In the hands of Janos Korban and Stephanie Flaubert, heavy metal forms seem to dissolve into space, the shapes shifting as you move around each work, the solid material seemingly liquid.

It is clear that the Sydney-based duo have mastered the art of metal manipulation. “Our workshop is all about metal and its manipulation,” says Flaubert. “We love metal – its ductility and lustre, its liquid behaviour with light.”

In their Alexandria studio, Flaubert explores concepts – particularly those relating to energy and motion – and creates vast quantities of models to generate the forms for sculptures and screens. Downstairs in the workshop, Korban – who has spent 20 years building up metal working skills – creates the distinctive forms of their sculptures and screens.

Together, the pair even creates the tooling for polyethylene furniture, which is then made in a rotomoulding oven in Western Sydney.

Although the attraction lies not in the final results but in the process that precedes the brightly coloured stools. Flaubert describes this polyethylene work as “merely a colourful side-outcome [that] pops out of the metal tooling we make ourselves”.

The attraction for Korban and Flaubert metal’s ability to be manipulated into a surprising variety of forms that allow the pair to explore specific ideas form and sculpture. And, in doing so they push metal to the very limits of its material capabilities, generating large-scale forms that explore complex ideas and geometries. “We bend it, stretch it, curve it,” says Flaubert.

Geometry is key not only to the concept but also to the practical process of making. The 3D forms are developed using linear or sheet materials and geometry is used to develop forms with balance and harmony, as well as to optimise material efficiency.

This very serious material exploration, however, also has a playful element of discovery. “A sense of discovery goes hand in hand with the surprise generated when a form does something at a large scale which is unexpected and amplifies the sense of volume or animation and the sense of the viewers’ position in space,” says Flaubert.

Their most recent sculpture work, for example, explores how a line travels in space, carving out shapes, the form of which seems to slip away and shift as the viewer moves around the work.

KORBAN/FLAUBERT recently showed work at the Gallery of Australian Design (GAD) in Canberra. The solo exhibition was an illustration of their fascination with metal and expertise in manipulating the material to create work that seems to embody energy.

How We Create

Comments are closed.