Sharda Murray-Kieken

Although Sharda grew up on the prairies, after what feels like a lifetime of longing, she moved to Vancouver Island in 2016. It gives her great joy to be close to the sea and find inspiration from a deep respect for water and the ever-changing beauty of the surrounding nature.

I have always loved to create and applied my ideas to textiles in the early 1970’s from there it has been a journey of exploration. In the early 90’s I took a workshop in stained glass. Then I ventured into a small weekend course on ‘warm glass’ where I found my voice as an artist. Oddly enough the course was in Victoria, from that weekend I committed myself to expression through the technique of fused glass.

Sharda works with large sheets of coloured transparent and opaque glass. Using a variety of processes from cutting, crushing, blasting and painting to create shadow, hue and texture, these different elements are ultimately bonded together into a single item using the heat of fusing kilns. There are many other techniques applied after, during or before the piece reaches it’s final state. This technical side to glass fusing beckons me to be present during the process, a challenge that I enjoy immensely.

I have been lucky to visit many countries in Europe and also India and New Zealand, drawing inspiration from the masters of many artistic styles.  I have studied with accomplished fused glass artists in the US and Canada.  But I must say that having a front row seat to witness Lino Tagliapietra  a Maestro in Italian glass blowing has been my biggest inspiration.  They say when he works: "The glass knows.”  What they mean is “the glass knows that it is Lino working today, and it will behave as it does only for him."

I begin each piece with a certain but very loose plan. I am often carried on a tide of energy that comes directly from the glass.  Although it doesn’t seem like it, glass in it’s brittle form is really a super cooled liquid and given the perfect circumstance of heat and time, it will transform into something quite unexpected, so I try not to over think each piece but allow it to show itself to me.

One of my favourite quotes is from Proust “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands, but in seeing with new eyes”

Another thought from Tolstoy:  “Art is a communion among people, life is short...art is long”