Hand-crafted by acclaimed glass artist, Kirstie Rea for the Canberra Glassworks, Field of Poppies is an exclusive series of individual glass artworks created to commemorate this year’s Remembrance Day.
When Kirstie was approached by the Glassworks to create an object of remembrance, she began a personal and creative journey that resulted in a unique commission titled a Field of Poppies.
The artwork, a unique and creative symbol of remembrance, was inspired by the artist’s early memories of families returning to visit cemeteries full of white marble tombstones, where their fathers and grandfathers bravely fought in the Great War at Gallipoli on the Western Front.
Each of the exclusive Field of Poppies artworks is made from layers of glass containing specks of red glass scattered throughout to symbolise both tombstones and poppies.
At the base of the handheld piece is a small section which can be hand engraved with a personalised message of remembrance, for example the name of a loved one or an important date.
Each work is individually created and numbered and comes with a personally signed card wrapped together in a small section of 1942 grey blanket from the Second World War, nestled in a presentation box.
“I found an old blanket in my studio with the original tag still on it and realised it was from the 1940s,” said Kirstie. “I thought it would add an authentic touch to the artwork, so I cut it up into small sections; every piece comes with its own piece of history.”
“It is really important to keep your memories close to you and with this object you can hold it in the palm of your hand, have a sense of touch and hold it close to your heart. The glass responds to your body heat and its weight enables you to hold it close to you, as with all heartfelt memories.”
The Canberra-born artist holds this project very dear to her as the inspiration came from the memories of her Grandfathers’ experience in World War One.
“We are delighted to be collaborating with Kirstie on her Field of Poppies artworks,” said Julie Skate, CEO of Canberra Glassworks. “It provides the opportunity for people to own a unique and exquisite glass artwork to remember someone close to their heart.”
Having established her studio in 1987, following her graduation from the Glass program at the Canberra School of Art, Kirstie Rea has over the past 29 years continued to develop her practice to become internationally recognised and respected for her works in glass.
She has exhibited widely internationally and her work has been included in numerous Australian Glass survey shows. Kirstie has had solo exhibitions in Australia, the USA, New Zealand and Hong Kong and her work is featured in international collections including the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, the National Gallery of Australia and the Alexander Tutsek-Stiftung Foundation in Munich Germany.
In 2009 Kirstie received the Ausglass Honorary Life Membership Award for her contribution to the education of glass in Australia. In 2014 she was awarded the 2015 CAPO Fellow Award (Canberra Arts Patrons’ Organisation) and in 2016 she received the Canberra Glassworks Fellowship.
The limited-edition Field of Poppies artworks are available from Canberra Glassworks. For more information, visit: www.canberraglassworks.com for details.
Image: Kirstie Rea, Field of Poppies, 2020 – courtesy of Canberra Glassworks