Trish Clark gallery is delighted to present a handful of new works by Galia Amsel made during a tumultuous year. Widely acclaimed for her masterful control over glass, Amsel works in dialogue with her natural environment to imbue her sculptures with dynamic energy, and these new pieces bring verve at scale, both very large and small, whilst incorporating new techniques and technologies that have been years in the artist’s research and development. A graduate of the Royal College of Arts in London, specialising in glass and ceramics, Amsel’s arrival in New Zealand fundamentally progressed the country’s glass art scene as one of the leading international artists working with glass as a medium.
Amsel’s work is simultaneously highly technically skilled and thoughtful, evoking the sensation of movement with tension within each sculpture while also giving rise to a sense of timeless ephemerality. The strong influence of environment on Amsel is evident in her output after relocating from London to the rural west coast of Auckland, as she found a new visual language within the patterns, rhythms, and colours of the natural terrain. Through careful examination of the capturing and transmitting of light, she brings airiness and life to an otherwise dense material.
Amsel’s practice is exceptionally mature, undertaking a complicated process of glass testing, model making, moulding, firing, cooling, smoothing, and polishing, with each work undergoing a unique process and taking a minimum of several weeks to complete. Her absolute attention to detail is salient in each impeccably finished piece and Amsel’s critical international success is testament to this expertise.
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. In 2016, she completed a large-scale site-specific installation at Silo Park in Auckland.