Words: Erin Irwin
The Vicki Torr International Year of Glass Prize, presented by Canberra Glassworks and AUSGLASS, has been won by local artist Annette Blair for her work A Quiet Afternoon in May 2022. The artist was also presented with the People’s Choice Prize for the same work.
The competition is held in honour of artist Vicki Torr on the 30th anniversary of her death, as part of the United Nations International Year of Glass. The judges were seeking a work that was innovative, original, and representative of the ground-breaking approach of Australian glassmaking.
Blair’s practice focuses on creating delicate still lives of everyday objects using blown glass, looking beyond simple functionality and investing them with new meaning.
‘My work is centred around our connection to place and the people who shape us’, says the artist, ‘I have become fascinated by the associations many of us have with utilitarian objects. Giving these objects new life as reimagined versions of themselves crafted in glass, I see them as portraits of a moment in time and I aim to evoke these shared nostalgic connections with my audience’.
Aimee Frodsham, the Artistic Director of Canberra Glassworks, says that ‘This piece shows Annette Blair’s technical brilliance in hot glass sculpting, surface treatment, scale, and conceptual rigour. It is so wonderful that Annette is based in Canberra, her skills place her on an international level’.
2023 will see Blair visiting the USA in order to work with the Pilchuck Glass School, Washington, and the Pittsburgh Glass Centre, Pennsylvania.
This article was posted 10 February 2023.
Image: Annette Blair, A Quiet Afternoon in May 2022, 2020-22. Photography: Adam McGrath. Courtesy: the artist and Canberra Glassworks, ACT.