Transition | An Exhibition by Heather Olesen

Heather Olesen

  • 6 March - 13 March , 2020

6 – 13 March 2020


View final works by Master of Arts student Heather Olesen at her exhibition ‘Transition’. Opening night is on Friday 6 Mar from 4pm. Heather Olesen works with the medium of glass and is completing her Master of Fine Arts (sculpture). This body of work presents her research project’s outcome.


Artist statement submitted by Heather Olesen: 


Art is transition. Through the processes of heat and gravity the glass transforms to create it’s own form, it’s own beauty, its own structure. True change or transitions continue to be experienced and occur throughout our lifetime. A metaphor for how people choose to define themselves in that although similar, personal metamorphosis occurs through their own consciousness and choices.

Working within the medium of glass, Heather Olesen has returned to post-graduate study attaining her Bachelor of Fine Art Honours (Distinction), and to complete her Master of Fine Art (sculpture). She has received numerous awards for her sculptural works, most recently awarded finalist in the New Zealand, 2020 Molly Morpeth Canaday Award 3D Exhibition.

Heather’s final projects within fine art sculpture and installation context, explore intersectional combinations of artistic and craftsmanship ideas, developments and processes when working with glass. The theoretical concepts of John Roberts and Helen Molesworth raised tensions in defining the differences between the decorative and the conceptual - to understand what we value as art and what we consider as craft. This motivated Heather’s perceptions of materiality, meanings, gestural orientations, visions, and challenges creating glass sculpture. Artistic inspirational sources have included Eva Hesse (visual rethinking, form and transformation), Mary Schaffer (gravity, reactions and manipulations), and Roni Horn (challenge visual differences and similarities). Their works embodied conflicts between idea and phenomenon to lay bare processes, transformations and tensions. Guiding development in deepening Heather’s learning and vision within her own work.

Developments of the works are a consequence from heating within a kiln and allowing gravitational techniques to form and shape glass. Expressing traces of personal touch, materiality understanding, changing graduations of colour, light and transparency. Investigating how identical glass shapes transition and form their own voice – manifesting differences and change through folds and forming of glass materiality. Transformational outcomes of an amorphous solid into works of art – with trace elements of it’s past life and processes still remaining visible within the work. Identical and/or monochromatic colours, combined with sandblasting textural surfaces of the glass, achieve a non-reflective regularity and unification of the visual field. Providing for viewer focus to contemplate form, meaning and metamorphosis.

“Don’t ask what it means or what it refers to. Don’t ask what the work is. Rather, see what the work does.” - Eva Hesse


Ramp Gallery is proud to support Heather Olesen’s Wintec School of Media Arts final Master of Arts submission.

Photo: Heather Olesen, ‘Curlicue I’, 2019, glass.