The Family Silver/Unknown Shores is inspired by the silver cutlery canteen sets brought to Australia by the early settlers. When colonialists arrived to Van Diemens Land, they brought with them precious and comforting belongings from the homeland to help them feel at ease. Upon exploring their new environment however they came face to face with a disquieting and wild land.
The tidal detritus used in this collection of spoons represents the unsettling confrontation with the new country - wild and rugged coastlines, unrecognisable plants and unknown animals. This landscape of foreign plants and creatures contrasted so starkly against the tamed English country gardens represented by the rose-finialed silver spoon.
I like to imagine though, that with time the environment seduced the settlers and claimed a place in their hearts, and that slowly the English family silver made way for a different version - one that accepted the new landscape, the intriguing plants and curious animals.
Sophie Carnell is an artist who completed a Bachelor of Fine Art at UTAS. She creates sculptural works in a variety of media, from precious metals to glass, ranging in scale from small wearable pieces to installations.
Her work explores relationships to landscape, place and interconnections with our environment. Natural and found materials are transformed into objects and wearable tokens that carry an essence of this beautiful land in which we live.
Carnell uses her art to communicate the importance of the preciousness of the environment that nurtures and supports us all. She lives and is self-employed in South Hobart, Tasmania.
recycled sterling silver, bird claw, bird bone, bird feather, seaweed, driftwood, antique silver spoon, found wooden canteen
11 x 54 x 36 cm
Judges of the 2015 Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize: Dr Michael Brand (Director of the Art Gallery of NSW), Penelope Seidler AM (Arts Patron and Director of Harry Seidler & Associates) and Barbara Flynn (International Curatorial Advisor).