Material Forms

1 September – 28 October 2006

New work by two established makers
Catherine Hough (glass)
Richard Hooper (wood)

The curvaceous, organic forms of Richard Hooper and Catherine Hough have a superficial similarity. But that is not the end of the story. Both makers create serene and organic forms that alter as ones viewpoint changes. This axis, or point of change varies from piece to piece – sometimes the form is moveable within its plinth or support, occasionally there is a hinge so that the whole form can move around itself. Latterly the axis is the viewer, simply moving around the form to change the point of view.

Being able to see multiple viewpoints creates technical problems to be solved. The working processes are not dissimilar. Hooper’s work is done on a lathe, as is Hough’s who concentrates on the cold-cutting side of the glass making process. Both workers use machinery to perform these complex tasks which are difficult to master. Hooper has taken a more scientific, one might say masculine, approach by using computer aided design and programmable milling machinery. Hough’s solution is more accessible, but the results equally stunning.

The common theme is that in both cases the raw material reveals itself in the work – the movement inherent in the wood or glass is exposed. Hough says the processes she uses counterbalance the opposing characteristics of movement and stillness, weight and balance, through the transparency and opacity of the glass form. Hooper says he likes to think that he is not so much creating a beautiful form, but rather rediscovering one.

Katy Bevan © 2006

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