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Q&A: Lawn Bowls

20 JULY 2020

From humble beginnings, Lawn Bowls was moulded by sentimentality, discovery, and support from the Brisbane glass community. Each piece is meticulously handcrafted by Finn O’Sullivan in her Greenslopes studio through an intuitive exploratory process.

We caught up with Finn to learn more about her creative process and the inspiration behind her quirky brightly coloured creations that are sure to make you beam with joy!  See the new Lawn Bowls collection online at MoB Shop.

How did you end up working with glass as your primary medium and how is it significant for you as an artist?

My Nanna has made stained glass windows and kiln-formed glass for many years. I hadn’t seen its potential for use in my practice until I was making work about domestic space through collage and screen-printing processes. I started experimenting in her studio whenever I had the chance to visit. What I became very interested in was the idea of making an everyday domestic object; a bowl, then putting it into the context of a gallery space. I like the idea that my glasswork is able to alternate between these settings.

How would you define the style of your work and how did it develop?

The aesthetic of my work is undeniably kitsch. I find myself drawn to mid-century style, decorative “feminine” motifs, and kawaii characters. Glass has been a wonderful tool for me to explore shape, colour, and motif in ways I couldn’t on paper. I approach my glasswork in the same way I would a collage, moving pieces of glass around the surface of the glass until I feel all the elements work.

You work from your home studio in Greenslopes, how does living in Brisbane influence your practice?

I love living in Brisbane, there is an amazing community of artists and makers. It is these creative people around me that influence my work most. I’m constantly learning from my incredibly talented friends that make things in completely diverse ways. I live with a seamstress and a painter, when we all have our heads down in our studios the house has the best feeling about it. My domestic space and those of my friends are family are immensely influential to the ideas that inform my glasswork.

We love your quirky face designs, what inspires the work you create?

Above all, I’m fascinated with the domestic realm. Spaces of comfort and care and looking at the actions and objects that create these responses. While these ideas play a major role in how my practice has developed, I believe some art doesn’t need conceptual depth. I love work that`s simply fun, humorous, and captures something about the absurdity of life.

Finn working in her studio. Courtesy Lawn Bowls. Photo: Harriet Minto-Day.
Which part of the process of working with glass do you enjoy the most?

Making each piece is an intuitive process, I don’t do a lot of planning. I start cutting up glass and bit by bit the colours and shapes come together. What I enjoy most is that I have no clue how a piece will turn out. I might have the idea of a face but the expression that emerges is almost out of my control. The way the glass fuses is always a bit of a surprise, the lifting of the kiln lid gives me this great moment of anticipation where I’m not quite sure what’s to come.

Do you have any exciting projects coming up for Lawn Bowls? Or dream projects you are yet to realise?

I’m going to have my work in an exhibition in October at New Assemblage in Melbourne. I am very excited to be a part of it, there are some really incredible artists included. I’m continuing to work on new ideas and experimenting with ways to expand on my glass forms. Lawn Bowls honestly is a dream project, I love spending all the time I can making my glass beauties and sharing them with sweet people. 🙂


Lawn Bowls glassware. Courtesy Lawn Bowls.

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