Canberra Glassworks Residency
To fully realise this body of work I felt it important to involve women from the local community with diverse backgrounds to assist me in focusing on the one aspect of their lives they all have in common, mothering, and make glass hugs of their children. Each mother chose a colour they felt was representative of their children, they then assisted me at the Canberra Glassworks by blowing into the hot glass producing a form, thus capturing the mother’s breath in the first stage of making hugs of their children. Exploiting the fluidity of hot glass at temperatures of between 700 and 800oCelsius, I dressed myself in layers of heat resistant fabric -including a fireman’s suit- to perform the act of a hot glass hug. Each mother assisted in making as many Mums’ Hugsas she had children. The height of the plinths upon which mum’s hugs are displayed is determined by the height of the respective child’s bellybutton. This body of work has both a performance and contemplative aspect. The performance aspect is played out in front of an open gallery exposing mothers to the scrutiny of onlookers while partaking in the glassmaking process. The contemplative aspect is the final exhibition, displaying the work in family groups with the interplay of colours looked over by a proud mother.
My thanks goes to all mothers that participated in this residency and helped me to realise this work.
CASS Belconnen arts centre exhibition
Mums’ Hug series 2celebrates and promotes the important role mothers have in today’s society. It represents the physical and emotional connection of a mother and child through touch, specifically the act of hugging and the breath of the mother used to inflate the hot form. An analogy is drawn between hugging hot glass, intimidating and invigorating, and that of being a mum, which is also daunting and stimulating. The resultant textured, transparent sculptural forms sit on anthropomorphic plinths, representing maternal love and intimacy in the form of hot formed blown glass hugs.