British Glass Biennale award winners 2008

Hundreds of guests celebrated with the 2008 glass award winners at the opening of the British Glass Biennale exhibition which took place at the Ruskin Glass Centre in Amblecote, Stourbridge, West Midl…

Hundreds of guests celebrated with the 2008 glass award winners at the opening of the British Glass Biennale exhibition which took place at the Ruskin Glass Centre in Amblecote, Stourbridge, West Midlands on 21 August 2008. Tracy Nicholls took the British Glass Biennale Award for her triptych Orphica I, II and III. Her piece was judged by the Biennale jury as reflecting the highest degree of creative achievement in contemporary British glass, and as being the “best in show“. Will Farmer, Director of Fieldings Auctioneers and chair of the British Glass Biennale jury said, “The show is phenomenally strong and the decision, particularly when we narrowed it down to a shortlist of five was really tough. But all of the jury were unanimous about the winning entry. There“s something very mysterious about the piece which as a triptych has amazing impact. It“s strong technically, shows real quality craftsmanship and is beautifully manufactured. We all loved it”. The Glass Sellers Award went to Bob Crooks for Vertical Vase and Timothy Boswell received the Glass Sellers Student Award for Fiesta 1. Both winners were selected by the Worshipful Company of Glass Sellers who were looking for originality and talent in the use of glass as a medium of artistic expression. Professor John Whiteman, chairman of the trustees of the Worshipful Company of Glass Sellers Charity said “We chose Bob Crooks piece from a very strong field because it has a lyrical fluidity which defines a very individual colour palette. The colours have a very striking purity, translucence and transparency. The piece also has very fine, opaque swirling and trailing. In production this master glassmaker has capitalised on the way the piece distorts as a result of temperature changes in the glass making process. The combination of shape, colour range and translucence are its real strengths”. Timothy Boswell“s piece won the students prize because of the palette of different types of glass, raw materials and techniques it contains, such as tubing from neon signs, hollow canes, stringers and rods fused together to produce plaque motifs. “Our runner up prize for the Glass Sellers Award went to James Lethbridge for his piece Serpentine Chandelier this and Coalescence ii, also on show, demonstrate his ability over a range of different magnitudes. Steven Whitehill was runner up for the Glass Sellers Student Award, his piece “untitled” was chosen because of its simplicity, good use of materials, calmness and elegance in complete contrast to Timothy Boswell“s”. The prize money for all three awards totalled GBP 14,000, divided among the British Glass Biennale Award worth GBP 8,000, the Glass Sellers Award worth GBP 5,000 and the Glass Sellers Student Award worth GBP 1,000 The British Glass Biennale is a selling show with over 130 pieces of work ranging from the small scale to large installations and prices from GBP 200 – 35,000 for sale to collectors and buyers. The exhibition is open daily from 22 August to 28 September 2008 at the Ruskin Glass Centre, Stourbridge, the heart of the historic glass industry in the UK.