JamFactory’s ICON series celebrates the achievements of South Australia’s most influential visual artists working in craft-based media.
Jessica Loughlin is one of Australia’s most internationally acclaimed glass artists and is renowned for her innovative technical approach to kiln-formed glass. She creates ethereal glass works that explore her fascination with the beauty of emptiness and her extensive research into light and space. A studio glass artist for over twenty-five years, Loughlin has dedicated her practice to capturing the transient qualities of light and the quiet sense of contemplation it provokes.
Known for her understated aesthetic, Loughlin takes her artistic cues from the vast, flat landscapes and salt lakes of South Australia. She began her exploration of the horizon line in her student years and is drawn to the inherent quietness and stillness of the land. Loughlin’s work is characterised by a strict reductive sensibility and restricted use of colour, with a gentle palette of soft, muted hues and the motif of the mirage reoccurring frequently across her practice.
In her recent work, Loughlin uses a milky, semi-translucent Opaline glass that behaves similarly to the light in the sky. Fine molecules in the glass split the light spectrum into cool and warm colours, reflecting blue tones or transmitting warm orange and pink tones. At first glance, the sculptural pieces might appear white, but on closer inspection, their colour changes subtly as the transmitted light shifts throughout the day. The wall pieces are also composed of white opaline glass but reflect only blue light and cause the glass to appear blue. These blue tones reference the colour of distance and the unreachable spaces that can be looked upon but never reached.
Building on the capacity of glass to both hold and reflect light, Loughlin’s characteristically minimalist glass works contain a startling spectrum of colour and detail, subtly changing colour tone in response to the surrounding environment. While glass is undoubtedly Loughlin’s material, her subject is more intangible: seeing, experiencing, and reflecting on the world around us, with each piece forming a poetic statement about the nature of perception.
Curator: Caitlin Eyre
JamFactory’s ICON series celebrates the achievements of South Australia’s most influential artists working in craft-based media. ‘Jessica Loughlin: of light’ is a JamFactory touring exhibition assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body. Jessica Loughlin acknowledges the support of the Department of the Premier and Cabinet through an Arts South Australia Grant.