British-born Galia Amsel is internationally known for her cast-glass sculpture: her training in London’s Royal College of Art led to a highly developed visual language based on colour, form, tension, geometry, and complete control over her technically difficult medium. Her sophistication and courage in mastering, at scale, the inherently unstable properties of glass resulted in a prolific exhibition history in the United States, England, and Europe.
Amsel’s decision in 2003 to relocate her studio and family from London to the rural edge of west Auckland, New Zealand, re-contextualised her practice. Her fresh surroundings provided a new dialect of patterns, rhythms and colours. Amsel became preoccupied with the way in which her medium could capture and transmit these new surface and light effects, endeavouring to capture frozen moments of movement by exploring ideas of tension and balance.
In Amsel’s more recent work, her early interest in structural and architectural tension is being revisited in conjunction with her now central vocabulary of colour and form. This combination is releasing the frozen moment and the strictures of cast glass, allowing a new sense of dynamism, and pushing Amsel’s practice into more experimental territory. She maintains her position at the forefront of her genre.
Amsel has exhibited in the United States, Spain, France, Hong Kong, Australia, and New Zealand, including an important solo show in 2004 at Museo de Arte an Vidrio de Alcorcon, Madrid, Spain. She is represented in numerous internationally significant collections, including Corning Museum of Glass, USA; Crafts Council Collection, London; Glasmuseet Ebeltoft, Denmark; Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Ulster Museum, Ireland; Montreal Museum, Canada; and Glassammlung Ernsting, Germany. In 2014, Amsel’s work was selected for exhibition at the Kunst Sammlungen der Veste Coburg and the European Museum of Modern Glass. The prestigious Coburg Prize for Contemporary Glass has only been awarded three times since 1977. A large scale site specific installation in 2016 for Salisbury Cathedral, UK, was commissioned in 2015 and achieved with support from CNZ, and subsequently installed in Chichester Cathedral, UK.
Amsel lives and works in Auckland, New Zealand.