Helen Britton ‘industrial’ @ Gallery Funaki – part 2

1 12 2011

Still SO excited about this exhibition (see my post from this afternoon).

I have been thinking about one ring in particular that may need to come home with me ….

image courtesy and with thanks to the gallery

Such a beautiful exhibition design … paper structures and a landscape for the pieces to live amongst. I loved it!

I understand that Helen brought some of the construct with her and also made some here.

It was interesting that I’ve seen the bright orange in another exhibition recently – it seems to be of the moment (in a good way).

image courtesy and with thanks to the gallery

The workmanship is exquisite. The collection is cohesive and just stunning.

There are earrings, brooches and extraordinary neckpieces too … though my heart belongs to the rings.

I can most certainly appreciate and like the work in the other pieces; though the more I’ve been asked about it, it seems the more aware I am of my kind of aversion to coloured metals … makes no sense to me though, as I like colour? Something to think more about.

image courtesy and with thanks to the gallery

For me there was a sense of historicity about the rings in particular – Victorian era (from the star-setting of the Argyle diamonds) mixed with dark or medieval ages, with the shapes of portcullis and perhaps shields and key holes (I thought the one on the right reminded me of a chastity belt lock!).

And they feel amazing on … like they were meant to be on my hand …

from exhibition media; click on image for original source

Exhibition media: “A tiny girl stands in an enormous factory. They are casting steel: steel for ships, steel for the mines. Nearby the ships will be built; that she knows. The steel pours, the men like ants in scale, the heat, the stench, the noise, all are embossed into her being.

Later on, she took that little walk to the edge of town; she walked across those tracks. No viaduct, but the gritty screaming bands in the workers clubs alongside the steel works, again embossed.

Now, almost 40 years later: a post-industrial city in Europe. No steelworks, no bright clear beaches (where the massive ships sometimes end broken in the winter storms).

Where do these tracks now lead and what do they allow?

Steel bridges, steel lines in the snow, construction site grey dust, an assemblage of materials that will be ordered and built back into the cold, greasy grey.

Stretch all those years of looking, that line of experience back again to the steelworks. Pour that music in through the ears and out through the hands. Cut that line deep in the shapes, organize the elements, tie them down and connect them all together again. There you have it: an explanation.

from exhibition media; click on image for original source

I still adore Bettina Speckner, though I feel she may now not be first-favourite but equal favourite … seriously, absolutely smitten.

Then I second guess myself and wonder if I can admit to being smitten if it’s only for the rings … is that okay? Not sure that’s okay … but I’m going with it for now.

Helen Britton ‘industrial‘ is at Gallery Funaki until this Saturday 3rd December 2011 – make haste!!


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