Australian artists are often drawn to respond to the wide open spaces of our landscape. Its gouged surface, eroded by water through millennia, creates vast flat horizons that provide a rich reflective space where time can slow. Only very few artists are able to capture this sublime stillness in their work. Jessica Loughlin’s enigmatic and cerebral glass sculptures and wall panels afford us this rare presence, allowing us to be in the now, and to enter a meditative state where all thought is concentrated.
In Continuum, 2015, Loughlin responds to the ever-shifting presence and nature of water in the barren Australian landscape. The cycle of evaporation, leaching of salts, condensation and rain, is explored not only in the imagery created, but also in the means of production.
The painterly effect Loughlin achieves in these wall panels emerges from grinding glass to a powder, and then suspending the powder in water to create a milky slurry that she gently guides across the surface.
The liquid powdered glass is then left to evaporate, leaving traces on the glass — a memory on the surface where water has once been.
Loughlin’s very individual approach to the medium has resulted in her reductive monochromatic works being recognised nationally and internationally. She is a leader in her process of kiln-formed glass, and is known for both her technically precise works and her innovative methods of production.
She is the recipient of Australia’s leading glass awards: the Tom Malone Prize in 2004 and 2007, and the Ranamok Glass Prize in 1997and in 2001 she was awarded the international Urban Glass Award, New York.