Warwick Freeman


Photograph of Barbara Heath.

Artist statement

My work is often collaborative and my practice has evolved through the work I have done with other artists, architects, industry professionals and of course the people who commission jewels.

In this work my interest in the lattice, or mashrabia continues. The origins of this word go back to early Middle Eastern nomadic people, describing the shade cloth set up to protect the food storage and preparation area, the women’s area.

Over time this device became a physical separator, a defining boundary between two distinct zones. This visual device sustains my engagement with its ambiguous nature and culturally diverse lineage. Permitting light and casting shadows, the mashrabia evokes separation and defines boundaries with an articulate transparency.

The stainless steel door handles designed for the Brisbane Magistrates Courts are cut with an intricate design common in the breezeways of traditional domestic Queensland architecture. In this context the lattice evokes access and transition.

The artist book was commissioned by the State Library of Queensland and developed in collaboration with my husband and design partner Malcolm Enright. The book takes the language of lattice further to the layered page and its multiplied lucid content.

Concealed under the ocean another dimensional lattice grows, the massive cellular logic of coral. The reef becomes a veil, implying the precious, the sensuous. The fluid dimensions and eroded textures of the natural world have informed jewellers for many ages, but perhaps now this loving look is tinged with a premonition of nostalgia.

Barbara Heath - 2005

Images of work

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Artist bio

Read Barbara Heath's CV (PDF).