helen britton artwork

helen britton

artist in residence 2019

Helen Britton is an Australian artist who lives and works in Munich, where she has developed a formidable reputation as one of the world's most noted jewellers.

Her work is informed by her experience of the vast and layered history reflected in the built environment, as she meticulously constructs pieces using precious metals, glass, stones and occasional collected components. As well, Helen's work is a meditation on her own history as she engages with artefacts that act as powerful triggers to memory and association.

Helen Britton describes her works as "collisions of design, Baroque, reduction resistant assemblages." These so-called "assemblages" take their form differently, from necklaces to brooches, oftentimes made from repurposed materials - collected along riverbanks and seashores, or found in flea markets and heaps of junk. More recently, Britton has turned to using materials more traditionally intended for jewellery making. With strong interest in the history of decoration, Britton assembles her pieces from lived experiences, from world travels to mundane duties such as supermarket shopping. In constant dialogue with matter, form, and ideas, her practice is "accumulative, experimental and heterogeneous, faithful to life experiences," as she describes.

After completing her MFA by research at Curtin University in Western Australia, she studied under professor Otto Kunzli at the Academy of Fine Art, Munich, as part of a post-graduate study project. In 2002 she established her own studio in Munich working alongside Yutaka Minegishi and David Bielander. Her work continues to be exhibited internationally and is kept in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne and the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam.

A major retrospective exhibition "Interstices: The Work of Helen Britton" was held at Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery in 2016 as part of the Perth International Arts Festival. The catalogue and exhibition is available to view here on the LWAG website.

Helen exhibits with Funaki Gallery in Melbourne.