'Chiaroscuro' a cast glass commission for a private residence, Wentworth Falls 2014
I recently completed and installed a very successful cast glass window commission for a private house in Wentworth Falls, in the Blue Mountains, NSW. Each lead crystal panel weighed 25 kilos, the whole artwork totalling 125 kilos. The work was 2.3m high and 60cm wide and 5 cm thick and attached with custom made brass fittings. I worked with architects from Peter Stutchbury Architects to design the work to fit into a window alcove above a staircase. The rest of the house was very bright with soaring ceilings in the lounge room opening onto a landscaped garden so this work was intended to create a more mysterious passageway in contrast to other parts of the home. Positioned in the middle of the house and set against the stark concrete walls, wooden panelling and brass finishes, the work adds a warmth or a heartbeat to the home.
The clients brief was to create a work with " Depth of colour and graduating tones... ie not flat and graphic but deep and unfathomable. We are looking for strength, strength of purpose, but the strength should come from the mystery, the subtlety of the change in a single deep hue or group of related hues as a cloud passes in front of the sun. Or to use a bush fire analogy, as the light changes, the colours move (flicker, dance?). When you look into a flame or molten hot charcoal, where does one colour stop and another begin?"
Armed with only the above brief and size of the window I set about designing the work. On my first site visit I was anxious that the marquettes I had brought with me and the artwork I had designed might not work with the rest of the house that I had not yet seen. I was thrilled to find that the ideas and artwork I had designed from just a concept were ideal and and would be an important addition to the home. I left feeling very excited about completing the artwork. The work took several months to complete and was installed in April 2014.
After discussions with the client the resulting work was named "Chiaroscuro" as it is both strong and mysterious and evocative of folds in material in renaissance paintings.