Helen Aitken Kuhnen
There is nothing tentative about the work of Helen Aitken-Kuhnen. With a career spanning 35 years, Aitken-Kuhnen has never been one to let boundaries get in her way and as such she is well known and respected across the fields of metal, glass and enamel. The work she creates is firmly grounded in and abstracted from her immediate surroundings as well as her passion and inherent love of the Australian landscape and its birdlife. In her most recent Solo exhibition ‘Connected Diversity / From Land to Sea’ Aitken-Kuhnen presented alongside historical pieces, a new body of work which explored her transition between living inland and her eventual migration to the coast. These two distinct areas of landscape and wildlife are treated with the upmost respect, the pieces exude a warmth and sensitivity, but are by no means shy or fragile. Perhaps this too, could also be said of their maker.
Long time friend and mentor, glass artist Klaus Moje AO, writes about Aitken-Kuhnen in her monograph, “Curiosity is written into Helen’s face, her life, her work and the way she looks at her fellow human beings. Curiosity — yes, but curiosity paired with a clear understanding of a goal. Helen opens new doors without the ballast of tradition, but with respect for achievements of the past.” Helen Aitken-Kuhnen is known for challenging the conventions and excelling in her chosen fields, so it is not surprising that her work is held in every major institution in Australia as well as international collections. She has received numerous awards and has been included in significant exhibitions both nationally and internationally. Accompanying her recent exhibition was the launch of Helen Aitken-Kuhnen’s monograph, ‘Connected Diversity‘. A significant publication documenting Aitken-Kuhnen’s accomplished and diverse career across the fields of metal, glass and enamel. It includes texts by Elisabeth Holder and Meredith Hinchliffe as well as an image archive of her work that spans the last 35 years. A special limited edition Book and Brooch set is also available.