Canberra is fortunate to have a community of artists that are based here. Our galleries and museums are filled with impressive artistry. The placement of pieces around the city adorns and improve the overall appearance of our great capital. Art provides interest and colour to our city centres, draws in tourists and stimulates our perceptions of reality with various exhibitions and shows.
The Canberra Glassworks specifically has helped our capital forge a name for itself in the international glassworks realm. However, the studios require resources in materials, time and facilities. Art Group has implemented a fellowship that sponsors an artist with liberal parameters, unlimited access to equipment, a studio and a generous stipend for materials.
The ‘Art Group Fellowship’ at Canberra Glassworks directly supports artists by allowing them to explore and evolve their work with full access to world-class facilities.
Harriet Schwarzrock was the 2017 benefactor of the fellowship. As a renowned glass artist, Harriet uses organic shapes and experiments with contrasting elements such as soft and hard, smooth and rough.
“I’m always trying to find balance. Those extremes of movement and stillness,” she said.
Her inspiration led her to create a collection of exquisite glass hearts. The Art Group fellowship provided Harriet with access to the Glassworks studio which helped enable her to prepare an exhibition for the Enlighten Festival. Altogether, she formed sixty beautiful glass hearts, each representing a resting heartbeat. Harriet continued to impress her audience with the interactive features of the pieces. A new process honed through her fellowship allowed her to play with gases like neon. The hearts not only glow but respond to the human touch as well. This provided an exciting opportunity for physical interaction with art.
Harriet conveyed her sentiments about the fellowship as not only supportive but also edifying. “It was a very generous opportunity for an artist’ she said, as she had the space and freedom to push herself, fail and make new discoveries”,
“It’s really important for the glassworks to have support to help fund them because the art’s funding scene is so precarious. I think it’s very meaningful from the artist’s end.”
Art grants of this value are notoriously difficult to gain due to national competition. In sponsoring local artists in Canberra, Art Group is contributing to the local culture as well as drawing international attention to our city. It also has integrated the essence of these glass hearts into the development of Mulberry. Much of the inspiration and thought behind its design is derived from Harriet’s brilliant artwork. The heart is an organ shared by every human.
Art Group hopes to continue providing a platform of possibility for our capital, in both their developments of Canberra’s future homes and it’s overarching culture with the help of local artists like Harriet.