Contemporary Art & Graphic Design

Exhibitions * Reviews * Writing

2015 - Winner Aspiring Art Awards: Best Artwork Under $1000
2008 - Winner of the Molly Morpeth Canaday Glass Award, Whakatane.
“Kiwi Consciousness. Contemporary Artists from New Zealand” Imago Mundi 2017
“Craft Arts International" 2012 & 2015
“New Zealand Glass Art” Bateman, 2010
"New Glass Review 30", 2009 Corning Museum of Glass, New York, USA.
“Looking Glass: Reflecting Ideas” 2009
“Totem and Taboo” Collages and glasswork,
Blikfang, Auckland July 22-Aug 23rd.

Janie Dundas curator, wrote:

“Freud’s Essays Totem and Taboo (1913) attempted to give a psychoanalysis into the minds of people and neurosis. Proposing that all modern forms of socialization are shaped by the primitive culture of origin. He stated that all behaviours of conformity spring from a common primitive form, a totem or a symbol that shapes identity of a group. Metaphysical enquiries are at the basis of Brogan’s work. Her work is influenced by surrealism and primitivism, and investigates the totems by which we define ourselves in contemporary times, and the taboo’s or ideologies to which different people relate or retaliate against.

Brogan’s "Scientific Sushi" Series has less to do with presenting clever, quirky and well executed objects and more to do with a social taboo. Specifically, the whaling industry, which has killed more than 8,000 Antarctic minke whales under the guise of scientific research. Producing less science than sushi. “Scientific Sushi” is an iconic reminder of a hideous act. Brogan addresses environmental and political hegemony, investigating how individuals responds to a particular and accepted product once it is exposed or explained. She investigates the Totems and taboos of contemporary culture.

Brogan is one of few artists who specialize in glass casting using lead crystal casting glass, and Pâte de verre etc. Pâte de verre An ancient Egyptian practice that means ‘glass paste’. This fascinating process involves finely crushed glass mixed with a binding material, to create a paste that is applied to the inner surface of a negative mould. After the coated mould is fired at the appropriate temperature the glass is fused creating a hollow object. Brogan’s ‘Bombara’ series exhibits a fine example of how the sugary crystal grains of glass forms layer upon layer of glass granules, creating a structure of thickened glass walls that recedes into delicately thin walls.
Brogan is also a graphic designer, magazine publisher and commercial artist, her experience in this industry is apparent in the collage applications and compositions that will also be on display at Blikfang”.
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Finalist: Waiheke Small Sculpture Prize
Feb 27- March 21

“Bombora Australis”
Pate de verre glass & perspex installation
80 cm x 80cm x 20cm

Artist Statement
Bombora australis”

Family: Anthozoa
Genus: Favia
Status: Critically endangered, thought to be extinct

Collected from the coast of the Australian continent, closely following the geography of the structure formerly known as the “Great Barrier Reef” with isolated fragments having been found as far east as the western coast of New Zealand.
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Aspiring Art Awards Wanaka 2015
Winner: Best Artwork under $1000.00

"Woman World" - original collage on paper, 80cm x 60cm framed.

This work is available for purchase - framed $750.00.
Contact the artist.
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Finalist in the NZ Painting and Printmaking Awards 2016
“The Fetish” original hand cut collage on paper. 900mm x 450mm framed. 90cm x 48cm

This work is available for purchase - framed $1200.00.
Contact the artist.
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Finalist in the 20th Ranamok Australasian Glass Prize 2014
“Talisman (for protection against foreign invaders)”
By Lee Brogan
Cast glass, recycled plate glass, bone, brass (spent bullet cartridges), metal.

Artist's Statement
“Pestilence is in the eye of the beholder”.
Possums in New Zealand or kiwis in Australia?

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Finalist in the New Zealand Painting & Printmaking Award (NZPPA) 2014

"Through My Fingers to the Deep #2"

Digital Print from original photograph and hand-cut collage. Limited edition of 10.

Artists Statement

“All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.
I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep...”

Edgar Allen Poe

I am influenced by both surrealism and primitivism. My work has primarily focussed on topics that motivate me (with environmental and political hegemony high on my agenda) and is strongly conceptual in nature. I work in photography, mixed media, and sculpture and have spent many years developing my own techniques for making pate de verre sculpture which of itself has few proponents world-wide.

This work takes a sculpture as its starting point from the series “Bombora”, which I photographed and then used as a basis for hand-cut collage. The finished work has been reproduced as a limited edition glicee print of archival quality.

These works sprang from a diver’s love of the myriad beauty of coral in its many forms, and a fascination with the Celtic tradition of “elementals”, the spirit beings said to dwell within the natural world.

“Bombora” is Aboriginal for an isolated coral head (or the wave that breaks over it).
Coral reefs have been repeatedly torn down and rebuilt on the bones of previous generations, in an ongoing cycle (either natural or man-made) that reflects our own tenuous hold on the planet - like many civilisations that have gone before...
Buy Here.
Finalist in the Art at Wharepuke 3rd International Open Submission Printmaking Show 2014

"The Gumdigger's Daughter" Monotype

Judged by a panel of four international artist/printmakers and gallery directors. Maximum size A4. 35 artists from 13 countries were selected as finalists.
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Finalist in Wallace Art Awards 2013

Pate De Verre (Glass) wall mounted 45 cm high

Artists Statement:

Jacob Epsteins╩╝s great modernist sculpture the “Rock Drill” was thought to signify the beginning of a new and exciting age of the machine.
But have the machines freed humankind or just entangled us in a another form of slavery?
Here, from its disintegrating chrysalis, something new is emerging...

In the collection of the Wallace Arts Trust

Finalist in Ranamok 2011 Glass Awards

"Ficticious Shores" 18 piece installation in pate de verre glass, rice paper ink. Finalist in Ranamok Australasian Glass prize 2011.
This installation is for sale.
Contact us about this work.

Ficticious shores low Ficticious shores detail low

Artists Statement:
A twist of rice paper emerges from a relic of a W.W.II grenade like a message in a bottle or a slow burning wick.

Maybe it is a wreath for Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Fukushima.

Maybe it asks a question...


“Full Fathom Five” Solo Exhibition by Lee Brogan
Gravel Contemporary Art, Kerikeri 2009 (review below).

Haunting Glass Art
Review by William Headley

Lee Brogan, one of New Zealands foremost glass artists is exhibiting new work in Kerikeri at Gravel Contemporary Art.

The exhibition “Full Fathom Five” presents Lee’s haunting glass works. Using the pate de verre lost wax glass casting technique Lee continues to push the boundaries of what is being done in glass.

Featured in the exhibition are two series of glass sculptures, shipwreck forms and ‘bombora’ heads, including large ‘bombora gigantes.’ ‘Bombora’ is the Aboriginal word for isolated coral heads, or the distinctive wave that breaks over them. Each head is a unique glass original, sometimes bleached white, sometimes glowing with coral pinks and mauves. They exhibit both a brittleness and strength, beauty and menace. Their forms are natural, perfectly recognizable yet hint of the alien – a hybrid species. Perhaps a lost race, or evidence of a new species.

The shipwrecks are in the form of tortured, corroded prows saturated with darkness, rust and blue. The wrecks echo the coral of the Bombora in having once contained and transported life, and sometimes harbouring death. The skeletal structure of ships – ribs and backbone, parallel the bodies of those who served and sailed in them.

The wreck ‘Ballad of the Boyd’ commemorates the bicentennial of the destruction of the Boyd in Whangaroa Harbour, the massacre of its crew and passengers and the ensuing retribution wrought by sailors on Maori.

Included in the show is a mixed media work ‘Scientific Sushi 09.’ This wryly humorous installation reflects Lee’s commitment to political and environmental issues. In this instance the Japanese determination to resume commercial whaling even under the cynical ‘ruse’ of scientific research.

At the centre of these works is Lee’s fascination with the Celtic tradition of ‘elementals’, the spirit beings said to dwell within the natural world, and the zen idea of ‘wabi sabi.’ An aesthetic that accepts beauty as imperfect, impermanent and incomplete, but unique in each object.

This award winning artist’s work can be seen at Gravel Contemporary Art, 1 Hobson Av, Kerikeri from 6 November to 2 December. Lee was overall winner of the Molly Morpeth Canaday 2008 Glass Awards.

New Glass Review 30 - 2009
One of my works from the “Bombora” series has been selected for inclusion in the yearly international publication New Glass Review 30 (2009), put out by the Corning Museum of Glass, NY. There are four international judges, Tina Oldknow the Curator of Modern Glass for Corning Museum, Dante Marioni, USA, Mieke Groote, Amsterdam and
Rachel Berwick, Rhode Island School of Design, USA. A total of 1,047 artists from 43 countries sent 2,974 images for consideration, and 100 were selected for inclusion in New Glass Review 30, so I am excited to be one of them. The publication is due out in May 2009, and the images will be part of the Corning Museum's Rakow Research Library.

The Molly Morpeth Canaday 3D Awards: Glass for 2008.

"The quality of entries this year was extremely high and we would like to offer our thanks to all those that entered the awards. The final selection of twenty works for the exhibition is a testament to the craftsmanship and innovation in New Zealand glass today.
The awards selector and judge, Claire Regnault, (Concept Development Manager, The New Dowse, Lower Hutt) offered these comments at the awards ceremony on Saturday 23rd August:
“It has been a great opportunity to get a snap shot of what is happening in glass around the country and demonstrates that the sector is in great health. While many of the usual suspects were welcomely present, most excitingly there were many engaging surprises – new practitioners, new directions.
Awards shows always contain a number of equally strong works – conceptually and technically. However, when you walk away from the works, there are always one or two pieces that stay with you - that continue to resonate and captivate. I have chosen two of these works as the winners – a momento mori and a warning.”
Overall Winner ($5000)
Lee Brogan
Pate de verre
Judges’s comment:
“Fragile and powerful, both grunty and refined, Lee’s work was completely unexpected. As the award demands, it is innovative and progressive.”