Date : 2005

Materials : Cast glass, house brick & tree

Size : H210mm x W230mm x D100mm

Certificate of authenticity

"Nanyang" by Jane Cowie

  • B. Jane Cowie has been working with glass for over 30 years. After gaining a Visual Arts Degree at Sydney College of the Arts, Jane travelled extensively in the 1980s to learn more about art, glass and life. Returning to Australia in the 1990’s she played an important role in the development of contemporary craft in South Australia. Completing a Masters Degree in Visual Arts, A Glassmakers Perspective - History and Practice of studio glassmaking in South Australia at the University of South Australia, she moved to Singapore in 2003, to embark on a new adventure to see, learn and experience living and working in South East Asia. Continuing to develop her practice as an individual artist exhibiting in various galleries, Jane has predominately been working within the broader construction industry to design and develop large art installations, purpose-built for private and commercial spaces.


    Artist Statement

    "The fragility of home…

    This exhibition is about the transient nature of home. I have been a traveler for many years when my suitcase was the demarcation of home. In 1997, I bought a home in Australia made of bricks and mortar, it was solid and stationary. Yet, my desire to learn more enticed me away from my ‘security’ to find a new home in Asia. Here is found myself surrounded by different sorts of homes, homes that are transient and fragile.
    Using glass for its qualities of transparency and fragility, I challenge the traditional ideas of glass applications.
    Glass, known primarily as bottles, drinking vessels and window pains, I use the beauty and fragile threat of glass as a carrier of meaning. Soft and elusive patterns are combined with poignant and abstract text to trigger memories that may be nostalgic and somewhat romantic.
    I juxtapose hand crafted glass pieces with mixed media objects to deal with a number of ideas about the fragility of home that may be perceived or real. You find glass suitcases and bags symbolising a transient notion of living where home is temporary place to spend time as people pass through-in search of money, security, and a future.
    Homes high above the ground in towering boxes of glass, concrete and steel where wispy figures float and fly together in life. Or houses that hover precariously above the water, waiting for the tide to bring a new catch of fish, or wash the flimsy dwelling away.
    In homes of wood there are ornately carved air vents that allow the flow of air from inside to outside.
    Translated into glass, these pieces allow the flow of light, yet containing omnipresent text. Glass opposed to paper doilies, are pierced and pinned to the wall. Doilies are the spacers/protectors in life, the separators between precious ornaments and polished wood furniture, yet here, inscribed with text, they become the spacers for emotional protection found between people who share a home.
    Pattern and text embellish these transparent and translucent pieces that are representative of the light, fragile and vulnerable dwellings that are called home. A sense of family or familiarity then becomes the foundation of home.
    This body of work incorporates memories that illuminate differences as well as common concerns that are found across different cultures, families and traditions. Finding a place to belong to, a home for oneself, is not always easy, nor once found stable. The work investigates a rethinking of objects and ideas that may otherwise go unnoticed. The works reinterpret the stuff that creates culture and are imbued with nostalgic, they quietly question the romanticism of home and ask…. What is it that is obscured by the deductive beauty of a home? Control, truth, sacrifice, helplessness, and intimacy, which are often unspoken, yet ever-present within the home."

    B. Jane Cowie, May 2007