Plenty to reflect on in glass art show

Glass artists were busy during lockdown and their work is celebrated in the new national exhibition that is on now at Estuary Arts Centre in Orewa.

The Focus on Glass exhibition features more than 60 pieces from across the North Island. Alongside work by several nationally and internationally-renown glass artists, there are pieces by others who are just starting out. Two Coast artists – Donna Hall of Waitoki and Kate Cornwall of Matakatia – are among those featured.

Kate’s interest in glass began 10 years ago when she did a cast glass workshop. She went on to learn the kiln formed glass making technique – where sheets of glass are fused together in a kiln.

Her job at a bank eventually went by the wayside when she bought a glass art business, and she now makes art fulltime in the five kilns she has at home.

Kate says that lockdown gave her the headspace to focus on her art rather than the more commercial side that is her bread and butter.

“I immersed myself in glass,” she says. This included making View of a Virus during lockdown.

“Suddenly the world’s focus condensed to a cellular level, and everything I drew was a virus,” she says.

A group she co-founded two years ago called Glass Art in NZ (designed to support a wide range of glass artists) put together the Estuary Arts exhibition.

Prizes were awarded to artists at the exhibition opening, including the Excellence in Glass prize from the NZ Society of Artists in Glass. This was won by Claire Bell of Whanganui for Mirror of Truth.

The exhibition is on until November 15. A catalogue can be viewed at