Tom Rowney has a lifetime of glasswork experience under his belt and it’s all on display at the joint exhibition with Zeljko Markov at the Canberra Glassworks from April 6.
Rowney’s love affair with glassing started in 1989 after completing Year 11 work experience in Adelaide, where he grew up.
Fast-forward 27 years and the artist is one of the world’s most renowned glass blowers and teachers of the craft.
In the early 1990’s Rowney graduated from the Australian National University in Canberra, and since then he has taught and exhibited the art around Australia and the globe.
“I’ve taught around Australia, and in Scotland, the U.S., Japan, Switzerland and Italy. I enjoy passing on the information that was given to me,” he said.
“I also enjoy the challenge of working with other artists and making my own work which I’ve exhibited internationally,” he said.
However, Canberra has been home base since he moved here 11 years ago, to work at the Canberra Glassworks as the technical manager.
“After I graduated I moved to Sydney for a small period but then moved back to work at the Canberra Glassworks. I blow my own art in their facility so that’s pretty special,” he said.
Canberra’s art community is one of the most creative in the nation with exhibitions and workshops being held all year round.
“Canberra is a great city. There’s a great glass community here but there’s also a really strong art community and I think the Art School at ANU has a lot to do with that,” Rowney said.
“There is also an amazing wealth of knowledge in the local community. It’s rare that a week in Canberra passes without having an art exhibition somewhere and often there’s more than one. That’s a pretty special thing that you don’t find in other cities,” Rowney said.
Rowney is ecstatic to exhibit his artwork in his home town alongside world-renowned glasswork artist Zeljko Markov.
“One of my favourite things is actually working with other artists because I’m always challenged by that, and I like the fact that there’s so much to learn about glass for my own personal perspective,” he said.
“To have a show with Zeljko is really amazing. His work is going to be extremely complimentary to mine so that’s exciting.”
Both artists have been working on the exhibition for many months. They’ve called it a joint exhibition because they’re not directly working together on any artworks.
“We’re working on our own artworks and our own strengths. I really like Zeljko’s style and his attention to detail, he’s got a lot of precision in the making of his work so I believe our work will sit well together,” he said.
As for Rowney, he showcases a lot of Italian style techniques in his artwork.
“I base a lot of my work around technique, I use a lot of repetitive lines and I try to be accurate with my glass blowing,” he said.
Tom Rowney and Zeljko Markov, a joint exhibition, Canberra Glassworks, Kingston, from April 6. Gallery Floor Talk with the artists on Saturday, April 29, at 2 pm.