Inspired by experiences in the natural world for many years now, Clare Belfrage has forged an international reputation for her distinguished work with detailed and complex glass drawing on blown glass forms.
She has maintained a vibrant practice for over thirty years. She has been an active part of artists’ communities particularly in Adelaide and Canberra, including the glass based studio blue pony, of which she is a founding member, the JamFactory Glass Studio in Adelaide and, Canberra Glassworks where she played the pivotal role of Creative Director from 2009 to 2013.
Clare has had a long involvement in education and has lectured in the glass programs at the University of South Australia, SA, and Ohio State University, USA and Curtin University, WA. She is currently an Adjunct Professor at the University of South Australia. She has also taught numerous workshops throughout Australia, New Zealand, Japan and the United States.
In addition to Australia, Clare regularly exhibits in North America, Europe, Hong Kong and New Zealand. Her work has been recognized for its innovation and originality and in 2005 and, 2011, she was awarded the Tom Malone Glass Prize by the Art Gallery of Western Australia. In 2016 she was awarded the inaugural FUSE Glass Prize for Australian and New Zealand glass. In 2018 Clare was the South Australian Living Artist Festival feature artist and subject of the festival’s annual monograph, Rhythms of Necessity, written by Kay Lawrence and Sera Waters. She was also JamFactory Icon 2018, presenting a solo exhibition for a three-year national tour.
Clare’s work is represented in major public collections including: most of the Australian State Gallery collections, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Museum of Arts and Sciences, Sydney, National Art Glass Collection, Wagga Wagga, Corning Museum of Glass, USA, Peabody Essex Museum, USA, Tacoma Museum of Glass, USA, Ebeltoft Glass Museum, Denmark, Ernsting Stifltung Glass Museum, Germany, Castello Sforzesco Museum Italy, Museo do Vidro, Marinha Grande, Portugal and Niijima Glass Museum, Japan.
As an artist, my point of view is often looking from close up. The big feeling that ‘small’ gives me is intimate and powerful. The industry in nature, its rhythm and energy, dramatic and delicate still holds my fascination as does the language and processes of glass.
Clare Belfrage, 2020