Projects at Poepke: 2 by Lyn & Tony

August 10th, 2011

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Our first collaborators are artists and jewellery-makers Lyn & Tony. Long-term partners in crime, Lyn Balzer and Anthony Perkins have worked together for over fourteen years. Their work centres on human relationships with the natural environment: they are fascinated with the beauty and extremes of Australian landscape in contrast with the frailty of the human form. They are currently showing their photographic work in France’s Gallery Huit and, earlier this year, were selected as finalists for the prestigious Josephine Ulrick & Win Schubert Photography Award.

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Their label, 2 by Lyn & Tony, utilises this aesthetic to create jewellery that is bold in colour and feel. As in their artwork, these pieces draw together different elements in tension: hand-crocheted kangaroo leather, semi-precious stones with complex textures, fine sterling silver and richly-coloured silks. The entire range is handmade, resulting in intricate, detailed and unique pieces. The hours taken to create each piece are included on the label.

This Project also features Lyn & Tony’s range for Gail Sorronda: entirely in black and white, this collection focuses on crocheted leather and faceted crystal.

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You’ve been artistic collaborators and partners for many years. How does your creative relationship operate?

We share similar ideas but often approach things from opposite directions, somehow meeting at a common consensus. We like to surround ourselves with new concepts and opportunities so are always working on lots of projects at the same time, often working in collaboration with other artists.

Nature is a large part of all your work. How do you feel about creating in Australia?

Australia is our place of inspiration, where we create unique objects and send them out into the world. The inspiration for all our work comes from a similar place – the beauty of nature. We are particularly inspired by the unique textures and vibrant colours of the Australian landscape, and it was only when we began to travel internationally that we realized how important this influence was on our work. We have had a few significant events that reinforced this uniqueness: an important French photo curator who could not believe the incredible blue skies in our landscape photography had not been digitally enhanced, also an art director from New York who thought our landscapes were actually shot on a set that we had created, as they were so incredibly strange.

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How does this strange landscape infiltrate the 2 range?

The importance of textures in our range is a direct influence of our landscape – the woven kangaroo leather that we regularly use in our pieces echoes the wonderful textures of banksias and other native plants. We also like to combine the leather with natural semi-precious gemstones often left in a relatively raw, unpolished state. The sensation of handling and wearing our pieces is equally as important as what the pieces look like. Vibrant colour is also significant in our collection, as the quality of the Australian light is uniquely pure and intense.

The materials that you source for your jewellery are incredibly unique and beautiful. What has been one of your most interesting finds?

The sourcing of our materials is very important to us, as we love to use Australian products wherever possible and, as we hand make all the pieces ourselves, the materials need to be enjoyable to work with. We have recently sourced a beautiful translucent polished agate, from a mine near Broken Hill, that has a pattern that looks incredibly like seaweed floating in the ocean.

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The 2 by Lyn & Tony Project begins at Poepke on Friday 12 August.

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