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Hilary Crawford, Sugar Town and other works

Sugar Town from the Series 'City of Bits' by Hilary Crawford

The Artist

Hilary Crawford is one of Australia's leading contemporary artists working in the glass/ceramics media with works in public and private collections globally. Hilary was born in 1973 in Australia and studied  at the Alberta College of Art, Calgary, Canada before going onto studying in Australia with a  Bachelor of Arts at the Australian National University in Visual Arts and in Design (Ceramics and Glass) at the University of South Australia 1. Since graduating, Hilary has become a professional full-time artist  specialising in working with glass murrine (patterns formed in a glass cane which are revealed when the cane is cut in cross sections). 2  Hilary is particularly known for her unusual three-dimensional shapes which are the result of her mastery of a range of techniques from tile fabrication to blowing glass, sculpting and cold working. Hilary has exhibited across the world including an exhibition at the Chapman Gallery, New York, and has been a finalist for the Ranamok Glass Prize in 2006, 2007 and 2008. Crawford has also taught and worked at both University of South Australia and at the ANU.  In 2013, Hilary was an artist in residence at the Canberra Glass-Works.3

Sugar Town by Hilary Crawford

The Work of Art

Sugar-Town, from the series, 'City of Bits' was one of the works of art created by Hilary Crawford as part of her graduation works in 2001 from the Australian National University, Canberra. 4 Crawford created this work using black and white glass in a kiln formed fused technique. This is where the glass is heated to a state that different components fuse and bond together without being so hot that the glass melts.5 This is usually carried out in a flat area of the kiln to form a fused blank. The blank is then re-heated in the kiln so that it sags into its shape- this is sometimes called draping or slumping.

Crawford's work has been described as have a machine-like aesthetic, streamlined forms that derive from modern architecture. The use of murrine implants in Hilary's works represent random impressions of urban culture- a visual hybrid of streams of information and the built environment. In Hilary's own words, 'Fragments of information are sequenced so we perceive them on the move; other information we have to look at again, to blink, so as to recognise what we absorb'. 6

As previously stated, Hilary Crawford's works are exhibited world-wide with works of art acquired by the Springs Art Museum, California, USA as well as closer to home at the Canberra Museum and Art Gallery, CMAG.  Other works from the City of Bits include Cycloid #3 and Glint #2 & 3 currently with the Sanksa Galerie, Switzerland. 7

The University of Canberra has one other example of Crawford's work in the Art Collection. Origami water-bomb #12 is a good example of Crawford's murrine glass compositions. This work is a hand blown and sculpted form with murrine implants with a diamond finish.

Origami water-bomb #12


1 'Hilary Crawford' Beaver Galleries, Accessed 13 March  2018 ,

2  ;Hilary Crawford' , Galerie Nummer40 Accessed 13 March 2018,

3 'Hilary Crawford' Beaver Galleries, Accessed 13 March  2018 ,

4 Note: From print-out KE-EMu catalogue accessed  8 October 2018 pdf Curator's file.

5. ibid

6.Hilary Crawford' Beaver Galleries, Accessed 13 March  2018 ,

7 ibid