Copenhagen, Denmark born 1929
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia born 1936
Seaforth, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Materials & Technique: metalwork, bowls, sterling silver
The fluid and austere form of this large bowl shows the continuing influence in Australia of the sculptural organic design that characterised Scandinavian jewellery and metalwork from the 1950s. Helge Larsen, Danish-born and trained in this tradition, was instrumental in the establishment of these principles in Australia and, with Darani Lewers, has developed jewellery and metalwork that expresses a highly individual interpretation of the built and natural Australian environment. The genesis of the design of this bowl can be seen in these artists’ silver objects from the early 1980s in the National Gallery of Australia’s collection, many of which draw from the study of the details and materials of Australian vernacular design and architecture. The sweeping form of this bowl, the largest work made by these artists, is a technical tour de force that has been achieved by raising (hammering, planishing and polishing) the shape from a single sheet of sterling silver.
This new work from two of Australia’s most senior silversmiths celebrates their fiftieth year of practice. It joins other silver hollowware works in the collection from established Australian silversmiths, adding strength to the Gallery’s holdings of Australian metalwork, both historical and contemporary. Its acquisition has been funded from the Meredith Hinchliffe Fund (which focuses on contemporary Australian craft) and is a major Australian contemporary decorative arts and design acquisition in the Gallery’s silver anniversary year.
Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra