Simon Maberley: Refraction
National Art Glass Gallery: 25 August - 25 September
Simon Maberley, Contemplation, 2012, blown glass and steel
One of Australia's most innovative glass artists, Simon Maberley is known internationally for his unique figurative sculptures constructed from glass and metal. These stunning marionette-like works ask the viewer many questions about contemporary life and the individual's place within it.
The works in the exhibition continue my interest in the figure as a starting point for a reference to the notion of self. The sculptures are also about how light shifts with the density of its medium and the refraction as it interacts with materials it passes through or reflects off. In combining these two aspects, I am interested in the metaphor and interpretive links between light and self that the sculptures generate.
The discovery of optical effects has a history that intertwines the human awareness of the universe with our ability to perceive light in the visible spectrum and beyond. On an atomic level we exist to the best of our understanding as waves and particles, a vibrating hum of charged particles whizzing around their set orbits. The once theoretical physics of quantum mechanics is set to usher in unprecedented technology and shift us beyond a current human point of reference.
In contrast to this we still have the optical marvels of the natural world, the simple phenomena of mirages, eclipses, sunsets and rainbows. Our ancestors witnessed them for millennia without knowing the physical causes. How do we bridge the gap between self and image, between understanding and ignorance? The observation of the movement of light within the passing of time may provide a link.