Helen Britton graciously interrupts her busy schedule to speak about her charms art, as it is just a week before her Interstices exhibition at Perth’s Lawrence Wilson Gallery. The usual noise of installation heard all around us. Some works are already attach to the walls, others are strategically place on the floors. The space is fill with boxes, bubble wrap and ladders, as the installation crew continues their work.
Britton smoothens a piece of metal that could be used as an ornament for the body on the table before us. Britton carefully balances a combination of hand-wrought metallic forms by carefully arranging the ends. She takes another out of a box.
Quick, While Nobody Is Looking, Feel It
Most gallery visitors are denied the privilege of touching. Shivering, tinkling, tiny metal shapes glide between my fingers. These tiny metal shapes are like a lichen-filled European forest in the rain. You are transported by the gunmetal gangrene pine leaves, which dripping with leaf mould fungus. It’s beautiful.
What is it that holds us captive in our fascination with objects of the material world? You may have trinkets in your credenza’s bottom drawer, or proudly displayed on a living room cabinet. These items are part of material culture and can be imbued both with personal and social meanings.
Britton’s collection of personal icons, which she refers to as her creative inspiration, is a random gathering of objects that may seem like a random assortment of fancies.
Britton studied fine art at Edith Cowan University. She also completed a Masters in Creative Arts by Research at Curtin University. Britton is a renowned international jeweller and maker exquisitely crafted items that are inspired from the diverse cultures around her.
Studio Charms Is Now In Germany
While her studio is now in Germany, she maintains close ties to Western Australia and visits often. The landforms, bush, and coastal environments of Western Australia provide her with solace and inspiration. Interstices is a celebration and tribute to her 25-years of practice.
Two darkly lit forms, either trained eels, or eevilish train, trundle along the looping circuit in the gallery’s darkened hall.
A set of boldly-painted drawings, captured in a flash of downlight glare on a nearby wall are reminiscent of sideshow posters, European folk art chapbooks and places savoring uncertain pleasures.
An adjacent wall is cover in large lucky charms. In front, there’s a display case with intrigue-fuelled jewellery items. A tiny, glowing horse is enclose in a metal cage. Has it been racing too fast? Three little bluebirds are also nestle in the cage. While a devil-faced, ring laughs at itself, the two of them are encase in an uncomfortable metal bed.
Gallery Buzzes With Excitement Charms
The gallery buzzes with excitement , trepidation and thrill-seeking . Get on board the ghost train! Try your luck! Try your luck! Grab your show bags! Helen Britton will playfully tease you tonight with unheimlich.
Britton, in one space, critiques the institutional hierarchies that govern conventional art practice by combining the violence of decorative with the institutionalism of traditional art practice. Large-scale drawings and lusty ornaments made for personal white cube walls echo the rich details of body adornments that fill display cabinets.
Another area is where industrial chic meets dystopian realms. A floor sculpture, perhaps an architect’s model for an industrialized zone; or an upscaled version of one of her body works becomes the base for a variety of jewellery forms that reflect the clamours of modern technology.