LENOX, MASSACHUSETTS (September 25)—Sienna Patti presents a solo exhibition of new work by internationally recognized Australian jeweler, Helen Britton. Wildstone will be on view from October 7 through November 13, with an opening and artist reception on Saturday, October 8 from 4pm to 6pm. Reception and exhibition are free and open to the public. There will be an accompanying lecture and book signing at Brooklyn Metal Works on October 21 at 7pm.
Helen Britton is a traveler and collector, forever gathering tangible bits of experience and memories as she moves through the world. Her new body of work traces these bits to Idar-Oberstein, a German town once world famous for its gemstones and jewelry industry. Idar was a place of global exchange, where raw stones came to be processed and where small factories sent off finished jewelry to the Victorian marketplace. This history has long fascinated Britton and while an artist-in-residence of the Jakob Bengel Foundation in the autumn of 2014, she delved deep into the remnants of this once bustling town and followed the fading paths of stones from her native Australia to Idar and back again.
Britton’s work physically joins the stones she has saved, carried, and collected from her native Australia to Idar-Obertein, and to all the places in between. Carefully piecing together these materials, Britton builds a connection between disparate threads and begins to tell a new story.
“[Britton] binds together distant lands, oceans, shipyards, industries, people and hundreds, sometimes thousands of years,” write gallery owner Sienna Patti. Yet, “One isn’t required to understand the backstory to each stone, every pattern or part, in order to be drawn into the work, to want hold it close to the skin, to turn it around and hold it to the light.”
Helen Britton completed a Master of Fine Arts by research at Curtin University, Western Australia in 1999, which included guest studies at the Academy of Fine Arts, Munich, the Sandberg Institute, Amsterdam, and San Diego State University, California. In 1999 she returned to Munich to complete postgraduate study at the Academy of Fine Arts. In 2002 she established her workshop in Munich with David Bielander and Yutaca Minegishi. Her work is held in the National Gallery of Australia, The Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich, The Schmuck Museum Pforzheim, The Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, The Boston Museum of Fine Art, The Metropolitan Museum, New York, The Hermitage, St Petersburg, The Victoria and Albert Museum, London among others. In 2005 Helen was awarded the Herbert Hofmann prize for excellence in contemporary jewellery and in 2006 the state prize of Bavaria for craftsmanship. In March of 2011 Helen Drutt-English launched a new catalogue of Helen Britton’s work in Munich. In 2013 at the invitation of The Neue Sammlung, Munich, an overview of 20 years of Helen’s work was shown as a solo exhibition in the Neues Museum, Nürnberg, Germany. In 2013 Britton was awarded the Förderpreis of the city of Munich, and in 2014 was artist in residence at Villa Bengel in Idar-Oberstein. In 2015 Helen Britton was invited by Ingo Maurer to make a solo exhibition of her “Industrial” series of jewellery and drawings in his showrooms in Munich, and was Artist in Residence at the invitation of Janet Homes a Court at Vasse Felix in Western Australia. In 2017 Helen has been invited by The Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery, UWA, Western Australia to make a complete overview of her practice in conjunction with the Festival of Perth.
ABOUT SIENNA PATTI
Based in Lenox Massachusetts, Sienna Patti is a project and exhibition based program focusing on the work of contemporary studio artists. The artists bridge the worlds of art, craft, and contemporary design with innovative use of materials and mediums. With a focus on contemporary studio jewelry the gallery also represents artists working in photography, sculpture and object. Sienna Patti is located at 80 Main Street and is open Wednesdays through Saturdays 11am to 5pm, and Sundays through Tuesdays 11am to 3pm, or by appointment by calling 413-637-8386. More information is available at www.siennapatti.com.
High resolution images available upon request.
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