Colleen Ryan-Priest

New Zealand, 20th Century.

Colleen Ryan-Priest is a glass artist who has worked in kiln-cast glass for the past 10 years. She is specifically drawn to the transparency and refractive qualities of glass, providing a multi-faceted view into and beyond the ‘surface’.

She works in on both smaller ‘indoor’ pieces as well as large outdoor sculptural works. Larger works utilise steel and ‘found’ glass to satisfy a need to take ‘fragile’ glass outside.

The meaning of her work is grounded in her environmental, political, social and ‘sense of place’ from her previous career as a landscape architect.  Design work in remote landscapes such as Antarctica has provided an insight into the geological processes of our landscape and the social relationships of people and their environment.

Her work has been selected for major national exhibitions throughout New Zealand and Australia. Exhibitions and invitations include the following: finalist in Ranamok 2008, Sculpture on Shore 2008, 2010, Sarjeant Gallery Exhibition ‘Looking Glass; Reflecting Ideas’ and Stoneleigh Sculpture in the Gardens Outdoor Exhibition 2009.  Colleen’s installation at the Stoneleigh Exhibition ‘Caught in the Act of Losing You – Sporadanthus ferrugineus’ was awarded Friends of the Garden Acquisition Prize and is now part of their permanent public outdoor sculpture collection.


2011 NZ Glass Artists Conference, 2011 Glass Prize

2006 Awarded fellow of New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architecture

1985 / 2004 / 2006 NZILA Awards including Prestigious Charlie Challenger Premier Award in recognition of outstanding planning and design

Public Commissions:

2007 Friends of the Waikato Museum commission, two works from the Antarctic Ice Block series

1985/86 Antarctic Division, NZ government. Design project commission for Scott Base in Antarctica including summer and winter site visits

Public Collections:

2012 Taupo Sculpture Trust acquisition of ‘Swell’ for installation on the Lake Taupo waterfront

2009 Auckland Botanic Gardens acquisition of ‘Caught in the Act of Losing You’

2008 Waikato Museum of Art and History, acquisition of two matching Antarctic Ice Blocks

2006 Waikato Museum of Art and History, Narratives of the River exhibition, cast glass installation (length 2.5m)

2006 Vitrine Exhibition, solo exhibition at Waikato Museum of Art and History



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