This page holds the written content from the catalogue for my solo exhibition 'Layers' at Adelaide Festival Centre 2016
The catalogue was so beautiful with perfect words and photos. I want to share the words here.
Layer; A single thickness or coating that lies over or under another.
C I N D Y D U R A N T - L A Y E R S
By Jodi Martin, Singer-songwriter
Cindy Durant’s glasswork focuses our lens on the ornate inside the ordinary. She sets aglow intricate textures and designs hidden in something so simple I might have been walking straight past it every day.
She opens our eyes.
The long way 'round to Cindy's studio is one of many trails through the bush, and as we set out on one together, I begin to experience how Cindy sees things. This is so much more than a sandy track; it's a journey into the world of infinite layers that she sets into glass:
Clouds disappearing to the horizon in strata upon strata of ever-changing textures and hues.
It’s more than a mallee tree. We pull back the first curtain of shimmering bottle greens to reveal tiny lime-green tendrils like an overlay of lace. We gaze through the meshwork to the silver cross-hatching of branches beyond.
It’s more than a roll of fencing wire. It’s three-dimensional line-work and loops… transparent in delicate symmetry.
We stop as Cindy’s knee brushes against the graceful seed-pods of a dried out, common weed, and we zoom in to it’s mesmirising patterns and shapes shifting back and forth over each other in the puffs of breeze.
Zoom in… zoom out…
Durant’s eyes sweep the horizon; the creamy velvet layers of distant dunes, their foreground curves plunging into the deep saltwater lake. Clouds descend into its liquid mirror too. They sink down as deep as the banks of cotton wool pile up, one behind the other, overhead.
After an hour of exploring, we step up into the shade of her studio. Glinting transparent sheets clink together. Durant cascades powdered glass onto the flat surface, like the sand fell off our shoes at the door. She mindfully distills her inspiration from the endless undulations of her edge-of-the-desert backyard.
That night, in the kiln, the layered colours of warm glass meld together.
Melding layers of history on a landmark. Melding layers of seaweed on a beach.
The process itself is dictated by the solitude of Durant’s remote environment. As the kiln warms the glass, the same remoteness dictates the shimmering brilliance of the desert night sky.
As far out as our most powerful telescopes have reached outwards, past infinite layers of stars, is the same distance our microscopes have reached inwards through the universe of molecules and cells.
Zooming out… zooming in….
Going both ways – we haven’t found the end of the layers.
Durant’s work brings into profound focus the little things. Unveiling magic we might sometimes miss. She reminds us that the universe is built from layer upon layer of little things. That can take our breath away. That bring us back to Earth.
It’s important to address our big picture issues; to hold high as an Olympic torch our dreams of repairing a broken world. But perhaps this can only happen if we are willing to zoom in as far as we zoom out. To embrace the layers inside of us.
Perhaps it can only happen if we are willing not to miss the beauty that is already here.
Artistic statement for Layers Catalogue
This place I live is beautiful, rugged, isolated, and sometimes harsh. I love it for all of these reasons. The sound of quiet and the wind, the sky at dawn on our unbroken horizon, the ever changing sand dunes, the pink salt lake, the wildlife all round me, the great southern ocean in all her beauty and wild energy….the list is endless. I can hear myself think here and breathe.
There is so much to wonder at in the small things I see. There is beauty in those small things that often go unnoticed. I say small things but the small things can be large things too. Leaves, branches, trees, patterns. Seaweed, shells on the beach & texture in the sand. Farm junk, old buildings, history. Layers everywhere.
Working with glass in my remote location has been a challenge. I have embraced it fully. Winning the Breaking Ground Award for 2016 has given me the opportunity to explore and play in my studio with ideas and techniques both new and old. I have experimented and developed ideas and veered off on tangents. With reckless abandon I have tried and tried again. Some ideas worked but many did not. I have completely enjoyed the time spent in this creative process.
My property is completely run on solar energy, wind power and all we have is rain water….a precious commodity. Working under these conditions is challenging to say the least. My largest kilns run on LPG which is extremely expensive here. I work in many techniques and various media including kiln formed glass and vitreous enamel on metal. Basically kiln formed glass is melting layers of glass together. The materials I use include sheet glass, powdered and crushed glass.
The Breaking Ground Award enabled me to work with a mentor, Joshua Searson. Joshua taught me how to use Photoshop to edit my imagery and collected imagery. I have spent countless hours editing, manipulating, altering, layering and developing this skill, eventually using it to make my patterns for screen printing on glass and other media.
For this project I have worked on developing my techniques and skills with screen printing on glass. I have used these images altered, adjusted and layered for this body of work. There is power in pattern and repetitive pattern. From simple patterns to other more graphic designs I have printed to my hearts content. Simple things usually unnoticed have amazing beauty.
It is important from time to time to slow down
To go away by yourself and simply be
Only then will nature reveal her secrets
Quotation from Cactus book by Christo Reid.
Acknowledgment and thanks;
The artist would like thank all those involved in allowing me this time to grow and play.
Thank you to everyone at Country Arts SA for their continued support for many years. The list of these fantastic people would be huge. Steve, Merilyn and others past and present thank you for believing in me. A special thank you to Eleanor Scicchitano from Country Arts SA for her help and support with everything. I got there in the end! Beth Wuttke for putting together my beautiful catalogue with great skill.
A special thank you to my family. Bruce Durant for his unending support and devotion. His skills as Mr. Fixit and help with whatever I need help with. Dylan Durant for coffee and delicious dinners cooked after long hours in my studio.
Thank you everyone at Artspace Gallery Adelaide Festival Centre. Charissa Davies for her support and patience and helping me with my vision. Seb Calabretto gets a big thanks too.
Joshua Searson for mentoring me and sharing his fantastic skills.
Jodi Martin; singer & songwriter for writing the essay for my catalogue, performing at my exhibition opening and talking about being a creative person. I admire her work and spirit.
Grant Hancock for beautiful photography at short notice and handling my glass with care.
Friends and so many people have supported me both emotionally and physically during this year. I am grateful to them all. What would I do without all of them.
SALA 2016 Artist statement;
Glass and living in a remote part of coastal South Australia are passions of mine. Both are challenging. Layers is an exploration into this place, nature, history, patterns and all the small details that often go unnoticed. Combining screen printing techniques, often associated with textile printing, with the medium of glass, I have printed simple visual textures, through to more graphic designs.. Salt lake, sand dune, old building, clouds, leaf, roll of wire….glass.