sabbia gallery

Ceramics, Glass + Fibre


SOLD Ocean Blue, 2009, Bullseye glass, sterling silver & stainless steel cable

Gallery Two   24 April - 23 May 2009

Helen Aitken Kuhnen – Beyond the Garden Path

Sabbia Gallery presents this personal and very beautiful solo exhibition by one of Australia’s premier contemporary studio artists working in glass and metal. Helen Aitken Kuhnen has been exhibiting internationally for twenty years, and works from her studio gallery Workshop Bilk in Queanbeyan. She has become respected for the innovative use of her materials, and has had her works collected for inclusion in the Kunstgewerbemuseum in Germany, National Gallery of Victoria, Art Gallery of Western Australia and the Helen Drutt Collection in the USA, amongst others.

Helen says about her work:

The best thing about casting glass is waiting to open the kiln and the excitement/ expectation of what is inside, after the firing process. As pieces are unpacked from the mould long awaited colours and forms are revealed, sometimes devastating sometimes wonderful. This process is for me totally addictive.

This exhibition is about the process of paring back the forms and colours that are in my life and reforming them into wearable objects and small-scale sculptures. My love of nature and wildlife and the world outside I use colour to express the flight of a bird as it passes me by the light through the Forrest or the colours of the ocean.

As you meander along a path it is what is hidden and what you find unexpectedly that gives the most joy. Sometimes you need search to find it, hidden behind the obvious.

Helen’s work reflects what is happening in her life and what is around her. She expresses this in the forms she uses and the blocks of colour in her work. In recent times she has been drawn to incidents in her life and the colours that have related to this. The work has in a way become more narrative, but at the same time pared right back to simplified forms that have developed into what she hopes are slightly playful pieces that are meant to be enjoyed.