Sculptor Toni-Lee Birch typically works with driftwood and copper to create fantastical pieces. However, gallery operator Naomi Watts has challenged Toni-Lee to lend her talents to aluminium in a forthcoming collaboration.
“I’ve been experimenting with the aluminium and it’s quite easy to work with,” said Toni-Lee. “I’m not 100 per cent converted yet, not sure I’ll totally abandon copper, but we’re on an exciting new journey.”
Toni-Lee’s aluminium pieces will celebrate the Lily, symbolising her own rebirth.
“I’ve been through a bit of a dark time personally… I had this piece of twisted copper pipe and it all started there, because I was feeling really emotionally vulnerable, I empathised with this twisted piece of copper. It was tarnished and it was old and I kind of felt the same. I thought I’m going to work with this and I’m going to turn it into something else.
“I tend to gravitate towards the wood because for me, it’s the reflection of the trees and the environment… to me my sculptures kind of bring together me and the landscape and I guess I’m trying to encourage people to stop, reflect and connect with the environment.”
See Toni-Lee Birch’s work at Aluminium Art Exclusives on Flinders Street.