2023 Grad Show

Phillip Murray Bandura

AUArts Grad Show received_265148735774904

MFA in Craft Media


Glass blowing captivates me. I never grow tired of the possibilities and the endless skills and techniques there are to master and explore with glass. The medium of molten glass is alive, having a magical and mystical quality. The heat and light that emanate from liquid glass bring me into a meditative state, much the same way as a campfire. Working with molten glass is never boring, the path you take to make something is never the same. The qualities of glass are queer, as in strange, odd, and different from any other material.
I see the properties of glass and relate them metaphorically to the properties of humanity and my own contradictions. Glass makes me laugh in the way it always surprises me.
I identify strongly with a Canadian sense of humour steeped in political satire, irony, and witty absurdism. My life and art have been informed by such Canadian shows as Royal Canadian Air Farce, This Hour Has 22 Minutes, and Kids in the Hall.
I want my work to first make you laugh, then make you think, and maybe even have you question my sanity or your own faculties. My work is meant to ask absurd questions and give absurd answers, telling a paradoxical story in a kind and cutting way.
I hope that people see reverence and irreverence in my art. There is a power gained in humour that allows people to think about and confront topics that would otherwise be taboo or too dark to contemplate and discuss. I want my work to raise big questions like, "What is the point of life?" and "Can something disgusting be beautiful?" The work is meant to be lighthearted and approachable.

"Shiny Shit"

“Shiny Shit" is a metaphor for struggle and adversity at the same time a symbol of life and light. "Shiny Shit" was inspired by the COVID lockdowns, coinciding with the first semester of my MFA studies at the Alberta University of the Arts in 2020. During this time I did a lot of walking, as I could not be in the glass studio. I found humour in bags of dog poo I would see on my walks, in the bushes or even thrown into trees.

"Cracked But Not Broken"

The series Cracked But Not Broken was made as a metaphor for the repeated struggles we all go through in life. I see each of life's obstacles as a challenge that can make us stronger "what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger." The cracks in my artwork make the glass sparkle, and it is obstacles in life that give people their character.

To understand my project it is helpful to understand some of the process. When you crizzle the glass, you dunk it in a steel bucket of water.

"Glass is Queer, Or Is It Just Me"

I came out to myself when I first started working with Glass. I was taught to blow glass by working with the materials' odd, strange, and magical qualities. I see the quality of glass as queer, a mirror of my own queerness. In this series, "Glass is Queer, or Is It Just Me?" I explore a mixed media approach to sculpture using materials inspired by drag, camp, and the qualities of glass.

"Hand Sanitizer Defence Bottles"

"Hand Sanitizer Defence Bottles" are beautiful objects with violent intentions, an ornamentation of a suggested crime.
The bottles are a sardonic reaction to the state of a COVID world. In today's world, we have to defend ourselves with hand sanitizer, masks, and social distancing, while facing a growing political and ideological divide in society. The bottles are conveniently filled with hand sanitizer; the stopper acts as a sanitizer dispenser and accessory shiv protecting you from COVID and social unrest. The Defence Bottles also come with a beautiful lace handkerchief to create your very own bespoke Molotov cocktail by placing it in the bottle and lighting it on fire.

“Gay Bomb, Rocket Addition”

A hypothetical non-lethal psychochemical weapons that a United States Air Force research facility considered developing were known informally as the "gay bomb" and "halitosis bomb." According to the ideas, releasing sex pheromones over enemy forces will cause them to become drawn to one another sexually.

A three-page proposal on several potential non-lethal chemical weapons was created in 1994 by the Wright Laboratory in Ohio, which served as the forerunner to today's United States Air Force Research Laboratory. The proposal was eventually acquired by the Sunshine Project through a Freedom of Information Act request.

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