Artists pour character into glass

01:14, Jun 27 2012
Julie Catchpole
SHOW STOPPER: Suter gallery director Julie Catchpole with works by the Crystal Chain Gang members Jim Dennison and Leanne Williams from their touring show, Fancy Fool's Flight.

A quirky and tongue-in-cheek look at glass art is on show at the Suter gallery until mid-August.

Martinborough-based glass artists Jim Dennison and Leanne Williams make up the Crystal Chain Gang and their combined talents are featured in Fancy Fools Flight, a touring exhibition that pushes the boundaries of the medium.

A collection of 15 solid cast-glass bottles based on the form of decanters and topped with stoppers form the centrepiece of the show.

The stoppers feature a lineup of real and imagined characters, with inspiration sourced from "overlooked" objects from secondhand shops and images from books. Things like chess pieces, birds, pirates and Kewpie dolls have been remoulded into new forms.

Dennison and Williams say their intention is to stir up memories and "re-contextualise the bottle" to engage viewers in new and unexpected ways. Suter director Julie Catchpole says she likes the artists' "very quirky and tongue-in-cheek" approach.

Fancy Fools Flight also features a chandelier, which on close inspection is made of cast-glass bird claws and press-moulded glass wings, and a flock of glass birds – some with human heads – flying around the room.

There's also a lineup of photographs of seven "avian anarchists" called The Plunderers, with names like Spook, Cookie and Sinbad, and a skull made from glass budgies.