October 1, 2009
By Yukio Yamada
The Glass House in Belgium annually focuses on glass from a different country through exhibitions, lectures, demonstrations, workshops and performances. This year, they presented contemporary glass from Canada in an exhibition titled ‘Tenuous Tenacity’. Glass itself can be both a tenuous and a tenacious material and the works in this exhibition illuminate a depth to both of these qualities. The work was selected for inclusion in the exhibition because it is made by people with the tenuous or rare tenacity to keep putting their ideas into the work they make with glass, whether art, craft or design.
When Belgians think of Canada they are quick to think of snow and severe cold, grand landscapes, impressive mountains, beavers, bears and moose. So it seems almost obvious that the overwhelming countryside and all its iconography will also affect the arts, the crafts and design in Canada. But are there characteristic techniques, forms and colors, or ideas, which are specific to Canadian glass? Is there more than the geographic origin, which makes this glass Canadian?
Seventeen Canadians across several generations of artists and designers were selected to participate in the exhibition. A varied mix of established artists and upcoming talents defines ‘Contemporary Canadian Glass.’ They explore the boundaries of form as well as content.
Participating artists are: Catherine HIBBITS, Rika HAWES, Jocelyne PRINCE, Susan RANKIN, Aaron OUSSOREN, Brad TURNER, Sally MCCUBBIN, Katherine GRAY, Rachael WONG, Karli SEARS, Ione THORKELSSON, Tyler ROCK, John Paul ROBINSON, Michèle LAPOINTE, Carole PILON, Kevin LOCKAU, Brad COPPING.
The exhibition ‘Tenuous Tenacity,’ co-curated by Jeroen Maes and Brad Copping, opened to the public on Sunday, September 13, and is on display until December 30, 2009. On several occasions there will be Canadian artists working in the studio of the Glass House. Brad Copping has made thousands of glass pine needles for his installation ‘Ghost Pine’. The needles balance on surveyor’s measuring tape suspended in the tower/cone of the Glass House. Sally McCubbin and Aaron Oussoren (Timid Glass) occupied the studio and gave a workshop about design and function, but they also produced functional glasswork, which will be for sale. The year will close with a working period by Katherine Gray.
GLASS HOUSE, Flemish Centre for Contemporary Glass Art,Dorp14b – 3920 Lommel – Belgium
Contact: T: +32 (0)11 541 335F: +32 (0)11 552 266