T asmanian-born artist Sally Brown lives and works in Cygnet, in the Huon/Channel region of the state. Sally has a Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honours from the University of Tasmania, where she studied Furniture Design between 2000 and 2004. During and since her studies Sally has participated in numerous group exhibitions both in Tasmania and nationally.Sally’s work is represented in collections including The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery , MONA, and The Tasmanian Wood Design Collection.
Over the years Sally has explored an array of materials and processes, before settling on metal as her preferred medium. A strong interest in textiles and textile based techniques has always been evident in Sally’s work and continues to be a distinctive feature of her style. Techniques such as weaving, stitching and knitting frequently provide the tactile qualities that are characteristic of her art pieces.
Living in a rural/bush setting has led to Sally’s appreciation of the natural world.
A fascination with natural forms and structures she observes in the surrounding environment informs the aesthetic aspects of her practice. This influence emerges in her use of organic forms, natural colours and an emphasis on pattern and texture.
Sally thinks of herself as an artist, although her practice blurs the boundaries between art, craft, and design. While she occasionally produces a purely sculptural piece, the majority of Sally’s work is functional; she finds it is infinitely more satisfying to produce a piece of art that has some degree of usefulness. Sally makes all of her work by hand, and the hands-on, crafting process is very important to her. The not-quite-perfect character of a handcrafted object provides for Sally a form of artistic expression, as do the subtle differences and variations that render each piece unique.
In her most recent work, Sally has begun to explore the potential of reworking salvaged materials, chosen for both their aesthetic value and lesser environmental impact. She believes that salvaged materials can bring a greater sense of depth and meaning to an art piece through textures and patinas that can only come with time and previous use. Similarly, Sally is increasingly experimenting with natural alternatives to harsh chemicals and hi-tech processes, in a conscious effort to steer her art practice in a direction more harmonious with her personal values and preferred ways of working.
Sally hopes to establish a niche for herself as a distinctively Tasmanian artist, and to be known for her carefully considered, hand-crafted and functional art objects.
Photographs © Peter Whyte, Simon Cuthbert & Gerard Dixon.