Ireland Glass Biennale 2017

Leitrim artists feature at inaugural Ireland Glass Biennale exhibition

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News Reporter

Leitrim artists feature at inaugural Ireland Glass Biennale exhibition

The Ireland Glass Biennale 2017 exhibition in the NCAD Gallery is a new exhibition to shine a spotlight on excellence in contemporary glass work by international artists, designers and crafts practitioners working across the globe today. With an expert jury of selectors and open call to practitioners, the Ireland Glass Biennale is a significant new exhibition platform for glass talent hosted by the premiere national art and design institution in Ireland, the National College of Art and Design, Dublin.

On Thursday, October 26 the NCAD Gallery at the National College of Art and Design, Dublin (NCAD), opened the inaugural Ireland Glass Biennale 2017 exhibition to a packed gallery audience, showcasing the work of over 30 international and Irish artists, designers and makers working in the glass medium.

Esteemed guests included 25 members of the Ennion Society from the Corning Museum of Glass, New York, accompanied by Karol Wight, President & Executive Director, Amy Schwartz, Director of the Glass Studio, and Bill Gudenrath, Advisor, all from the Corning Museum of Glass, New York.


At the exhibition opening evening event, Amy Schwartz made reference to the importance of this biennale for contemporary glass makers, both nationally and internationally.

“We have been in collaboration with the NCAD Glass Department and Dr Caroline Madden for many years in organising cross-institutional scholarships and we are delighted to be invited and to witness this wonderful new biennale exhibition with huge international potential, which is such an exciting opportunity for exhibitors and exhibition audiences that has lasting appeal”.

The exhibition features works from emerging and established Irish artists including recent NCAD glass alumni Emma Bourke, Aoife Soden and Sinead Brennan. Work by these artists can be found in collections in international institutions such as The Museum of Glass, Toledo, Ohio; the National Glass Centre, Sunderland; the Ulster Museum, Belfast; the Limerick Museum, and the Museum of Ireland Collections. 

Established and well known Irish artists, Peadar Lamb, Róisín de Buitléar and Alison Lowry together with designers, J HILL’s Standard, present their magnificent work. Their work can be seen alongside that of international makers, including and Rothschild & Bickers (UK), Scott Benefield (UK), Davin Ebanks (US), and Vanessa Cutler (UK) amongst many more.

The exhibition is currently on-show at the NCAD Gallery, National College of Art and Design, 100 Thomas Street, and will run until Monday 13th November 2017. Admission is free and open to the public weekdays from 10am - 5pm.

The Ireland Glass Biennale 2017 Full List of Exhibitors include: Laetitia Andrighetto & Jean-Charles Miot (FR), Jonathan Ball (IE), Scott Benefield (UK), Emma Bourke (IE), Sinéad Brennan (IE), Manuela Castro Martins (PT), Evy Cohen (FR), Vanessa Cutler (UK), Debbie Dawson (IE), Róisín de Buitléar (IE), Davin Ebanks (US), Karen Donnellan (US), Rachel Elliott (UK), Ursula Halpin (IE/AUS), J HILL’s Standard (IE), Bryan Kekst Brown (US), Peadar Lamb (IE), Colette Langan (IE), Sophie Longwill (IE), Alison Lowry (UK), Loraine Lynn (US), Sarah Mc Evoy (IE), Michael Ray (IE), Anna Riley (US), Rothschild & Bickers (UK), Killian Schurmann (IE), Keith Seybert (US), Aoife Soden (DK), Suzannah Vaughan (IE), Ben Woodeson (UK), Peter Young (IE).


Exhibitors were selected by an esteemed panel of jurors through an ‘open call’. The Jury for the Ireland Glass Biennale 2017 included Brian Kennedy, Independent Curator working internationally predominantly in the craft and applied art area; Jiyong Lee, studio artist & Associate Professor of Art at Southern Illinois University, USA; and Dr Anna Moran, Lecturer in History of Design and Material Culture, School of Visual Culture, National College of Art & Design, Dublin (NCAD).

Exhibition continues until Monday November 13th, 2017, Monday - Friday, 10am - 5pm.

Colete Langan 

Colette Langan trained in the conservation and restoration of medieval stained glass at Chapel Studio in Hertfordshire, where she worked for seven years. Langan worked on the stained glass windows in Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London and Windsor Castle. She was also entrusted with the restoration and repair of windows designed by prestigious artists such as Tiffany, Burne Jones and William Morris. Though training as a conservator, Langan’s desire was always to make her own work. In 1995 Langan returned to Leitrim and set up on her own, restoring and designing stained-glass windows.

"This work fuses my previous experience as a stained glass maker with my painting and digital media art practice. The stained glass piece breaks down an image of myself into 1232 pixels of glass, inspired by the paintings of Chuck Close; pushing the boundaries of pixilation while still retaining a recognisable image. The position of the viewer directly impacts on the legibility of the image.

"I have attempted to metaphorically and physically portray the destruction and remaking of identity, a process that is familiar to those who have endured and survived domestic abuse. The work started as a series of photographs that was inspired by the sharp light of a sunny winter’s morning. The work hints at the notion of original sin, unquestioned beliefs, shame, denial, constraints and the fear of speaking out. Ultimately such experiences can be subsumed into something new and bold; exchanging enforced silence for wise counsel."

Jonathan Ball 

Jonathan Ball is a craftsperson who is interested primarily in the plasticity of materials. This interest has driven him to investigate and visualise how these materials can be incorporated into projects and installations in a built environment. From his studio in northwest Ireland he produces commissioned works for private and corporate clients. The ancient craft of glassblowing and forging metal are one of the studio’s main sources of inspiration. The acquisition and development of the skills and techniques required in theses crafts takes many years of dedication and persistence. The Leitrim based studio, has been in business for the past fifteen years and has completed a vast array of projects in Ireland and abroad. The studio offers clients a unique service and strives to produce work to the highest standards. In an age of computer generated results we visualise and create pieces that radiate the use of hand skills.