# Keith Rowe Exhibition


Lost Bear Gallery presents a major exhibition of new glass art by renowned Blue Mountains based glass artist Keith Rowe.

This exhibition will feature a variety of glass objects made using several different glass blowing techniques, including the murrine technique that demands the highest levels of skill and craftsmanship. Keith has been a passionate exponent working with murrine glass throughout his career. This collection showcases unimagined beauty through his harmonious and discordant creations using form and colour.

Artist Statement

The theory of colour has been the driving force in my exploration with glass. The challenge of developing the skills required to master this medium, are at times overwhelming, when you realise there is still so much to learn.

Murrine, murrina, or mosaic glass works are one of the oldest glass making techniques going back to Egyptian times and into the Roman era. It wasn’t until the 19th century that this technique was revived and through to the 20th and now the 21st century, it has flourished as a main form of decoration in glass art. Making a Murrina consists essentially in preparing a sheaf of coloured glass rods, so that the cross section is accordingly to a predetermined design. It is then heated and drawn out to the desired diameter.  This rod is then cut to small pieces, which are then placed on a metal plate to then be re-heated and with the aid of a blow pipe, picked up and coated with more glass. At that point, the piece is formed. When the glass has cooled, it is then cold-worked to give the works an organic flavour.  Pulled from the molten glass, intricate patterns in a full spectrum of colour give rise to each vessel’s own voice.
Life is about patterns; it’s about the arrangement of these patterns and how they interact with each other. Everywhere you look, there are harmonious and discordant marriages of colour. The world around offers so much inspiration for designing the work. I am drawn to colour combinations that I may at first glance not find that interesting. Inspection of the forms and where the colours meet create an emotive response, where I either like or dislike combinations. I use the murine technique to explore these colour relationships.

The Kaleidoscope series is inspired from the beauty of mosaic decoration, reflecting repetitive patterns and combinations that give joy to our emotions and provide a harmony that pervades our existence. The world around has and is giving me so much fuel to fire my personal furnace of creativity. The beginnings started with this concept and the Kaleidoscopes are for me, reminiscent of when a child first discovers colour through this lens.

In the Urban Landscape works, I am seeing the landscape through shapes and patterns (roads, streets and rivers). The built environment is where spaces are created through infrastructure that allows communities and populations to live, grow and survive.

The Tulipa series is the beginning formations of colour and light; they are for observing, inside and outside, where they interact with light. They remind me of walking and finding seed pods; beautifully formed natural objects. In trying to replicate these, there is a joy to the shape, textures and a tactile quality. Geometry, colour and form are the things that generate emotions and this is how I appreciate these objects. If these elements are in harmony, there is great satisfaction.

My life continues to be fuelled by curiosity and imagination, providing a constant source of ideas to explore through my practice. I hope this new body of work presents an opportunity to pause and reflect about how we respond to and interact with colour.

Keith Rowe
December 2022

EXHIBITION catalogue