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Artist of the Month
October 2010

Artist of the Month

Wayne Pearson

Australian artist Wayne Pearson is currently a PhD candidate at the Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney.  He is a three-time Ranamok finalist with work in collections around the world. After an extensive background in visual arts and education, Wayne chose to work specifically with reverse painting on glass for the last 16 years. Currently, his PH.D. body of work is portraiture based on people connected to contemporary studio glass. He has produced a prolific amount of more than 30 works to date with his final presentation planned for mid 2011.

Wayne Pearson

Artist of the Month

Artist Statement:

Our most meaningful interpretations are of our fellow human beings. Even if the sitter is unknown, we recognize "the truth" of portrait. With a portrait we can look at an object painted five hundred years before our birth and know its validity by the vitality and presence it brings before us. Our engagement is improvised and fluid.

These portraits are reverse painted on glass using fired enamels. I could not create these paintings in any other medium, but engagement with these works is not about a glassmaking tradition. This is to take gesture and technique and the portrait tradition and broaden glassmaking into painting. My choice of glass is not an attempt to be controversial, arbitrary or contrary. This is an evolution of technique in the production of the portraits executed for a section of a PhD project that involved interviewing these practitioners, collectors and gallery owners. This was collaboration between the sitters, the material and me. As portraits they are open to interpretation as a presence by the audience that will come to them when it is they, alone, that still exist as things in the world.

Running beneath the portrait, embedded in the application of technique, these works carry a subliminal, narrative. This narrative is guided by artistic sensibility and it speaks of me, the maker. It is a struggle to integrate thought and emotion and express these in a struggle of discovery, through ‘doing’ in a dialogue with the material. The process of making is my gesture in the world as a creative maker. In such a way it is possible for my deepest narrative to be intrinsically embedded within the creatively made object and there it lies ready to engage the viewer.

About Wayne Pearson

Wayne Pearson has come from a rich educational background and is currently enrolled as a mature-age student to earn his Ph.D. at Sydney College of the Arts, The University of Sydney.

The basis of his current works is to engage the viewer with the presence of the sitter BEFORE they are engaged as a portrait or the medium. Therefore, the skill is secondary to the presence of the sitter (but certainly to be admired as an outstanding attribute to the finished work).

Wayne's first intention is to capture the presence of the sitter. Beneath this lies the gesture which is the narrative of the artist expressed through this body of work.

Portraits in this body of work are based on a series of over 60 interviews with artists, collectors and gallery owners involved in Australian studio glass.

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Acknowledgment of Gallery:
We are grateful to Glass Artists' Gallery (Sydney, Australia) for providing the materials for the Artist of the Month.

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Our Mission

The Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to further the development and appreciation of art made from glass.

The Alliance informs collectors, critics and curators by encouraging and supporting museum exhibitions, university glass departments and specialized teaching programs, regional collector groups, visits to private collections, and public seminars.