Jenni Kemarre Martiniello: Freshwater Saltwater Weave

  September 20, 2018 - January 7, 2019

  Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection



Freshwater Saltwater Weave is a series of glass works by contemporary urban-based Arrernte artist Jenni Kemarre Martiniello. Her works in hot blown glass, coldworked glass and canes are inspired by the aesthetics of Aboriginal woven forms.  The works in this exhibition span the last five years and are inspired by dilly bags, eel traps, fish traps, fish baskets, and bicornual baskets.


Martiniello visited Kluge-Ruhe as a resident artist September 12 – October 14, 2018. She worked with UVA students in Professor Bill Bennett‘s beginner and advanced sculpture students in creating new work inspired by an object that represents their family story. After creating plaster or sand molds, the Chrysler Museum of Art‘s Glass Studio brought their mobile glass hot shop to the sculpture department to pour hot molten glass into the molds, creating a work in glass. Martiniello was also a resident artist at the Chrysler Museum of Art Glass Studio in Norfolk from September 27 – 30, 2018 and created numerous finished works in collaboration with the Chrysler team and gaffer Steve Ciezki. Beyond these projects, she spent extensive time drawing objects in Kluge-Ruhe’s art storage space, sat in on UVA classes in Art History and Anthropology and presented her work in an artist talk, a gallery tour and Night at the Museum. She also visited the Fralin Museum of Art, Historic Jamestown, Colonial Williamsburg, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the Institute of Contemporary Art at VCU, Monticello, Montpelier, the National Museum of the American Indian and the National Museum of Natural History.

I have concentrated on the incredibly beautiful forms of traditional woven eel traps, fish traps, fish scoops and dillibags, seeking to evoke the interplay of light and form found in those objects, and in so doing, create contemporary glass works which are also objects of cultural as well as artistic significance.



Jenni Kemarre Martiniello is an award-winning visual artist, poet, writer, and photographer of Arrernte, Chinese and Anglo-Celtic descent. She was NAIDOC Artist of the Year in 2010, and was awarded Canberra Critics Circle Awards for Visual Arts in 2011 and 2013. In 2013 she won the prestigious Telstra Prize for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art. Her works are held in numerous public and private collections including the National Gallery of Australia, the Australian Parliament House Collection, the National Museum of Palau, the National Art Gallery of the Solomon Islands, the Corning Museum of Glass and the British Museum. Jenni works from her studio at Canberra Glassworks. She is represented by Sabbia Gallery in Sydney and Paul Johnstone Gallery in Darwin, Australia.



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Australia Council for the Arts, the Art Alliance of Contemporary Glass and the Office of the Vice Provost for the Arts at UVA.