Ed and Margaret are the ‘E’ and ‘M’ in E&M Glass, setting up the studio 35 years ago and establishing themselves as specialists in handmade tableware. They have produced glassware for Barneys of New York, The Four Seasons Hotels, Fortnum and Mason and many more high-end stores.

Their oldest son Charlie has been around hot glass from a very young age. He went to Sunderland University to study Glass and Ceramics before working in several studios around the UK. His partner Amelia graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University specialising in hot glass as part of her degree in Three-Dimensional Design.

Now they all work together, developing their own specialities as well as working on collaborative projects.

Margaret is fascinated with surface design and uses different tools, techniques and mediums to create primitive imagery on vessel forms.

The focus for Ed has always been on the technical aspects of hot glass. Making a wine glass is an intricate process and learning the variety of skills to create glass tableware is what drives him.

Charlie manipulates hot glass with coloured glass, then uses cold working techniques, such as grinding and polishing or sandblasting, to give different textures.

Meanwhile Amelia specialises in working with cane and murrine for both fused and blown work.

The work of all four Burkes is on show at Glorious Glass, demonstrating the amazing variety of techniques that can be explored with glass.

Another of the exhibitors is the renowned glass artist, Cathryn Shilling. Cathryn’s work has been collected and exhibited internationally.

Cathryn commented, “Since becoming a member of the Contemporary Glass Society, I have found the numerous opportunities to participate in exhibitions challenging and enriching for my practice. A major aim of the CGS is to support emerging artists and I am very grateful that through this participation I was able to take my first steps towards a professional practice in glass.

“The work I am showing at Artizan Gallery is a group of vessels called ‘The Path We Follow’. The temperature change across Europe using observed data can be visualised in more than one way, however there is no doubt that we are following a dangerous path.

“These vessels represent an assembly of European nations, each displaying its own rise in temperature change over 80 years. It is only by taking action now and working together that we can follow a new temperature path to a sustainable future.

“I am extremely grateful to the CGS and Artizan Gallery to be able to show this work which I feel carries an important message.”

Glorious Glass takes place at Artizan Gallery in Torquay and presents the work of over 60 CGS members.

The show is on from 26 November to 24 December 2022.

Venue: Artizan Gallery, 7 Lucius Street, Torquay, Devon TQ2 5UW. Find out more about the artists and view the works for sale via the website.

Main image: Cathryn Schilling’s ‘The Path We Follow’ is one of the exhibits at Artisan Gallery.

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