I’ve been working on a piece for an upcoming group exhibition “Breathe Into – an exhibition of creative origins…” to be held at the re-launched COTA Gallery (previously Metalab) in Surry Hills, Sydney.
I love making necklaces of “found” objects (some found, some made) although they always take me far longer than I anticipate. Ironic really – it takes so long to achieve that look of effortlessness, as though I’d just casually picked up some pieces on a walk and strung them into a necklace.
Exhibition opens 2nd of May with the launch of the new gallery.
I have to admit that I haven’t been doing much making since the rush up to Christmas. I’ve been otherwise occupied with home and family – and endless administrative tasks.
I did however manage to see John Gollings’ fantastic exhibition of landscape photographs from the Black Saturday fires of 2009. They are stunning – so graphic – such beauty from such devastation. The exhibition is currently at McClelland Gallery in Langwarrin about an hour from Melbourne until 3 March. Well worth a look.
….yes, yes… I haven’t been blogging or pinning or stocking my online shop….but I have been busy!
I’ve been making some more of my rough Australian sapphire rings for CoTA/Metalab gallery in Sydney and I’ve also been working on these necklaces – an idea that has been rumbling around in my brain for some months and I’ve finally had a chance to see how it goes. I’m very very happy with the result. I love making these sorts of “bits and pieces” necklaces.
They are (as is much of my work) an impression of the dry Australian bush – the scruffy twiggy-ness, the dry leaves, the seed pods, the dry curled bark – raw, tonal, fragile, scruffy – and a word I heard today on the radio that resonated – brittle. And they make a lovely clackety sort of noise as they move. These are available at Pieces of Eight Gallery in Melbourne and Metalab in Sydney has one too. I’m looking forward to making some more and getting them professionally photographed (apologies for the quality of these shots!).
I recently sent these up to Metalab gallery/CoTA in Sydney – a new range of jewellery using new materials. It’s taken a while to come together but I’m really pleased with the results.
I’ll be putting some like this (and some other work) onto my webshop soon….promise!
At a friend’s recommendation I went to see the RMIT Object based Practice Graduate Exhibition 2012 yesterday at the Victorian Artists Society in East Melbourne.
There was some simply beautiful work there covering both ceramics and gold & silversmithing. I particularly loved Lucinda Knight’s fragile and solid forms, Danica Moorcroft’s textural necklace in plaster and paint, Elise Sheehan’s collection of objects beautifully arranged and I enjoyed Esther Konings-Oakes’ collections of specimens displayed in an old specimen cabinet.
I also loved the simply design of the exhibition with each body of work being displayed on a whitewashed piece of furniture – such a simple idea that worked beautifully with the historic setting and highlighted the pieces.
And finally the catalogue was well produced, with the ceramics and metalsmithing each having their own separate books held together as a complete exhibition catalogue with a very robust rubber band secured by a notch top and bottom – very nicely thought through.
Well worth making the effort to see before 19 November.
I just dropped these rings (and others) off to Pieces of Eight Gallery as part of their upcoming exhibition
I’ve never really liked gems, but I’ve recently fallen for rough (natural) Australian sapphires – their colours ranging from clear yellow greens, blue-greens through to pure blues are stunning. The colours remind me of the sea on a sunny day – and they work beautifully with my pieces. I will definitely have to make one of these rings for myself.
A Christmas present perhaps.
I noticed I didn’t have any images of my ‘paper’ earrings on my website which are actually one of the pieces I make most often. I really enjoy making them as each one is individually forged from sterling silver – so they all come out differently – each pair has their own character.
The original inspiration is dried leaves – such as those you find around the base of eucalyptus trees in summer – dropped to retain moisture in the ground and protect their roots from the summer heat. The leaves are in many tones of brown, grey and white and are dry, curled and sometimes partly nibbled by insects or animals. Beautiful.
I realise that this is not the ideal forum to discuss these matters – this blog is meant to be about inspiration – however this is an issue that I feel very strongly about. Australia sends live sheep and cattle to foreign countries, where they are slaughtered under local conditions. These animals have to endure a highly distressing journey after which they are inhumanely slaughtered according to local standards (or lack thereof). Despite government reassurances that there are strict controls, we again have seen filmed evidence of extreme cruelty to these animals.
Live export of animals for slaughter is inhumane and must stop. Please help stop this cruel practice by sending a letter to the Australian Prime Minister here – and if you are an Australian citizen please send a letter to your local MP.
After bidding a sad farewell to sunny Copenhagen, we arrived back in Melbourne a few weeks ago on a very cold bleak day to find our heating had broken down, our car wouldn’t start and the realisation that our house really does need some serious TLC. But it was nice to be home, to see our pets again, enjoy the view out to the garden and reacquaint myself with my studio.
In amongst my luggage – along with the stack of back issues of the stunning Danish interiors magazine RUM
(which I managed to track down at a flea market in Copenhagen) and the many art and architecture books I’d acquired,
I was pleased to unpack this little polar bear designed by Ole Søndergaard that I’d recently bought at Louisiana Museum of Art. Another addition to my menagerie of wooden animals I introduced to you in earlier posts. He sits comfortably on my desk next to some beautiful enamel canisters also from Copenhagen, in lovely Scandinavian tones of white and the palest grey and a brush from Swedish Iris Handverks – on some precious clear white space – simple pleasures.
A few weeks ago I arrived back home in Melbourne just in time to see an exhibition of contemporary jewellery at the National Gallery of Victoria “Unexpected Pleasures” curated by established contemporary jeweller Susan Cohn. I admit that having just spent several months visiting contemporary jewellery galleries in northern Europe, I wasn’t expecting to be amazed – but having grown up in Melbourne and been aware of Susan Cohn’s work since the early 80’s, I was keen to see what the exhibition was about. Well for me it was indeed an unexpected pleasure.
The exhibition examined via examples and text what is contemporary jewellery and its relationship with art, design, craft and traditional jewellery. As a contemporary jeweller still working to define exactly what it is that I do and why (which I suspect will be an ongoing, lifelong quest – as it is for many makers and artists) it was a very interesting and timely enquiry. I found myself asking where do I fit within the broad categories Susan had defined.
As a maker it was also fantastic to have such an exhibition showcasing contemporary jewellery to a wider public in one of Australia’s major art galleries and creating greater awareness of the breadth of practice. Most importantly however it provided a context for contemporary jewellery – clearly differentiating it from the mass produced jewellery available in high street stores and looking at the range of motivations and sources of inspiration behind a broad collection of pieces.
I enjoyed seeing the range of work ‘in the flesh’ however it was the text that I was particularly interested in and I’m still working my way through the catalogue which I am greatly enjoying reading. The historical and commercial references describing the context for contemporary jewellery are so on my wavelength – with my background in design and branding and business these are issues I have thought about and it is great to see them brought together in one discussion and expressed so eloquently.
I have to admit however that I was a little disappointed with the production quality of the catalogue – compromised no doubt due to budget constraints. As something that could have been as enticing as the jewellery it discusses, it looks and feels like a text book and the production quality makes the jewellery look more like products that they are not. A small grumble about an otherwise excellent exhibition.
Unexpected Pleasures opens at the Design Museum in London in December 2012 where I’m sure it will be a great success – as the question of ‘what is contemporary jewellery’ is definitely a discussion that needs to be had in the UK where contemporary jewellery is still very marginal (despite the colleges there producing many good graduates).