Why Elton John Loves Australian Studio Glass

Why Elton John Loves Australian Studio Glass
Still Thinking Outside the Square by Maureen Cahill
(Copyright Maureen Cahill)

When Elton John was in Sydney in November he was spotted at Glass Artists' Gallery in the Sydney suburb of Glebe where he was reportedly taken by the work of founder Maureen Cahill.  An avid studio glass collector, Elton John has pieces by a number of Australian artists in his huge glass collection.

Australia is recognised as one of the most progressive and exciting centres of studio glass production thanks to people like Maureen Cahill who set up the first glass course in Australia in 1978 and co-founded the internationally renowned Ranamok Glass Prize.

Maureen is best known for her large-scale glass installations which feature in major private and public.  Her architecturally-inspired pieces can be found in Parliament House, Canberra; the World Congress Centre, Melbourne; and Sydney’s Power House Museum.

Building on the legacy that Maureen Cahill began in 1978, Australia’s only cultural centre wholly dedicated to contemporary glass art was opened in Canberra in 2007.  Built and funded by the ACT Government, Canberra Glassworks is a working Glassworks that provides access to glassmaking facilities for glass artists.

Andrew Shapiro of Sydney based auction house Shapiro Auctioneers is another major player in the Australian studio glass scene.  He has played an integral part in the development of the Australian studio glass market both in Australia and internationally. 

During their recent 20/21c Art and Design sale, Shapiro achieved excellent results for a collection of studio glass which featured the work of a number of Australia glass artists including Kevin Gordon, who also has pieces in Elton John’s collection.

Other Australia glass artists featured in Elton John’s collection include Christian Arnold and Laurie Young of Melbourne’s Nudibranch Art Glass studio and Canberra based artist Claudia Borella.

Judging by the exquisite craftsmanship and the innovative approach of Australian glass artists such as Maureen Cahill, Kevin Gordon, and Claudia Borella, it is no wonder that Elton John loves Australian studio glass.