Madisyn Zabel (ACT) – 2020 Finalist

Illuminate III, 2020
coldworked glass
70 x 500 x 400
Photo: the artist

Emerging Artist Category

Madisyn Zabel is a Canberra-based artist who investigates the growing dialogue between craft and digital technology. Using glass and mixed media, she extrapolates the dynamic relationships between three-dimensional objects and their two-dimensional interpretations. Zabel’s fascination with the visually deceptive qualities of glass began when she discovered the Necker cube – an optical illusion created by Swiss crystallographer, Louis Albert Necker. Zabel has a Bachelor of Visual Arts (Glass) (Hons) (2015) from the Australian National University School of Art & Design, Canberra. She has participated in residencies at Berlin Glas e.V., Canberra Glassworks and the Glass Studio at the Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, USA. Zabel was awarded Warm Glass UK’s Glass Prize (Bullseye Artists) in 2016 and the Jutta Cuny-Franz Foundation’s Talent Award from the Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf in 2017. Her work has been shown internationally – including the China Academy of Art, Hangzhou; Berlin Glas e.V and the Corning Museum of Glass, New York. Between 2019 and 2020 Wagga Wagga Art Gallery exhibited Perpetual  Reversal, a commissioned installation of Zabel’s work.

“Within my practice, I explore ideas of perception and illusion through transparent solid glass. Since my studies, I have been fascinated by the illusionistic qualities of glass and take particular inspiration from Louis Albert Necker’s Necker cube – a simple wire-frame drawing of a cube that is a bistable illusion with multiple interpretations. Through a series of geometric glass shapes, I attempt to create my own three-dimensional versions of the Necker cube. The shifting quality of the work is activated through both perception and the vantage point of the viewer. Each piece is created from solid, transparent, glass billets that are cut, ground and hand-finished to a satin surface, creating a luminous quality.”