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Artist in Residence: Devyn Ormsby

Artist in Residence: Devyn Ormsby
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To mark the launch of our new season shade Cobalt, we invited eight artists to join our Artist in Residence series and exhibit their cobalt-hued works in Assembly Label stores around Australia and New Zealand.

Devyn Ormsby’s glass fruit are a study in life’s most delightful contradictions — they’re nostalgic yet new; serious yet silly. “I move on a spectrum between minimalism and maximalism. Dark and light. Old and new,” says the Auckland-based artist, who made the decision to “give glass a go” in 2019. Devyn enrolled, and was then accepted, into a course at Pilchuck Glass School in Seattle, and it was there, she says, “that I felt really inspired and realised, ‘yeah, I think I can do this’.”
Devyn recalls being fascinated with colour and texture as a child. “I have vivid memories drawing a tuatara (a reptile endemic to New Zealand) and print-making a whale,” she says. “I feel like [being creative] is a part of who I am.” Even now, her practice is by no means limited to one medium. “Aside from the glass fruit I also like to paint and take photographs. They all positively influence and complement each other and it keeps things interesting,” she tells.

“My favourite thing about working with cobalt in glass is how it catches the light. The translucency gives it depth, which is fascinating to look at.”

Faced with two years of closed borders and travel bans, Devyn says her practice began to feel restricted and was forced to adapt. “I have had to become more introspective and resort to what is available around me. In hindsight, this has been really good for productivity and allowed me to focus,” she reflects. Created amid a year of immense change for the artist, Devyn’s new glass fruit series inspires feelings of nostalgia and contemplation. “This work re-contextualises the common fruit in a new form,” shares Devyn. Cobalt in particular, she adds, imparts a sense of surprise and playfulness. “My favourite thing about working with cobalt in glass is how it catches the light. The translucency gives it depth, which is fascinating to look at,” she says. “Cobalt is iconic because of its ability to have impact on a physical and spiritual level. The first banana I ever made was in cobalt and it seemed to make a statement.” 
While Devyn’s days may look a little different these days with a new baby in tow, she is as attuned as ever to her world of inspiration. She lists the artists Frantisek Vizner, Alma Allen, Christian Rex van Minnen and Ann Wolff as current influences, and her curiosity and creativity are fuelled by books, film, food and design — “basically all the good things,” she says.

 

Devyn will be releasing new glass fruit later this year. Follow her via @devonmade.glass for updates.

Further Reading

Artists in Residence: Cobalt Series

Artists in Residence: Cobalt Series

To mark the launch of our new season shade Cobalt, we invited eight artists to exhibit their cobalt-coloured works in Assembly Label stores around Australia and New Zealand.  Inspired by...

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Artist in Residence: Camille Laddawan

Artist in Residence: Camille Laddawan

To mark the launch of our new season shade Cobalt, we invited eight artists to join our Artist in Residence series and exhibit their cobalt-hued works in Assembly Label stores...

Read The Story