Hamish Donaldson (SA) – 2020 Finalist

Water Table #1, 2019
blown glass, silky oak timber
695 x 380 x 390
Photo: Pippy Mount

Emerging Artist Category

Growing up in a family of glass makers, Hamish Donaldson was always inspired to make. Donaldson is a third generation studio glass artist. His Scottish grandparents were masters in the craft of glass cutting and engraving, inspiring his mother Eileen Gordon’s journey into glass blowing. His mother in turn taught Donaldson to blow glass at the family’s 60-year-old Gordon Studio in Red Hill, Victoria. Donaldson was a Glass Studio Associate at JamFactory from 2018 to 2019. He has completed masterclasses at Pilchuck Glass School, Washington; Cam Ocaği Vakf (Glass Furnace Foundation), Turkey; and Canberra Glassworks. In 2019, Donaldson began working with Ninuku Arts in the remote indigenous community of Kalka in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands to realise the Walka Waru (Warm Works) project as part of the 2019 Tarnanthi Festival. Donaldson remains an integral part of this ongoing initiative, continuing to visit and maintain relationships with the community.

“This work is a visual representation of water towers within the APY Lands. These towers are scattered within the communities and have tapped into the water table since early colonisation. The rampant modern consumption of natural resources has contributed to the disappearance of sacred, life sustaining waterholes. This work looks into the duality of these water towers being a source of life in a harsh landscape, whilst continuing to impact the environment. They are symbols of the oppression they have contained until today. The void of the table also acknowledges the empty space containing these issues within modern ‘Australia’, attempting to bring these issues to light before they fade back into the background, becoming part of the furniture.”