When viewing Alexandra’s Chambers work, for example, Instax gratification, you can’t help but smile as it compares today’s latest technology with that of decades past. By utilising found objects that are by today’s standard redundant, such as a brownie box camera or a library card catalogue index, Chambers demonstrates the evolution of an item. By positioning these ‘historical’ items alongside contemporary art within a Museum & Gallery context adds another level of meaning and interpretation to these works.
Instax gratification 2018, Alexandra Chambers, kiln formed glass, fired decals, found object. Courtesy of Sabbia Gallery.
The juxtaposition of ‘new’ and ‘old’ are a common thread within Alexandra’s work; she explores the notion of urban storytelling and reflects on connections with past and present technologies and domestic life. As a result she creates objects that contain memories reflecting personal histories, and at the same time, questions the rapid advancement of technology demonstrated in her lifetime alone. Chambers wants the viewer to be transported into their own personal memories; there is a sense of the familiar with these objects. Chambers enjoys making work “that’s a bit humorous and makes you think a little, about your life, past-history, and the stories we’ll be telling our grandchildren.”
Using glass as a medium to represent defunct or ‘extinct’ objects, Chambers combines this with objects familiar to current popular culture; we are all too familiar with the icons of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. These glass components become artefacts, preserved to tell a story for future generations on what life was all about ‘back then’.
Chambers uses many different glass making techniques, showcasing the artist’s skill and mastery of this medium; from glass blowing, to sculpting, to working in the kiln with flat glass. She also uses sandblasting and does some lamp work with her torch for smaller components of each of these objects.
Alexandra Chambers, originally from the United States, has been working in glass for 22 years. She graduated with an undergraduate degree from the Australian National University, Canberra School of Art, Glass Workshop in 2001 and has been working sculpturally in glass for 17 years. Alexandra has exhibited in Australia and the United States.
Alexandra Chambers. Courtesy of the artist.
“Usually the idea is something I have been carrying with me for many years, and will finally produce from my head to my hands.”
– Alexandra Chambers
The thought provoking works of Alexandra Chambers and nine other leading ceramic and glass artists can be discovered at Hurstville Museum & Gallery’s exhibition Beyond the bowl, on until 18 April 2019. Beyond the bowl highlights and celebrates the diversity of Australian contemporary ceramics and glass.
Alexandra Chambers is represented by Sabbia Gallery, Sydney.
Hurstville Museum & Gallery, Artist Case Study: Alexandra Chambers, http://www.georgesriver.nsw.gov.au/StGeorge/media/Documents/ALEXANDRA-CHAMBERS-Educational-resource.pdf, viewed 26 January 2019.
Sabbia Gallery; Australian Studio Glass and Ceramics, Artists: Alexandra Chambers, https://sabbiagallery.com/exhibition/alexandra-chambers/, viewed 26 January 2019.
Beyond the bowl, Hurstville Museum & Gallery, 2019.