Matthew Curtis – Beyond the bowl artist

When viewing the curvature of Matthew Curtis’ work Green section pair for the first time a number of images spring to mind. It can’t be helped but be compared to shapes seen within our natural environment such as the waves of the ocean or the curve of a leaf. It is fitting then that a key inspiration for Curtis’ work is nature – not the natural environment that we would encounter everyday but the hidden world that can only be seen when a living organism such as a leaf is viewed under a microscopic lens. The initial recognition of natural influences is precisely what Curtis is aiming for, as he wishes his glass work to give the viewer a sense of “ambiguous familiarity”.

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Curtis illustrating his working process
Photo courtesy of Matthew Curtis

Curtis is inspired not only by nature but also the man-made environment and architecture. Before creating an artwork Curtis will develop his ideas by drawing diagrams, often with chalk in the backyard.

“These details refract and diffuse light, evocative of microscopic imagery. This works continues my interest into intricate and evolved cellular forms; it has become a contemplation of the complexity of structures.” – Matthew Curtis.

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Photo courtesy of Matthew Curtis

Curtis has been exhibiting his works both nationally and internationally for over 20 years.  His work is widely collected in many private and public collections including;  Sir Elton John’s collection; Saxe collection at the De Young Museum, San Francisco, USA; Palm Springs Museum, California, USA, the Ernsting Stiftung Museum, Coesfeld, Germany; Wagga Wagga National Glass Collection, Australia and the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.

Curtis makes his creations at Curtis Glass Studio in Queanbeyan, which has been described as an “office, a hotspot and studio all in one” and is represented by Sabbia Gallery, Sydney.

Curtis has recently been selected as one of the 12 finalists for the prestigious Tom Malone Glass Prize.  The Tom Malone Glass Prize is a highly respected national event within the Australian glass arts community and it has played an integral role in the Gallery’s acquisition of works by Australia’s most inspiring, innovative and accomplished artists in this medium.This exhibition will be on display at the Art Gallery of Western Australia from 9 March to 13 May 2019.

Curtis and nine other leading ceramic and glass artists can be discovered at Hurstville Museum and Gallery’s exhibition Beyond the Bowl, open until April 2019. Beyond the Bowl highlights and celebrates the diversity of Australian contemporary ceramics and glass.


‘Section and xylem’, Curtis Glass Art,

Pryor, Sally, ‘Glass artists Matthew Curtis and Harriet Schwarzrock find Queanbeyan fits the bill’, The Canberra Times, 10 October 2014,

Featured Image: Matthew Curtis, Green section pair 2018, blown tinted glass, cut and fused, stainless steel frame. Photo by Rob Little.

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