Gippsland-based glass artist, Tony Hanning, studied at Gippsland Institute of Advanced Education (painting) before travelling to the USA where he studied at the Pilchuck Glass School, Washington State. Following a period as Director of the Latrobe Valley Arts Centre in Morwell (1971-80) he focused on his glass practice, pioneering the ‘cased’ glass technique that involves two layers of different coloured glass carved in a cameo-like fashion.
The Geelong Gallery formed the nucleus of its contemporary Australian glass collection around 2000. Holdings include works by major glass artists using both kiln-worked and hot-worked techniques. Tony Hanning’s pictorial vase, Set –featuring city vistas that reflect his concern with the metropolis as a highly artificial environment—was blown by David Hay of Western Australia and involves two layers of carved, coloured glass. This work joins Karl Moje’s Green mosaic field, made by the fusing of numerous coloured rods; glass blown scent bottles by Nick Mount and Giles Bettison’s 'murrina' vase form.
The Geelong Gallery has a significant craft/decorative arts collection that encompasses Australian studio ceramics and glass, colonial Geelong gold and silver, early British porcelain (developed through the Dorothy McAllister Bequest Fund), and modern British art pottery. The Gallery’s studio ceramics collection was established in the early 1980s through the generosity of benefactor, Gordon Jackson, who assisted the Gallery to acquire works by leading ceramicists of the time. The collection includes functional pieces as well as more colourful, sculptural, and painterly works, many of a humorous nature and others that incorporate socio-political themes. Recently the Gallery has assembled a modest holding of contemporary glass representing murrine, mosaic, zanfirico and cased glass techniques.