Inspired by the 2.4m Huon Pine conch shell that featured in Del Kathryn Barton’s 2017-2018 NGV major solo exhibition “the highway is a disco”, Barton has again teamed with Elan Construct to produce three smaller solid timber shells. The Queen Conch, Nautilus Shell, and Spider Conch were selected from Barton’s personal collection, and 3D mapped by the University Technology Sydney’s robotics department. State-of-the-art 5-axis machining techniques were used to hone horizontal slices of timber glued in a ‘butchers block’ pattern. The shells were assembled and finessed by hand, each taking three months to produce.
Barton’s signature eye has been precision-cut from contrasting panels of Mother of Pearl, Cambian Ash and Rock Maple, and embedded within the contours of each shell with painstaking attention to detail. The shells all feature title inscription and the artists signature inlaid into the timber