JamFactory’s ICON series celebrates the achievements of South Australia’s most influential visual artists working in craft-based media. Jessica Loughlin is one of Australia’s most internationally acclaimed glass artists and is renowned for her highly innovative technical approach to kiln-formed glass. A studio glass artist for more than twenty-five years, Loughlin creates ethereal kiln-formed glass artworks that explore the horizon line, the beauty of emptiness, infinity and light and space.
Known for her understated aesthetic, Loughlin takes her artistic cues from the vast, flat landscapes and salt lakes of South Australia. ‘To me, the Australian landscape is defined by its vast space and a sense of distance,’ Loughlin says. Rarely filled with water, the minimalist landscapes of these remote salt lakes seemingly fuse land and sky as one infinite plain that completely immerses the viewer on a physical, emotional and spiritual level.
In her glass practice, Loughlin fuses kiln-formed sheets of opaque and translucent glass together in flat panels or thin geometric freestanding pieces that allude to shadow, reflection and refraction. Her work is characterised by a strict reductive sensibility and use of colour.
Despite a limited palette, Loughlin’s glass artworks contain a spectrum of colours and detail. Made of opaline glass, Loughlin’s freestanding sculptures appear milky white until they reflect light and become blue or transmit light to reveal warm orange and pink tones. While Loughlin works with the materiality of glass it is apparent that her subject is something more intangible - often focused on providing a space for contemplation and to create a sensation of space, rather than being metaphoric or narrative in nature.
JamFactory ICON Jessica Loughlin: of light is a JamFactory touring exhibition assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory board. Jessica Loughlin acknowledges the support of the Department of the Premier and Cabinet through an Arts South Australia Grant.
Jessica Loughlin at Kati Thanda - Lake Eyre, South Australia, 2010
Photographer: David Gartelmann
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