STEEL: art design architecture




Born 1955, Melbourne, Victoria

Lives Adelaide, South Australia

Sue Lorraine has worked with steel for more than two decades. Abandoning precious metals to favour this common industrial material, she first used corten steel, but since her 1998 solo exhibition, disembody, she has settled into a long, fruitful investigation of mild steel. Lorraine says, ‘I like the graphic quality of it once it’s heat-coloured, I like the simplicity of sanding blasting and heating the metal to get this finish. It suits my minimal, graphic style and I have been able to find different ways to work with it over the years.’

Lorraine been a partner in Gray Street Workshop, Adelaide’s enduring jewellery institution, since its foundation in 1985. Over more than three decades she has produced numerous bodies of works for solo and group exhibitions, and her works are held in major public collections nationally and internationally. From 1999-2008 Lorraine was also Creative Director of JamFactory’s Metal Design Studio.

In her several series of Cuisenaire trees, Sue Lorraine registers the intelligent play that she remembers from her own education, then principally used in mathematics but also more recently in linguistics. Each little tree sports bright twiggy branches made from vintage wooden Cuisenaire rods, which are arranged according to particular structural principles. In the 2013 versions, the branches were applied to the steel trunks in odd, even, and Fibonacci number series configurations.