DETAIL: Toots ZYNSKY 'Pennellata' 2004, 'Filet de Verre' fused and thermoformed colour glass threads
Helmut LUECKENHAUSEN | Ark of the Law (Aron Hakodesh)

Germany 1950
Australia from 1954
Ark of the Law (Aron Hakodesh)
Cabinet for storage of Torah scrolls in Jewish ceremony 1999
blackwood (Acacia) case with book-matched blackwood veneers and anodised, engraved and paint-filled aluminium plates
Cabinetry construction.
214.5 (h) x 198.0 (w) x 66.0 (d) cm
NGA 2003.251

In designing furniture for religious, educational and civic ceremonial purposes, Helmut Lueckenhausen has researched the history and symbolism of the ark. He has translated it into a work of contemporary relevance, not only for Jewish culture but also as an authoritative extension and expression of his own interest in the history and meaning of furniture. Lueckenhausen interprets this aspect of the tradition of a religious faith in Ark of the Law (Aron Hakodesh), using native blackwood (acacia) for the case. Anodised and engraved gold and silver aluminium plates that decorate the doors depict abstract delineations of a lion, a leopard, a deer and an eagle. The work’s overall design, based on a precise mathematical system of grids, reflects the formal order implicit in the sacred contents that it was designed to contain, and the symbolic function it was intended to serve. As any cabinet can conceal or reveal its contents, so too can this ark suggest the possibility of order and the continuity of tradition and the world of the spirit.

NGA Home | Introduction | Themes | Search | Video | Conference | Bibliography | Visiting | Previous