HELEN BRITTON | The Devils Have New Friends
Helen Britton‘s Devils series has roots in her long time fascination with popular culture and its everyday remains. From her travels to the forests of Thüringen to her recent revisit of drawings she made in her teens, devils and sprites arise. Sometimes spooky, often comical and harmless, these characters are frequently spotted at the fairground, in cartoons on TV, and on the jewelry rolling out of the trinket automat at the supermarket. Britton rescues these creatures from the dank and mossy worlds they come from, capturing a bit of their essence before they slip back under the surface and head on their merry way.
”Cat, Fox, Rat and even more to come, those devils never sleep!
They are out at night when all is still, stalking the edges of convention, conjuring figures, cloning, clowning, chatting with rats, talking to survivors and calling the ravens from their sleep.
All the creatures of that world know them and understand their place. Tricky and fun, called nasty by some, but we all know now what that means. These figures are not dark like the spooky matter we don't understand, or that net that does us no good, they are kind, edgy, misunderstood. They come from a foresty, mossy place, have made their way into our imagination for centuries, perhaps they were even there at the very beginning, Smooth Devil, Stone Devil, Wood Devil, Dough Devil, Fire Devil, Cat, Rat, Fox, the list is long and old as the hills. These likenesses that twinkle on a finger and bring us luck or a smile or cause us to remember that times have changed and we are luckier than some, and that we are strong and proud regardless of where we are from - that's their job, that's their pleasure, the black cat that survived the witch hunts, the fox that kept her fur, the rat that came to live in our pocket, the crazy old devils that all of us know.
Helen Britton, 2018
Helen Britton is one of the most influential and eloquent artists working in contemporary jewelry today. Originally from Western Australia where she received her Master of Fine Arts from Curtin University, she currently works and lives in Munich, Germany. Since completing her postgraduate study at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich her work has been seen in museums and galleries around the world. Public collections include: The National Gallery of Australia; Pinakothek der Modern, Munich; the Schmuck Museum Pforzheim; The Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; The Boston Museum of Fine Art; and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. A recipient of the distinguished Herbert Hofmann Prize, she has also been awarded The State Prize of Bavaria and most recently the Förder Preis of the city of Munich. In 2013, at the invitation of the International Design Museum, Munich, an overview of the past twenty years of her work was presented in a solo exhibition at the Neues Museum in Nürnberg.