Auckland based glass artist Francia Smeets creates sculptural glass works that explore the materiality of glass and subjects from the natural world. Smeets is drawn to working with glass for its unique ability to express light.
Smeets draws on a 20 year career in the film industry, in this role she travelled internationally working on the design aspects of costuming and make-up. While this career was creative in its own right and taught her much about the art of aesthetics, fine art was always her passion. Now Smeets devotes most of her time to producing sculptural work in glass, exhibiting these works in galleries and sculpture events throughout New Zealand.
Smeets takes formal inspiration from nature. She reduces her subject to its essential curves and lines to create a pure form that sits elegantly between realism and abstraction. Smeets takes great care to render smooth surfaces with dynamic curvatures, a challenging task for the casting process. This leads her works to be identifiable for their sense of proportion and balance.
Smeets has become well known for her “Waiting” series, which depicts birds poised on timber plinths, reminiscent of a fence post or tree. This series explores the material contrasts between cast glass and found timber. These sculptural assemblages are elegant explorations of New Zealand flora and fauna. The “Waiting” series led the artist to win the 2015 glass art awards held in Auckland.
Francia Smeets creates sculptural glass works that explore the materiality of glass and subjects from the natural world. Smeets is drawn to working with glass for its unique ability to express light.