This week’s Messenger column, Romancing the Memory.
Artisan’s next exhibition will reveal the forgotten history of tinsmithing in Southeast Qld. From the 7th October through to 13 November Barbara Heath shares her collection of extraordinary new objects, inspired by this lost craft.
‘New tricks from old trades’ is how Barbara describes this new work. Best known for her superb precious jewellery, this is an exciting new direction for her. Heath has made striking candlesticks, Hausgeisters and Hanging Crowns as well as a Japanese-inspired rain chain, a downpipe substitute that creates a water feature from roof run-off.
Barbara discovered that tinsmithing had a colourful local history. “Tin was once as common in our everyday lives as plastic is today. There were many tinsmiths in
Brisbane and the R.C. Verney & Sons factory in Fortitude Valley even combined tinsmithing with jam making,” says Barbara.
Tinsmith : An Ordinary Romance exhibits a collection of old tinwares from private collectors, and even the tin patterns of Graeme Gillespie, one of Brisbane’s last working tinsmiths, alongside Barbara’s new objects. This reveals the link between her work and the techniques, shapes and forms of the early Queensland metalworkers.
Next door in artisan’s Crucible space is Memory Strands, an exhibition by Patricia Bianco. After inheriting a sewing room filled with multi-coloured threads, textured wools, buttons, richly coloured fabrics and all sorts of haberdashery, Patricia began to think about using the materials in a new manner.
Patricia began by knitting strips of embroidery threads and then stitching the strips to small canvases. Patricia moved on to applying her technique to vessels. “I’m interested in the handmade baskets, pottery and carved wooden bowls that were used every day, and how the craftsman left an imprint on these items ” says Bianco. Memory Strands combines the warmth and domesticity of craft with the concepts of contemporary art movement.
artisan is at 381 Brunswick St. Fortitude Valley. Ph 3215 0800 for more information.