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I create sculptures in cast, fused and laminated glass, stained with metals.
I’ve been a professional artist since the year 2000, and as I was then in my 50's, you can guess I’ve done a few things before starting to earn a living from my art.
Most of my life has been spent designing and building major public information projects – for instance, I created the systems which support the management of England and Wales' Adult Education; many of the systems underpinning Royal Mail, and a system used worldwide for very confidential online therapy.
Running alongside this work I have long experience as an artist, starting when I became a monk in my late teens and joined my community’s artists, becoming adept at calligraphy and iconic art. Later, I qualified as a teacher and taught pottery, and exhibited from time to time in London and the North-West, winning some prizes.
I returned to art in the 1990s, gaining a distinction in sculpture at OCA, working in ceramics. This in turn lead me to hot and warm glass sculpting from 2001: once I started working with glass, the medium has dominated my work. I’m particularly attracted to large and complex organic, translucent forms, allowing me to explore some of the characteristics I find thought-provoking in ancient, man-made objects, such as Standing Stones and prehistoric art. There are echoes of this influence in my current work.
My glass works are collected and exhibited across Europe, the US, and Australia: several hundred works to date. My work can be seen online at www.tony-roberts.com and at www.ebsqart.com. My first solo exhibition was in 2009, in Preston: other exhibitions include the Chapel Gallery at Ormskirk, the Synergy Gallery in Melbourne, the Leigh TurnPike, the Drumcroon gallery, the Quennington sculpture Biennale (twice), at an exhibition organised by The Henry Moore Institute in Sheffield, and the 2010 Sculpture in the Garden exhibition in Leicester. There are public works around Wigan, my old home town, in Lancashire.
I use custom-built kilns for my work, staining and fusing glass with metals including gold, silver, bronze, iron, copper, chrome, and cobalt. I prefer work that is person-sized, grouped, and designed for external public display. My studio workshop is near my new home, in the centre of Oswestry. I am an active member of Wigan’s OK Studios and Oswestry's Borderlands Art group, and a member of several UK and US-based artists and glass-maker groups.