Mio Kuhnen and Helen Aitken-Kuhnen
Opening Friday 26 October 6pm-8pm
Wednesday 24 October - 22 November
What might come as a surprise to many is that this exhibition, Transfer, heralds the first time that Bilk Gallery co directors, and mother and daughter team, Helen Aitken-Kuhnen and Mio Kuhnen have exhibited exclusively together. With what seems like a natural pairing of artists, it’s anybodies guess as to why it has taken so long, but we are extraordinarily pleased that it has.
Each artist will present their own bodies of work, and as the title suggests, these works highlight how each transfers their thoughts and inspirations into wearable objects. The exhibition also and more broadly investigates the transfer of skills, ideas and knowledge between mother and daughter and daughter to mother. A relationship you might describe as more complex, more fraught and also more rewarding than just that of mentor and mentee or teacher and student.
It's easy Aitken-Kuhnen and Kuhnen, explore the process of enamelling in highly skilled and experimental ways. The resulting work in this exhibition, mainly in the form of brooches and pendants, clearly demonstrates each artist’s proficiency as well as their deep and reverent passion for the ancient craft.
Both Aitken-Kuhnen and Kuhnen, look to the natural world around them for inspiration, interestingly Aitken-Kuhnen from the ground looking up and out, and Kuhnen from the skies down and across time. This shared appreciation but viewed from different perspectives is what allows for interesting intersections and conversations between the works and the artists. Nola Anderson in her catalogue essay about Aitken-Kuhnen writes, “…the essence of the pieces lies in their intimate scale. But the compositions themselves are inspired by the vastness of ground and sky, foreground and horizon. It’s an expansive vision compressed into miniature.” Anderson further describes Kuhnen’s work in that it “… plays with both time and space, looking backwards to ancient history, and hoping to influence our current perspectives”.
An essay for both artists and a catalogue of pieces for sale available below the images.