Philip Stokes is a highly skilled glass artist with a passion for creativity and community engagement. In 2000, he completed a Bachelor of Applied Arts with Honours at Monash University, earning the prestigious Pilchuck Partnership Scholarship for his outstanding student work. Since 2002, Philip has owned and operated his own studio, in Melbourne, Australia, until 2016. His studio provided hot shop and polishing work access, supporting emerging and established glass artists through workshops and fostering creative exchange.
During his time in Melbourne and whilst creating his own contemporary art, he collaborated and gaffed for artists organisations and designers producing high quality work and creative outcomes. He has an extensive range of work and history, with over 90 exhibitions and commissions right throughout the world. Notably, Philip's large-scale sculptures and installations can be found in prominent locations, located in some of the world's best hotels, such as the Four Seasons Hotel in Hong Kong and the Sheraton Hotel in Xiamen, China, Marina Bay Sand, Singapore.
In 2016, Philip, along with his husband, relocated to New Zealand, where he became a resident artist and glass blower at New Zealand Glassworks. Committed to strengthening the glass community, he actively participates in conferences, teaches, and mentors emerging artists. Currently serving as the President of the New Zealand Society of Artists in Glass, Philip is dedicated to sharing his skills and encouraging the next generation of artists.
Philip's Ghost Toy Series, exemplified by the piece "Big Wheels," reflects his evolution as an artist and craftsman. This series, created at the New Zealand Glassworks, showcases his innovative approach to glass art, combining nostalgia and playfulness. "Big Wheels" specifically draws inspiration from a childhood photograph, symbolizing fearlessness, adventure, and ambition.
Throughout his over 20-year career, Philip has exhibited widely in Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. His work is held in prestigious collections, including the National Art Glass Collection in Wagga Wagga, NSW. His commitment to playfulness and creativity is evident in his Ghost Toy Series, where the hot shop becomes his playground.
Philip Stokes continues to be a respected figure in the international glass art scene, balancing technical expertise with a genuine love for the artistic process and community collaboration.
Play often gets lost in adulthood and yet the benefits of such activity don't stop at a particular age. The activity releases endorphins making us feel happy and stress free. I have been enjoying the creative freedom of play in the studio where risk sometimes inhibits experimentation and limits potential.
Objects from the Ghost Toy series are based around photographs of me and my siblings in Montreal Canada 1975-78. The photographs cement my memories of my life where the world seemed a much simpler place. Objects from the Ghost Toy series are based around photographs of me and my siblings in Montreal Canada 1975-78. The photographs cement my memories of my life where the world was made much larger and more exciting with international travel at a young age. Possibilities were limitless and family life was uncomplicated and fulfilling.. After over 20 years of developing my skills as a full time glass blower it has been a thrill and pleasure to apply them to works that embody nostalgia with a carefree outlook on life and where an unbridled optimism remains.
The immobile glass toys in ghostly transparent clear glass may appear as a memory and how play has shaped my creativity and imagination. The iconic image of some of these toys, a trigger or portal back to the time where we truly lived in the moment and where imagination ran free. Ghost Toys are from that moment; so different to today’s realities of a world where fear and anxieties plague our ability to be ourselves.
Medium: Sculpted and blown hot glass
Dimensions: 690mm H x 330mm W
Ideally the sculpture will receive a fresh single stem bloom every day on the cloche as per the image provided. I don’t mind if the gallery changes this flora and I also don’t mind that on some days for the bloom to be wilting and a little sad.
"I caught the Hope bug
This guy was captured in a dreamscape and is preserved in memory. His optimism relies on the gift of your blooms that sit above and beyond his reach on the edge of his cloche. He loves yellow but is open to the diversity of colour that you may bring".
Philip Stokes – 2023