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METAMORPHOSIS: THE ART OF TOM MOORE Metamorphosis is the 2016 Glencore Children’s Exhibition and focuses on the stunning hybrid life-forms of leading Australian glass artist Tom Moore. Moore’s menagerie of characters combine botanical, zoological, and mechanical elements. Drawing inspiration from “the sharp observational wit of literary absurdists such as Edward Lear and… Dr Seuss”, the works are simultaneously humorous and insightful, giving us great joy, while also providing pause for thought about the human impact on the natural world.

PLANNING A VISIT Free guided tours are available, and for further information, or to give feedback on education and public programs provided by Gallery Services, please contact Perc Tucker Regional Gallery on (07) 4727 9011 or email

GALLERY SERVICES Through Gallery Services, Townsville City Council owns and operates two premier regional galleries, Perc Tucker Regional Gallery in the city’s CBD, and Pinnacles Gallery located within the Riverway Arts Centre in Thuringowa Central.

INTRODUCTION This Education Kit has been produced by Gallery Services, Townsville City Council to support the 2016 Glencore Children’s Exhibition Metamorphosis which is on display at Perc Tucker Regional Gallery from 26 August to 23 October 2016. This kit offers an insight into Moore’s work and artistic practice, which explores a range of themes and issues. Key works in the exhibition are examined to provide background information about the work, themes, connections and concerns in Moore’s unique glass art.

Perc Tucker Regional Gallery Cnr. Denham & Flinders St, Townsville QLD 4810 (07) 4727 9011

@TCC_PercTucker /PercTuckerTCC Monday - Friday: 10am - 5pm Saturday - Sunday: 10am - 2pm Closed Public Holidays

Pinnacles Gallery 20 Village Blvd, Thuringowa Central QLD 4817 (07) 4773 8871

@TCC_Pinnacles /PinnaclesTCC Tuesday - Sunday: 10am - 5pm Closed Mondays

Cover image: Tom Moore Prehistoric Prank 2015, hot joined, blown and solid glass, 46 x 36 x 11 cm Photographer: Grant Hancock

Contents Glass Making 5 What is Glass? 7 Metamorphosis 8 The Characters 10 Elements 12 The Environment 14 Plants and Animals 16 Symbolism and Humour 18

Metamorphosis: The Art of Tom Moore Education Kit


Metamorphosis: The Art of Tom Moore Education Kit

Glass Making There are many types of glass making and ways to work with glass. To give you an idea of a few: Kiln casting – Kiln casting refers to the melting of glass inside a mould within a kiln. This is one of the earliest forms of glass making and an early form of this process was used in Mesopotamia in 4000BC. Cold working – Cold working is a process where an artist works with cold glass and can include a range of different processes including cutting, sandblasting, grinding, polishing and engraving. This can be a very noisy and messy process! Flame working / Lampworking – Flame working or lampworking is a glass making process where the artist creates glass objects under a torch flame. Glass beads are often made using this method. Glass blowing – Glass blowing is the technique of forming an object by inflating a gather or gob of molten glass on the end of a blowpipe. Traditionally and in modern furnace working, the gaffer blows through the tube, slightly inflating the gob, which is then manipulated into the required form by swinging, rolling, or shaping it with tools or in a mould. Have a look on Youtube at videos of each of these glass working techniques. These different techniques are often used in combination; have a look at artists whose works use a range of glass working techniques and what the effect of these are. Some examples to start you off: Kiln casting: Kiln casting by ongekruid Cold working: Optical Glass Sculptures by fine art glass artist Jack Storms - The Glass Sculptor Flame working / Lampworking: Making Glass Dip Pens | Où se trouve: GypsyRoad Glass, Silver & Stone by Stereokroma Glass blowing: The Amazing Birth Of A Hand Blown Glass Pitcher by NOVICA  

Photographer: Grant Hancock


Metamorphosis: The Art of Tom Moore Education Kit


Metamorphosis: The Art of Tom Moore Education Kit

What is Glass? What is glass? Scientists tell us that glass is a state of matter rather than a single material. It is formed when a molten material cools so rapidly that there is not enough time for the material’s crystalline structure to re-form. Solids have atoms and molecules arranged in perfectly ordered, lattice-like structures. In liquids and gases, atoms and molecules are free to move about in a random way, which is why they can flow. In glass, the atoms and molecules are held rigidly in place so that they cannot flow.

A brief history of glass Natural glass Did you realise that glass can be found in nature? It can be the result of a variety of events. Glass can form pretty much anywhere, however extreme temperatures are required in order to create the perfect natural conditions to produce glass. Volcanoes spewing molten rock, lightning striking sand and meteorites falling from the sky can all cause the right environmental conditions for glass to form. Origins of glass making While glass may always have been found naturally, the first instance of man-made glass may be traced back about 4000BC in both Mesopotamia and Egypt. Archaeologists have found glass covered stone beads from this time. Glass blowing is thought to have begun around 50BC and attributed to Phoenicians (Lebanon and Jordan region). By the First Century BC, glass blowing was becoming popular across Europe and the Middle East courtesy of the Roman Empire. The Romans were talented glass makers and were the first to use glass in architecture. Throughout the years, the use of glass has evolved and developed to serve many different purposes. In the Middle Ages, coloured sheet glass developed and became popular in churches to create stain glass windows. During the Renaissance, glass making and glass artistry was particularly popular in Italy. The island of Murano in Italy rose to fame for the strong glass making industry that developed there and still thrives today. Over time, glass making techniques and mastery made their way across Europe and a number of key advances were made. These advances included the invention of lead crystal glass and the refinement of raw materials used in the glass making process to make clear glass. This refinement reduced the amount of clouding which was prevalent in glass. These developments were critical in the adoption of glass as a material used in functional objects. The glass was now softer and easier to decorate and had a higher refractive index, adding to its brilliance and beauty, and it proved invaluable to the optical industry. Inventions such as optical lenses, astronomical telescopes and microscopes became possible with these developments. Since this time, huge advances in glass and glass making have occurred and glass is widely accepted as a material for building, medical tools, common household items and artworks.

Tom Moore $1.70/Litre 2016 Hot joined solid glass, mixed media 30 x 23 x 18 cm Photographer: Grant Hancock


Metamorphosis: The Art of Tom Moore Education Kit

Metamorphosis Metamorphosis serves as both the title and the theme of this exhibition. Metamorphosis is a biological process by which an animal physically develops after birth or hatching, involving a conspicuous and relatively abrupt change in the animal’s body structure through cell growth and differentiation. Some insects, fishes, amphibians, molluscs, crustaceans, echinoderms and tunicates undergo metamorphosis, which is often accompanied by a change of nutrition source or behaviour. The characters of Tom Moore’s various artworks are in a state of metamorphosis; each of them a combination of plant, animal or machine. None are ever only one thing, they are instead grotesquely endearing. Although his work is contemporary in its look, Moore cites a number of painters and writers throughout history as great influences of his work. One such artist is the early Dutch Master Hieronymus Bosch. In the triptych, The Garden of Earthly Delights, Bosch has depicted modern life as he saw it in around the turn of the 16th Century. How does the idea of metamorphosis or transformation relate to both Moore and Bosch’s works?:

What sort of inspiration do you think Moore draws from Bosch’s work?:

Have a look at the central panel of The Garden of Earthly Delights; how does Bosch’s treatment of the subjects reflect Moore’s treatment of his subjects?:

What other similarities or influences do the two artists share?:

Hieronymus Bosch The Garden of Earthly Delights Oil on oak panels 220 x 389 cm Museo del Prado, Madrid


Metamorphosis: The Art of Tom Moore Education Kit


Metamorphosis: The Art of Tom Moore Education Kit

The Characters Moore has a fascination with characters, hybrids and the absurd. There are constant deceptions and double meanings in his characters and in his narrative. Plants and machine, fire and water, animal and mineral are constantly in a state of flux with each other, simultaneously harmonising and conflicting. What impact does this type of portrayal have as you consider each character?:

What is Moore implying with this unique approach?:

Have a look at The Mechanic on the opposite page. What elements do you find complement each other and what elements create conflict in this artwork?:  


Metamorphosis: The Art of Tom Moore Education Kit

Tom Moore The Mechanic 2008 Hot joined, blown and solid glass, spanner 65 x 28 x 15 cm Photographer: Grant Hancock


Metamorphosis: The Art of Tom Moore Education Kit

Elements Have a look at Hotted Up Potato on the opposite page. Dissect each of the elements Moore has used to construct the work and list them below. Individual elements found in Hotted Up Potato:

Discuss each of these elements in relation to each other and to the work as a whole:  

Rearrange the elements listed above to recreate the work:

Tom Moore Hotted Up Potato 2013 Hot joined, blown and solid glass 30 x 33 x 11 cm Photographer: Grant Hancock


Metamorphosis: The Art of Tom Moore Education Kit


Metamorphosis: The Art of Tom Moore Education Kit

The Environment There is an inescapable focus on the environment in Moore’s work. He often concentrates particularly on our interaction with the environment. Watt’s Triumph, pictured on the opposite page, is a work that is grounded in Moore’s interest in technology and the environment. Moore said, “This work springs from a joy in the spirit of innovation and technological ambition, tempered by a sense of dread arising from the emerging knowledge of the possible consequences.” What is the effect of the glass medium in discussing these issues?:

How do you think using characters and images such as those in Moore’s works spark conversation about the environment? Include aspects of Moore’s work that have led you to this conclusion:

Tom Moore Watt’s Triumph 2016 Hot joined, blown and solid glass, mixed media Figure: 110 x 33 x 16 cm; Hill: 78 x 106 x 28 cm Photographer: Grant Hancock


Metamorphosis: The Art of Tom Moore Education Kit


Metamorphosis: The Art of Tom Moore Education Kit

Plants and Animals Moore’s work is closely linked to the botanical world through his use of landscapes, plant elements and his environmental commentary. Research an endangered plant; this could be a locally found plant or one found anywhere throughout Australia. Research the plant’s habitat and either find a living example or an image in a botanical book. How would you go about making this into an artwork which sparked interest and debate about the future of this plant? Create a series of detailed drawings of the plant in ink, pencil or charcoal. Include your sketches below:  

Tom Moore Sapling Spine 2014 Hot joined blown and solid glass, wooden base 50 x 36 x 25 cm Photographer: Grant Hancock


Metamorphosis: The Art of Tom Moore Education Kit


Metamorphosis: The Art of Tom Moore Education Kit

Symbolism and Humour Tom Moore creates artworks that, while having a symbolic meaning, also make people smile, and even laugh. Do you think there is a place for humour to convey meaning in the art world? Explore your thoughts below:

Yhonnie Scarce uses symbols to talk about her people’s history. Using examples from the exhibition, explain your views on how symbolism can work in art:  

Image Above: Yhonnie Scarce Weak in Colour but Strong in Blood 2013-14 blown glass and found components, dimensions variable. Installation view of the 19th Biennale of Sydney (2014) at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Courtesy the artist and dianne tanzer gallery + projects, Melbourne. Created for the 19th Biennale of Sydney. Photograph: Sebastian Kriete.


Image Right: Tom Moore Ancestral Helmet 2016 Hot joined solid glass, mixed media 85 x 65 x 65 cm Photographer: Grant Hancock

Metamorphosis: The Art of Tom Moore Education Kit

Ancestral Helmut image credit needed.  


Metamorphosis: The Art of Tom Moore Education Kit


Metamorphosis | The Art of Tom Moore: Education Kit  
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