Australian materials are often seen as weather worn, crude, even second rate to European or American ones; a hangover from colonial days gone by perhaps? Lyn Balzer and Tony Perkins of Lyn&Tony confront this psyche with their sensitive jewellery and objects. Manipulating kangaroo leather and native semi-precious stones into exquisite adornments that are appreciated globally but are most importantly; an awakening to what materials Australian designers have to call their own.
Partners in life and in work, Balzer & Perkins are multi-diciplinarians in object design, photography and installation design, falling into jewellery design by chance. While artistically directing a fashion show they produced some tactile ornaments to complement the garments, and ‘2 by Lyn&Tony’ was born.
Recently showing at the Australian Design Centre late last year Scented Intoxication exhibited the breath of Balzer & Perkins’ talents from photography, installation and jewellery design intertwined with their continuing explorations into perceptions of scent.
Since developing two candles with Maison Balzac – Obscurite (Darkness), inspired by the scent of black rocks warming in the sun by the ocean and Etrangete (Strangeness) inspired by the scent of a favourite rainforest waterfall near Byron Bay – the pair have been (what they call) “scenting everything”. ‘Scented Intoxication’ was a further development into Balzer & Perkins’ wonder and obsession with nature; its textures, weights and smells while exploring what happens when different materials come to meet each other in various stages of their natural life cycles.
Meditating on the plasticity of materiality, as always plaited, woven, cuffed and polished these objects are beacons of what the Australian environment is capable of if we only took the time that Lyn&Tony take to truly bask in its beauty.