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Thursday 25 April 2024

Jenny Mulcahy

At Home Artist In Residence (AHAIR)
8-12 June, 19-27 June 2020 (last firing finished 28 June), Nelly Bay, Magnetic Island, QLD

Jenny Mulcahy was one of the three AHAIRs in the 2020 COVID-responsive program. Her project contributed towards her planned 2020 solo exhibition Liminal Space at Umbrella.

Project Summary
The work for Liminal Space was proposed to comprise mixed media works including glass, steel and ceramic. The concepts reference the cusp of change the world is on and explores issues such as the extinction of species and the importance of maintaining our water supply. Jenny was initially disappointed with some of the glass component experiments for her exhibition, as they emerged from the kiln with large black rectangles in their centres.
“My first impulse was to bin it but I found myself drawn to the blackness and the reflections of light it contained and put it aside until I had more time to explore the possibilities it offered. This residency will offer the opportunity to explore this blackness in a series of small works referencing extinct and/or endangered plant species and possibly add a further component to my body of work for Liminal Space.”

AHAIR Public Program
Revisit Jenny Mulcahy in her home studio in the below video program. The artist demonstrates and describes her processes for applying decals, adding texture to glass, and firing glass.

Week 1 - Works in progress
Jenny Mulcahy had to pause her residency when her kiln broke down and she was waiting for a new part from interstate. Upon her return, her experimentation in the studio continued: “Chasing the black… The smaller works, having three layers of 2mm glass allowed for experimentation with layering both transparent and opaque decal images as well trying for the blackness associated with tin coatings on the glass pieces. When fired, the smaller works with the three layers, while not producing any black sections (and image burning out!) resulted in a lovely disparity in the text with the colour varying between sepia and black depending upon placement of the layer. In the larger work the black appeared as I had hoped, with the thickness of the glass, combined with tin and opaque decal the cause. Having gained a better understanding of how these materials interact with each other will enable better control over future works. The next lot of tests will further explore the layering of text over formed and textured glass.”

Week 2 - Works in progress
In reference to the images of the final works (below) from Jenny’s home residency: “I am very grateful to Umbrella Studio and RASN North Queensland for providing me with this opportunity to create a series of experimental works. The knowledge gained during the creation of these works will enable future works of increased complexity.”

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408 Flinders Street,
Gurambilbarra (Townsville),
Qld, 4810 Australia

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Gurambilbarra (Townsville),
Qld, 4810 Australia

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Acknowledgement of Country

Umbrella Studio Contemporary Arts respectfully acknowledges the Wulgurukaba of Gurambilbarra and Yunbenun and the surrounding groups of our region; Bindal, Gugu Badhan, Nywaigi, Warrgamay, Bandjin and Gudjal as the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we gather, share and celebrate local creative practice. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging. We acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders as the first people of Australia. They have never ceded sovereignty and remain strong in their enduring connection to land and Culture.

Umbrella is a Dealer Member of the Indigenous Art Code. This means we are committed to fair and ethical trade with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, and transparency in the promotion and sale of artwork. As a Dealer Member and signatory to the Code we must act fairly, honestly, professionally and in good conscience in all direct or indirect dealings with artists.


Umbrella is supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland, part of the Department of Communities, Housing and Digital Economy, and by the Visual Arts and Craft Strategy, an initiative of the Australian, state and territory governments. | Umbrella is supported by the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation and receives funds through the Australian Cultural Fund. | Townsville City Council is a funding partner of Umbrella's program.