Helen Britton - Decorationswut, Lisa Walker - Her last show made in Munich

Exhibition  /  29 Oct 2009  -  28 Nov 2009
Published: 20.10.2009
Artothek, Galerie und Kunstverleih
Rosental 16
80331 -  Munich
+49 89 232-69635

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Helen Britton and Lisa Walker present new works in a 2 person solo shows entitled: Decorationswut and Her last show made in Munich.

Artist list

Helen Britton, Lisa Walker
The work started in an old warehouse in America. Beginning in 1948, the company had been buying up mass produced jewellery leftovers world wide, in a kind of frenzy of collection. You could find stuff from virtually every country and every decade of the 20th century. There were millions of elements, and I read them as a kind of emotional history of the every day. In having been produced quickly and cheaply, I enjoyed the freedom of design I found in these small objects, how closely they reflected the popular culture of their period, their experimental qualities as different companies tried to initiate a jewellery craze or catch onto something new. I selected elements because of their strangeness, their beauty, the memories they evoked (I actually found parts of things that I had worn as a child too) or where they were made. I started to make simple drawings of the things I found and then I continued with drawing my own collection of mass produced jewellery, and then went on to drawing the jewellery from my childhood and so the drawings developed their own momentum. Alongside these drawings I produced a group of jewellery with the elements from the warehouse. I concentrated on simple production techniques, stamping and folding, building housings and contraptions. I wanted to give the elements the chance to continue their lives in a new context, without denying their roots. With the experience of this place as incentive I also took the opportunity vent my own decorative fury. 

Helen Britton

Her last show made in Munich
Can you be a successful craftsperson without being skilful? “I’m not really a technical expert at anything”, claims jeweller Lisa Walker, and many of her pieces certainly look like it. This is jewellery that seems to leave all traditional notions of skill behind. If you are drawn to a brooch like this one, it is not in admiration of the handiwork that lies behind it, but something else. In this piece some rubbish has been fiercely – or perhaps just randomly – glued together. Many of the artist’s other works comprise ready-made objects that have been deconstructed, mutilated and re-assembled in a variety of ways. Often it seems to have been done with a sense of humour, but in some cases there is a darker undercurrent of destruction and frustration. A fellow countryman of the artist, New Zealand art historian Damian Skinner, has coined her jewellery “an uncomfortable practice”.

Our relation to simple objects as symbols, and as carriers of meanings and memories, is a recurrent theme in Lisa Walker’s jewellery. What is often underlined is the state of flux that both objects and their symbolical meanings find themselves in. On the title page of the catalogue documenting Lisa Walker’s diploma exhibition at the arts academy in Munich in 2004 one reads that the collection comprises not only finished pieces of jewellery, but also “pieces that may become jewellery”. Objects are here seen as restless, wild, and with an uncertain character. Being knowledgeable about and sensitive to these aspects of objects is a skill that is manifest in every detail of this artist’s jewellery.

Love Jönsson
Göteborg, Sweden 2009 

Helen Britton. Brooch: Big White, 2009. Mixed media. Helen Britton
Brooch: Big White, 2009
Mixed media
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Lisa Walker. Necklace: Stuffed Animal, 2009. Fabric, stuffing, thread. Lisa Walker
Necklace: Stuffed Animal, 2009
Fabric, stuffing, thread
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Helen Britton. Brooch: Grey, 2009. Mixed media. Helen Britton
Brooch: Grey, 2009
Mixed media
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Lisa Walker. Necklace: Untitled, 2009. Possum fur, bronze, glue. Lisa Walker
Necklace: Untitled, 2009
Possum fur, bronze, glue
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Lisa Walker. Pendant: Untitled, 2009. Freshwater pearls, plastic, copper leaf, pure gold, fabric, aluminium, glue, silver, silk thread. Lisa Walker
Pendant: Untitled, 2009
Freshwater pearls, plastic, copper leaf, pure gold, fabric, aluminium, glue, silver, silk thread
© By the author. Read Copyright.