He was head of the jewelry and silversmithing department and, in 1985, was appointed lecturer in charge of craft studies. In 1988 he was appointed Deputy Director (Academic) of Sydney College of the Arts, and in 1990, while acting Director of the College, he was promoted to Associate Professor at the University of Sydney. From 1991 to 1994, he was director of the School of Visual Arts. In this role, he was instrumental in integrating a productive relationship between the College and the university as a whole in times of change and uncertainty.
His intelligence, discernment, good humor and positive attitude made him a respected and productive scholar. He was both a teacher and a leader, mentoring both students and colleagues as he worked to orient the institution. In the studio, his extensive technical skills and knowledge of metalworking made him a teacher whose advice was greatly appreciated. In this educational context, Helge was encouraging and enthusiastic in helping those around him in the pursuit of their own creative vision. And so, the success of many can be attributed to its warm and generous artistic influence.
Born in 1929 in Copenhagen, Helge moved to Australia in 1961 to join his life partner and artistic collaborator Darani Lewers. They have shared a lifelong collaborative dialogue that has shaped contemporary jewelry, silverware and design for many decades. The fruits of the Larsen & Lewers partnership can be seen in works held in major museum collections around the world, and perhaps more importantly, in objects with ritual and symbolic functions or as living jewelry worn by those with the greatest care. lucky to own one of these treasures. Helge was an internationally renowned exceptional jeweler and silversmith and a pioneer and pillar of Australian craftsmanship.
Among the many honorary awards, Helge received the Distinguished Award from the Visual Arts / Craft Fund of the Australia Council. In addition, Helge organized a number of national exhibitions (on behalf of the Australian Council) which toured Japan and Europe between 1980 and 1991. Together, Larsen and Lewers received grants from the Australian Council Visual Arts / Craft Board, including support for major international exhibitions in Europe and the United States. And, in 2007, he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Sydney in recognition of his leadership role in the arts and education.
SCA Jewelery Studio is synonymous with Helge Larsen, now located at Old Teachers College, University of Sydney. Helge laid the foundation for many of SCA’s past, present and future students. The creative community will mourn this great loss. He will be remembered as a creative and generous soul who freely shared his material magic. Our thoughts are with Darani, Tor, Pia and the extended family at this time of sadness.
Helge leaves a huge legacy as an artist, jeweler, goldsmith, teacher, mentor and collaborator.
There will be a public event to honor Helge’s legacy at Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney. The date is not yet confirmed. To receive more information, please email us ([email protected]).