| 30-11-2023

Glass artists win World Craft Masters awards

Glass artists from the Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand region have been acknowledged in the recent World Crafts Council Asia Pacific Region Craft Masters Awards 2023 (WCC APR Craft Masters Awards), hosted in Dongyang, China.

The Australian recipients who work in glass are Jennifer Kemarre Martiniello OAM and Kirstie Rea.

An international jury of 11 members evaluated each application based on five endorsement criteria: extraordinary contribution to field, sustainable practice, international recognition, continuous learning and international collaboration.

Winners included nine craftspeople from Central Asia, nine from the South Pacific (Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific islands), seven from South Asia, eight from West Asia (including Dadash Mehravary Solut from Iran, who is a glass painter), seven from Southeast Asia and 20 from East Asia.

Jenni Kemarre Martiniello OAM is a contemporary urban based Aboriginal (Arrernte) glass artist, who creates traditionally inspired works that pay tribute to traditional weavers and provide recognition for ancient cultural practices through the contemporary medium of glass.

Jenni is a major figure in Indigenous art in Australia and continues to work with and inspire many fellow and emerging artists. She was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for service to the creative and visual arts in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2022.

‘Bush Flower Bicornual: Banksia and Bottlebrush with Grasses’ (2021), by Jenni Kemarre Martiniello OAM, features hot blown glass with murrine. Photo: Sabbia Gallery.

Kirstie Rea has been practising for over 30 years and her work is held in some of the world’s most important public and private contemporary art collections. She says, “At the core of my practice lies the desire to seek an understanding of our often tenuous connections to place. Walking in places beyond urban environments, seeking solitude and distance, photography and writing have become tools to inform my making.”

Kirstie has taught internationally at the Australian National University Glass Workshop, in United States at Pilchuck Glass School, the Corning Studio, and Pittsburgh Glass Centre; North Lands Creative Glass in Scotland, and Vetroricerca School in Italy. In 2009, Kirstie was awarded Honorary Life Membership of Ausglass, the national organisation of Australian glass artists.

Works by both Jennifer Kemarre Martiniello OAM and Kirstie Rea are held by Sabbia Gallery.

Sabbia Gallery is at: Ground Floor, 609 Elizabeth Street, Redfern, NSW 2016, Australia.

Main image: Kirstie Rea’s ‘What remains’ (2019), folded glass, plinth. Photo: David Paterson.

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