Internationally regarded artist Gerry King presents his new solo exhibition Iconic Memory. Stemming from an influential visit to see icebergs in Iceland, but also anchored deeply in the landscape of the Adelaide Hills, his new works are filled with colour and translucency that trap the memory of time and landscape within it.
Gerry has worked with glass for almost forty years, and it is with this experience and skill that he is able to create a body of work that is at once highly crafted but also fluid, where he has allowed for the outcome to have some serendipity in the firing process. He embeds painted kiln formed elements within cast glass, much as an iceberg might trap debris within it. During a visit to Icelend, he was surprised that the icebergs weren’t just pure ice, but contained rocks and soil, and thus contained a trapped memory of a time or moment.
As a child I worked in the early morning delivering milk. On particularly hot days we would visit the ice-works to replenish the supply. The blocks of ice appeared as though magic propelled them from the factory chute, large, glistening and painfully cold to touch. Entrapped in the centre were masses of bubbles, a virtual landscape of white dots. The memory returned after a trip to Iceland where I contemplated ways of presenting the notion of natural history held within the icebergs.
I am also inspired by rural districts I often visit. Some are in the rain shadow of the Adelaide Hills and during summer the grass covered slopes are a harsh dry brown but in winter they are radiant with a resplendent swaying green. The contrast is so stark that it barely seems possible. These valleys are a short distance from my home which is located on a high rainfall, tall tree covered steep hill. This difference is startling, illustrating the change wrought upon landscape by availability of water.
Gerry King 2011