"Glassborow sculptures immediately command the viewers attention with striking imagery, forms and design. His sculptures often relate to an art deco form which has morphed into themes influenced by fashion, robotic figures and animals in recent years. He has developed the patination of the sculpture to an artform in itself." Mark Widdup.
Steve Glassborow is a sculptor who presents human figures in a unique way. They are, at the one time, classical and abstract. It is almost as if his figures have chosen their relationship with their environment after an initial struggle to retain their integrity.
"I attempt to bend the traditional attitudes of the figure, while still retaining my view of an aesthetic balance," he says.
Born in Hammersmith in the UK, it was while studying Fine Arts at the Brighton College of Art that he realised he preferred the physicality and structure of sculpture to the discipline of painting. So began his journey with clay, developing the myriad of skills that are required to master sculpturing.
He travelled for four years exhibiting his work and releasing limited edition art deco and art nouveau figurines and lamps, both in the UK and in Australia. In 1983 he became a permanent resident of Australia.
For him, inspiration comes with a pose, an idea or a phrase and a context. In the beginning he develops his ideas on paper and experiments with the framework within which he can place his figures. He creates a scale drawing, from which he builds a clay original. By manipulating the figure in this way, he captures it in a blend of the real and the abstract. Once complete, a silicon rubber mould for the final piece is made, normally in bronze.
“I'm observing the clay as it changes the human form. I am fascinated with muscles in the physique," he says.
He draws inspiration from Greco-Roman ruins, art deco forms and contemporary abstracts. Stephen regularly exhibits and has public and private pieces in many countries including the USA, Australia and the Pacific Region.
"I search for ideas that toy with the concept of realism. Bronze is an intimidating material to work with, there is the inclination to take it too seriously.
I like my work to display two illusions. Firstly I like my pieces to appear light weight , and secondly they should be light hearted. In reality, neither are true."
Glassborow sculptures immediately command the viewers attention with striking imagery, forms and design. His sculptures often relate to an art deco form which has morphed into themes influenced by fashion, robotic figures and animals in recent years.
He has developed the patination of the sculpture to an artform in itself, which all happened by accident! The bronze foundry where his sculptures are cast, chose to have two workers do the finishing stages of the sculpture i.e. the patination. Unfortunately they had differing applications which resulted in Steve wanting to have more consistency of colouring on his bronzes! So the foundry asked Steve to visit and they would show him the process. This is history now as the artist has developed his own skill in this area. Hence we see a far more comprehensive colouring with subtle patina’s being evident today than the past.
This exhibition has the reintroduction of wall pieces, i.e. 2d panels made of resin, most suitable for inside or outside features ideal for courtyard or garden walls.
Sophistication is a word that comes to mind when describing his sculpture. Understatement alluring, fascinating and highly imaginative all are appropriate as well, which describes his sculpture. We often see a whimsical side within the artists designs and with this exhibition a good example is ‘Toy Boy’, a take off of Mickey Mouse, the Disney character. Steve manages to achieve his own slant on the figurative form.
Concepts or ideas for his sculpture are everyday for the artist, often finding their foundation in a title or an amusing group of words that Steve finds fascinating. They become the trigger for a design to follow.
Having followed his artwork for nearly two decades I have seen a massive transition in his design, never willing not to push the barriers of design. The design is one thing, and then the application for a bronze. i.e. how to make it and designing the necessary supports and structure for the bronze pour, a robust exercise full of pitfalls with complicated designs Steve produce. There must be and is a good working relationship necessary with the artist and the foundry.
Apart from this is the ‘risk aspect’ as a sculptor! With large material and production costs of bronze sculpture this is challenging for any sculptor. Steve has the balancing act managed well, however this is never an easy exercise. This aspect alone is a daunting one for any bronze sculptors.
I recommend this professional and active sculptor who possesses a vision and design that is of a world standard. We are fortunate to have a good association with the artist.
Steve is available for commission work via the gallery, please enquire if this could be a thought whether it be for private courtyards, interiors or commercial application.
AMP Perth , WA
SEDGWICK INSURANCE, Melbourne
McDONALD'S GROUP, Sydney
McDONALD'S GROUP, Melbourne
KPMG PEAT MARWICK, Sydney
PARK LANE Hotel, Kuala Lumpur
WALKER CORPORATION, Sydney
STATE CHAMBERS, Sydney, N.S.W.
CITY OF WHITE HORSE , REGIONAL ART GALLERY, Melbourne .VICTORIA
RANDWICK COUNCIL, NSW
HILTON HOTEL, Seoul, Korea
SHERATON ON THE PARK, Sydney
ADELAIDE HILTON, S.A.
ANA GROUP, Sydney
FRANKSTON CITY COUNCIL, Victoria
BANK OF NEW ZEALAND, Perth
STAR CITY CASINO
ROCHESTER HISTORICAL SOCIETY, Victoria
MANLY REGIONAL ART GALLERY NSW
McFARLANE BURNETT INSTITUTE OF MEDICAL RESEARCH, Melbourne
SHANGRI-LA HOTELS, SHANGHAI & BANGKOK
ST.GEORGE BANK , George Street, Sydney
MARIST BOYS COLLEGE, Randwick, NSW
APOLLO GROUP, Singapore
PASIR RIS Centre, Singapore
IMPERIAL HOTEL, Kuala Lumpur
CROWN CASINO, Melbourne
HILTON , Shanghai, China
HASTINGS CITY COUNCIL, Victoria
PORT JACKSON FINE ART Laguna Beach, USA
MONARCH BAY DEV. Laguna Beach , USA
WALT DISNEY Corporation, Hong Kong
MGM Macao, China
Lionel Rose Public Sculpture, Gippsland, Victoria
Melbourne Arts Magazine
Home Beautiful Magazine
Craft Arts Magazine
The Herald Newspaper, Melbourne
House and Garden Magazine
The Age Magazine, Melbourne
Corporate Office and Design
The Age, Melbourne
The Age, Melbourne
Herald Sun, Melbourne
Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney ,The Australian
Craft Arts International Magazine Issue 34
North Beach Journal - Issue 4
Sydney Morning Herald
Herald Sun, The Age, The Australian
Australian Art Review