When first viewing the work of Cobi Cockburn, the visitor may question what this artwork is made from. It may be difficult to believe, and yet at the same time rewarding to learn, that the displayed panels are an abstraction created from glass. Cobi is one of Australia’s most dominant and innovative contemporary glass artists and she hopes that within her work the viewer will be encouraged to, not only “revisit meaningful emotions and memories”, but also delve “into the depths of what makes us human.”
Image courtesy of Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass
Cobi’s kiln–glass panels represent an intensive glass moulding technique that she has been developing throughout her career. Cobi stretches hot glass by hand to create fine lineal lines; in a similar process to making candy. She then arranges and ‘fuses’ (melts) the long glass canes together, and finally, ‘cold works’ (grinds) the surface to give it a frosty, even finish.
Cobi’s aim is to reduce her artwork to its essence; creating pieces of “subtlety and grace, pieces that will stand for themselves but not shout at the viewer”. Her thought-provoking body of work highlights delicate, as well as dramatic transitions in hue and transparency.
Cockburn, a graduate of Sydney College of the Arts and an Honours graduate of the Glass Workshop at the School of Art & Design, Australian National University, has made an impact on the Australian and international glass scene. She received the Tom Malone, the Ranamok and the Lino Tagliapietra Prizes as well as being a finalist in the Wynne Prize; the first glass artist to have achieved this honour. Cobi has been published in New Glass Review, art ltd., American Craft and Craft Arts International, and is in the collections of the Palm Springs Art Museum ,the Corning Museum of Glass, the Bulleye Project , Sabbia Gallery and the Art Gallery of Western Australia.
Cockburn, along with the works of other Australian artists, is displayed at Hurstville Museum & Gallery’s exhibition Beyond the Bowl, open until 18 April 2019.
Cobi Cockburn is represented by Sabbia Gallery, Sydney.
Featured image: Ascent into darkness 1. Courtesy of Sabbia Gallery
Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass. Retrieved 17th March 2019 from https://contempglass.org/artists/entry/cobi-cockburn
Artlink. Retrieved 17th March 2019 from https://www.artlink.com.au/articles/3107/cobi-cockburn/
Bullseye Projects. Retrieved 17th March 2019 from https://www.bullseyeprojects.com/artists/364-cobi-cockburn/overview/
Hurstville Museum & Gallery. Retrieved 17th March 2019 from http://www.georgesriver.nsw.gov.au/Community/Art-and-Culture/Hurstville-Museum-Gallery/Education/High-School-Programs
Sabbia Gallery. Retrieved 17th March 2019 from https://sabbiagallery.com/artists/cobi-cockburn/