“Sakura” (2006), copper, 48 x 48 x 20 centimeters
Widely regarded as one of the most renowned sculptors in Australia, the late artist Bronwyn Oliver possessed an unparalleled ability to shape thin copper wire into intricate patterns. Her sculptures of ammonites, palm leaves, and single buds are minimal in form and incredibly detailed in construction, with oscillating lines delineating the edge of a fossil or an elaborate web expanding into a plump cherry blossom.
Evidence of Oliver’s devoted and time-consuming practice, the pieces are the result of intense twisting and brazing, a higher-temperature version of soldering. “My sculpture, I like to think of them as the bones of something. It might only be bone, but it might be the beginning or ending of something as well,” the artist says in a clip from the recent documentary about her life and work, The Shadows Within—the trailer is available on YouTube, but the full documentary is only streaming in Australia at the moment.