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Fire Up! - Celebrating Southern African Glass Art Article Image

Fire Up! - Celebrating Southern African Glass Art

Posted on 8 August 2022

2022 is the United Nations' International Year of Glass. A multitude of international events are planned throughout this special year, and several local institutions have been hard at work to ensure that southern Africa is featured on this prestigious global calendar.

From 3rd September till 30th October 2022, the exhibition titled, 'Fired Up! - Celebrating Southern African Glass Art' will showcase glass art and design in a myriad of creative interpretations at the Pretoria Art Museum.

This seminal show presents historical aspects of glass art and design, and its uses within a southern African context.

In collaboration with the WITS Origins Centre, the exhibit reveals how glass beads were used as currency in extensive continental trade routes, alongside examples from private collections of Woodstock Glass, produced in the first furnaces on the tip of Africa.

The exhibition also chronicles the story of pioneers and torchbearers in the local hand-made glass industry such as Ngwenya Glass from Eswatini and the Tshwane University of Technology's Department of Fine and Studio Arts.

Live demos of glass making and conversations with the artists form part of the opening festivities on the 3rd of September.

This exhibition also features a display of contemporary glass artworks by trailblazers who have, and still are shaping the Southern African creative-glass industry.

Fired Up! is complimented by a symposium on the 1st of October hosted at the Tshwane University of Technology Faculty of Arts and Design Campus. Several speakers from artists, academics and industry will discuss the theme "Glass and its Future in an African Context". Attendees of this symposium will enjoy live glass blowing demos at the TUT Glass Studio.

Follow @southern_african_glass on Instagram or email iyog2022.southafrica@gmail.com for more info.

The Fired Up! & IYOG2022 Regional Organisation 15 Steering Committee is:

  • Lothar Böttcher (Curator)
  • Chas Prettejohn (Ngwenya Glass)
  • Caitlin Greenberg (Department of Fine and Studio Arts TUT)
  • Dr. Ingram Anderson (Collector & Glass Historian)
  • Martli Jansen van Rensburg (Smelt Glass Studio)

Fired Up! is made possible through funding from the United Nations and the International Year of Glass 2022 Committee.

Special thanks go to:

  • The Pretoria Art Museum
  • Tshwane University of Technology
  • Ngwenya Glass
  • Obsidian Glass
  • Smelt Glass Studio


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