The Friends of the Sarjeant Centenary Chandelier

The Crystal Chain Gang, Artist

This is one of the installations in our collection. It was made in Whanganui, Whanganui Region, New Zealand in 2018-2019.
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Object Detail

About the Work
The Sarjeant Gallery has a long standing relationship with Jim Dennison and Leanne Williams who have worked collaboratively as the Crystal Chain Gang since 2003. The duo studied glass in Whanganui and the Sarjeant staged their first solo exhibition in a public gallery Fancy Fools Flight in 2011 which toured nationally. Over the last fifteen years they have become renowned for their work that marries art, craft and design, undertaking many public and private commissions for their chandeliers.

For Turn of a Century they were invited to create a work that would respond to the extraordinary architectural detail of neoclassical building, but to bring such a project to fruition funding was required. This is where the Friends of the Gallery stepped in by seeking contributions of $100 from 100 Friends to raise $10,000 to bring the project to fruition. This campaign was a success and we are extremely grateful to all of those who generously gave to the project.

This magnificent chandelier marks a shift in their practice in that it combines both the press-moulded glass technique which they normally use to create the drops of their chandeliers with ambitious blown glass components. All of the parts of this chandelier are taken from moulds that the pair made of the detailed plaster work in the building (some of which can be seen in Andrew Ross’s photographs in this exhibition). These large jewel like components have allowed the duo to upscale their work and add a new vocabulary of shapes and forms to their archive.

Once this exhibition finishes the chandelier will find its permanent home when the redeveloped Sarjeant Gallery opens.

We would like to thank Jim and Leanne for this beautiful work that is a fitting tribute to the Gallery’s first century. This project wouldn’t have been possible without the generous support of New Zealand Glassworks and the dedication, skill and expertise of Philip Stokes, Scott Redding, Brendon Sole and Allister Toy.
- Greg Donson, Curator & Public Programmes Manager, Sarjeant Gallery. Label text for 'Turn of a Century' exhibition celebrating the Sarjeant Gallery centenary, 2019
2700 x 1200 x 1200 mm
cast and blown lead crystal with stainless steel armature
Large clear crystal chandelier with a variety of hanging components. The chandelier is comprised of a metal armature from which hang four decreasing sized squares of crystal 'icicles'. The top of every 'icicle' is impressed with a line of pyramid style decorations. Hanging from the armature are long strings of glass forms, like beads threaded on a string. One of the strings is looped back up to the armature, the rest are hanging straight down. These strings are formed of a variety of cast and blown glass shapes including lozenges, hourglass shapes, and double sided squares in different sizes with cross designs on them, similar to double sided pyramids. All these shapes are inspired by designs present within the heritage building of the Sarjeant Gallery at Pukenamu Queen's Park, Whanganui.
Credit Line
Collection of the Sarjeant Gallery Te Whare o Rehua Whanganui. Gift of of the Friends of the Sarjeant Gallery, 2019
Collection Type
Permanent collection
Acquisition Date
06 Sep 2019



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