Ruth McCallum Howell

It could be said that pictorial symbols and simulacra are part of our genetic encoding, and symbols are one way that we interpret what we experience in the world.

Most of the artwork I produce derives its inspiration and fascination from the relationships we all appear to share with our environment. If there exists an apparent underlying order within chaos; at the same time we have to accept that there must also be chaos within apparent order. And so; much of my work explores the concepts of predetermined randomness within the natural world, and also the aesthetic results that arise from the competition and coexistence of elements within any given system. The  aesthetic results of this are interlocking and repeating cycles, and competing systems vying for space. My impetus is to provide the visual stimulus to excite the amazing pattern recognition system that is hardwired into our brains.

All of the works I make are unique, as both the original model and casting mold are destroyed in the process. I model the positive form in closed cell architectural foam, as it allows me to work at the scale I enjoy without the weight of wax or clay when sculpting the form. A mold similar to an open cast bronze mold is made over the original, using silica flour, plaster and fibreglass… strong enough to contain molten glass, but flexible enough to withstand the physical forces at work in such mass. The foam is retro-engineered into its ingredients (foam turned to goo) and removed from the mold leaving the void of exactly the glass shape I require.

The Dichroic glass has been poached from the structural colours in nature such as butterfly wings and peacock feathers. The inclusion of Dichroic glass within my cast sculptural glass remains an ideal vehicle for to express this overriding idea of perception that I explore. If what you see depends on where you “stand” (physically, politically, intellectually) ; then this idea is truly embodied in the colour shifts that occur as you change your physical location to view my work.

Our brains are wonderful pattern recognition machines. I intend for my artwork to provide visual information, but not ever a physical description of an object. How others see my work is truly what it is, for each; unique memory.

Solo Exhibitions

2009
SOLO 2
Kirra Galleries Australia. Federation Square, Melbourne. Australia.

2005
MORPHOLOGY
Smyrnios Galleries Australia, Prahran, Victoria

Selected Group Exhibitions

2016
ENCORE Glass Artists Gallery Sydney, NSW

2015
VIRTUOSO Kirra Galleries Australia. Federation Square, Melbourne.
SUMMER SEASON SHOWGlass Artists Gallery Sydney, NSW
YERING STATION SCULPTURE PRIZE finalist Yering Station, Yering, Vic
SMALL WORKS A3 Glass Artists Gallery Sydney, NSW
DESIRE Kirra Galleries Australia. Federation Square, Melbourne.
KIGA 2015 illuminated glass Finalist Federation Square, Melbourne.

2014
SOUNDINGS Montsalvat Eltham, Vic

2013
YERING STATION SCULPTURE PRIZE finalist Yering Station, Yering, Vic
12 VICTORIAN GLASS ARTISTS Albert Street Gallery Richmond Vic
ABL SCULPTURE EXHIBITION Arnold Bloch Leibler Head Office
FLANAGAN ART PRIZE finalist St Patricks College Ballarat, Vic
NILLUMBIK ART PRIZE finalist Montsalvat Eltham, Vic
REVIEW 2012/13Glass Artists Gallery Sydney, NSW

Bibliography

2013
Art Guide Nov/Dec 2013 pg 106

2012
Online Featured Artist October Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass www.contempglass.org
Time out Magazine Hong Kong, yearly gallery listings
Scoop Homes and Art Autumn 2012 pg 69
Sunday Herald Sun March 4, pages 12, 13
The Pocket Arts Guide January 2012 Issue 27, page 10
Glass Art Volume 27 No1 January/February 2012 Pg 41

Professional Experience

2013-present
Resident Artist: Montsalvat Eltham, Vic
Tutor: Contemporary Glass Practice
Glass/Ceramic Studio, MC2  Community Hub
Manningham City CouncilDoncaster, Victoria

2012
Returning Guest Studio Artist
Art Glass Studio Morley, Western Australia
Collections and Commission Work.

2014
Ted Ajani Centre Forecourt Project Australia

2012
Okura Hotel Macau Galaxy Hotel and Casino Macau

2011
New World Hotel Beijing

2006
Latrobe Regional Gallery Australia

Various private collections

Additional Artist information