Johannes Kuhnen

As a craftsman and educator, Johannes Kuhnen has had a profound influence on gold and silversmithing in Australia, pioneering the use of anodised aluminium for jewellery and creating metalwork distinguished by its originality and quality. He was appointed Head of the Gold and Silversmithing Workshop at the ANU School of Art in Canberra in 2001. Born in Germany, Johannes studied at the Düsseldorf University of Applied Sciences and became a lecturer there while running a successful studio practice.

He came to Australia in 1981 and taught at RMIT in Melbourne before moving to the ANU. Johannes’ practice has remained at the forefront of innovation, with his enduring interest in exploring and extending the aesthetic possibilities of aluminium continuing to provide inspiration for his work. Combining traditional methods with industrial materials and processes, his creations are characterised by dynamic use of colour and form and meticulous attention to detail.

Johannes has exhibited widely throughout Australia and overseas and his work is held in many national galleries and museums around the world. With Helen Aitken-Kuhnen, Johannes is a Director of Workshop Bilk in Queanbeyan, a gallery and studio devoted to crafting and exhibiting contemporary gold and silversmithing.