Skilful sculptor with an eye for glass continues legacy
TODAY is the first day The Wilson, Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum reopens after a major redevelopment.
The first exhibition in our temporary galleries, Casting Brilliance: Glass by Colin Reid, celebrates the stunning work of Colin Reid.
Casting Brilliance is the first exhibition to bring together such a significant group of Colin Reid's exceptional glass sculpture.
Over the past 30 years he has worked with this fragile material to create exquisite works of art which intrigue and invite us to wonder at how they are made.
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Colin's sculpture has an extraordinary ability to make a first-time viewer stop and be drawn in to look carefully again and again.
It has the ability to appeal to everyone because of its sheer outstanding quality combined with the familiar.
For his subject matter he includes things we recognise and reinterprets them in ways which are both playful and respectful to the materials, whilst employing great skill and integrity through the process.
His work is always refreshing, surprising and beautifully executed.
In 2011 the Art Gallery & Museum bought this piece by Colin Reid, Still Life With Books R1531, 2010. This was purchased with a 50 per cent grant from the MLA/V&A Purchase Grant Fund.
The Art Gallery & Museum has a long tradition of benefiting from a wealth of talented artists and craftmakers who have been attracted to the area, initially because of its association with the Arts and Crafts Movement.
Some of the finest of these artists and craftmakers are represented in the collections at the Art Gallery & Museum.
The core of this collection was the inspiration of curator and librarian D W Herdman, who in the 1920s supported local craftsmen by purchasing their furniture initially for use in the Art Gallery & Museum.
His foresight has left us with a legacy which is of national and international importance and an ambition to continue showing and collecting the work of cutting edge contemporary artists and craftmakers today, especially those living and working close by.
Still Life With Books also has a synergy with the work of Emery Walker and his Library. The Library was acquired by the Art Gallery & Museum in 1990 and will be on public view for the first time in the Art Gallery & Museum's new 'open archive' later in the year.
Like Colin, Emery Walker (1851-1933) was passionate about books. He was instrumental in starting the Private Press Movement at the end of the 19th century; a movement which strove to revive the craft of creating a beautiful book in all elements of its design.
Books are also an integral part of museum life for reference and research and as new technology increasingly takes on their role, they are also becoming museum pieces in their own right.
By adding Still Life With Books to the collections we in turn are further strengthening that legacy which first began in the early 20th century by DW Herdman.
Sophia Wilson, Exhibitions & Education Manager