Artist - Simon Lewis Wards
As a youth, Wards was a keen graffiti artist. He liked the close-knit fraternity and the sense of being part of an underground movement. But when graffiti became trendy, it lost its fascination.
He had worked as an assistant at a glass-blowing studio in Australia and when his old school friends set up their studio in New Zealand he was around to help they unload a container of equipment and then, with his friends encouragement stayed on.
Up until that point Simon's experience with glass had stopped at bowls and vessels - objects that didn't spark any feeling. Moving beyond the techniques he had previously used was a revelation for Simon.
He had some T-shirts spraypainted with power poles as he finds then a beautiful part of the urban landscape. After being in the studio with his friends it inspired him to cast the poles in glass, using a pool cue to mould the shape of the pole.
Simon has embraced the cast glass technique adding to his range of sculpture with porcelain bags of glass lollies, reminiscent of the lolly mixtures you found in the local dairy as a child.
"I always heard people say that once you found your passion, it wasn't like going to work anymore. Now I know what that means."