Glass artist Jessica Loughlin has long had an affinity for space. First captivated by the expansive horizons of the Hay Plains during art school, she has since become fascinated with the flat desert landscapes and salt lakes of South Australia. Her meditative glass sculptures and wall panels capture the endless space and sense of stillness that can be found in these vast open plains.
Despite their reductive palette and minimal nature, Loughlin’s work contains and conceals a spectrum of colour and detail. Her free-standing sculptures, made of an opaline glass, appear milky white until they reflect the light and become blue or transmit it to reveal warm orange and pinky tones. “My material is both glass and light,” Loughlin says. “I use the glass to sculpt light and shadow.” Similarly, when presented on white, her wall panels are explorations of light and shadow but on closer inspection transform to reveal texture and detail.
Loughlin is renowned for both her thoughtful, instinctual approach and technical skill. A graduate of the Canberra School of Art, she took calligraphy classes for six years as a child and considers this a formative period that continues to influence her work today. Not only do her current processes and preference for working in tones reflect the training she received during this time but she also continues to make work with the stillness and concentration she learnt as a child.
Highly regarded in Australia and overseas, Loughlin has been represented in over 50 national and international exhibitions. Her work is also held in a number of prestigious public and private collections, including the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the National Gallery of Australia and the New Mexico Museum of Art in the US. Most recently, Loughlin’s work was included in Glass Now, an exhibition of international glass art in Hamburg, and will be on display from 10 December in a solo exhibition at Fehily Contemporary in Armadale, Melbourne. It will then tour to Venice Italy for exhibition at Catarina Tognon Arte Contemporanea in September 2017.