Australia/Germany, b. 1966
Helen Britton is an Australian artist who has lived and worked in Munich for over 20 years. After completing her MFA by research at Curtin University in Western Australia, Helen studied under professor Otto Künzli at the Academy of Fine Art, Munich, as part of a post-graduate study project. In 2002 she established her own studio in Munich, and is currently Adjunct Professor at RMIT University, Melbourne.
Helen has developed a reputation as one of the world’s most noted contemporary 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.
Major insitutional exhibitions of Helen Britton’s work have been presented at Lawrence Wilson Gallery, Perth (Interstices, 2017) and the Neues Museum, Nuremburg (The Things I See, 2013). She was awarded the Förder Preis of the city of Munich in 2013. Helen’s jewellery is found in the collections of the National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Victoria, Art Gallery of Western Australia, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, The Boston Museum of Fine Art, the Neue Sammlung, Munich and the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam among others.
“What have we got here in this work? Symbols of love and violence, power, trust, humour and wisdom. A lucky charm, an amulet. Hope. Themes of popular culture, the essence of pop songs in solid form. They are illustrations or collages of cheap trinkets and components, but the sentiment they convey reaches into the deepest abyss. I see in these works all the effort, joy and failure of our existence. They seek to stand in for, in the most unpretentious way, everything that has driven our species since time immemorial. The subjects are also private icons, some accompanying me from my earliest memories, others invested with my own associations, lifted out of the chaos of possibility through fitting into my hunting pattern.” Helen Britton