2016 Finalist – Andrew Plummer

Urban Hieroglyph – Clarence & Market (07/15), 2015
kiln formed glass, 420 x 420 x 13
Photo: Christian Mushenko

Emerging Artist Category Finalist


Andrew Plummer migrated with his family from the United States to Australia in 1983, becoming an Australian citizen in 1985. Having studied Mining Engineering at Colorado School of Mines in the early 1970s, he enjoyed a 40 year career in the coal mining industry in both the United States and Australia and in the corporate advisory and investment banking sector in Australia. Since his retirement in 2012 he has actively pursued a practice in glass – building his own kiln forming studio in Brookvale, NSW and participating in numerous short courses at Sydney College of the Arts, Canberra Glassworks (Klaus Moje and Kirsty Rea), Pilchuck Glass School (Warren Langley and Laurel Porcari) and Corning Musuem of Glass (Richard Whiteley). Plummer has been a passionate supporter and advocate for artists working in glass and was co-founder of the celebrated Ranamok Glass Prize which ran for 20 years from 1994 to 2014.

“The builder tribes of Sydney have been furiously communicating with their spray can styluses. Overnight, the footpaths of the city bloom with graphic images – coded messages packed with information. These compact messages are made quickly and deftly with no pretence at composition or design – after all, time is money. However, while his job is to quickly and clearly communicate specific information, the surveyor is also ‘unconsciously’ producing imagery that is rich in line and form. I’ve abstracted the surveyors’ markings by first liberating them from the context of their footpath ‘canvas’ and also from the contiguous markings which give them reference. I’ve further modified the imagery by subjecting it to my own hand, weaving it into a ragged and pixilated tapestry made from hundreds of strips of glass. This spare and economical communication, combined with the un(self)-consciousness of composition, line and form reminds me of haiku poetry. Urban hieroglyphs. Elegant in line and form. Conscious unconscious.”