Calendar: November 2014

31 10 2014

post last updated: 31st October

all month:

  • Personal Space Project (Canberra and online), Melinda Young ‘Sense & Scentability‘  & Lisa Furno [link]
  • Melbourne Museum, ‘The Art of Science‘ [link]; until 1st February 2015
  • Powerhouse Museum (Sydney), ‘A fine possession: jewellery and identity‘, will “celebrate the central place of jewellery in our lives from antiquity to the present-day through over 700 iconic and rarely seen objects” [link]; until September 2015; see my review post

1st November: last day for ‘National Contemporary Jewellery Award‘ travels to COTA (Sydney); see my review post

1st November: last day for Studio 20/17 (Sydney), Kelly Jonasson ‘Pieces of Familiar‘ [link]

2nd November: last day for Craft NSW (Sydney) ‘Emerging Artist: Craft Award 2014‘ [link]

3rd November: last day for submission of paper abstracts for JMGS-NSW Edgesbordersgaps [link]

5th November: NMIT Graduate Jewellery student exhibition ‘Mettle‘, Red Gallery [link]; until 22nd November

exhibition media

exhibition media

5th November: last day for Bilk Gallery (Canberra), Carlier Magikawa ‘Magikawa two‘ [link]; “Bilk Gallery are honoured to be hosting a special presentation of Carlier Makigawa’s work in conjunction with the launch of a sublime publication about the life and work of her late husband, sculptor Akio Makigawa.

exhibition media

exhibition media

7th November: Gallery Bilk (Canberra), Kath Ingliss ‘Lamina‘ [link]; until 5th December

exhibition media

exhibition media

8th November: Studio 20/17 (Sydney), Mitsue Slattery ‘Bark, Leaf, Bud‘ [link]; until 22nd November

exhibition media

exhibition media

13th November: RMIT School of Art Gallery, RMIT Postgraduate exhibition of Object-based Practice ‘Azimuth‘ [link]; until 21st November

exhibition media

exhibition media

13th November: Courtesy of the Artist (Sydney), Laurence Woodford ‘Way Finding‘ [link]; “a body of work that documents and gauges travel, foreign and mystical landscapes, geological configurations and crystalizations, habitat, and humanity’s endless search for paradise on earth.“; until 29th November

exhibition media; click on image for original source

exhibition media; click on image for original source

15th November: last day for application to Preziosa Young 2015 [link]

18th November: RMIT First Site Gallery, RMIT School of Art Honour GraduatesHey Handsome‘ [link]; until 5th December

exhibition media

exhibition media

22nd November: last day for Stanley Street Gallery (Sydney), Christel van der Laan ‘Parts of the Story‘ [link]

exhibition media

exhibition media

23rd November: last day for Pieces of Eight, Meredith Turnbull ‘Co-Workers‘ [link]

29th November: last day for Craft, a ceramic-focused exhibition period; including Kate Jones ‘Being‘ [link]

30th November: last day for submission to be part of Lord Coconut’s exhibition ‘The Marriage Act‘ [link]; part of Midsumma festival and is to feature pairs of his-and-his wedding rings; I LOVE this idea!

please tell me of other exhibitions or events
also check out Melissa Cameron’s excellent informative blog (especially for competitions)
also, check out ArtPrizes

… last calendar post: Calendar: October 2014





‘A Fine Possession: Jewellery and Identity‘ @ Powerhouse Museum

28 10 2014

Jewellery lovers need to see the Powerhouse Museum’s ‘A Fine Possession: Jewellery and Identity‘. It’s astonishing and there are so many pieces from such a breadth of sub-genres.

photography under gallery conditions; no flash

photography under gallery conditions; no flash

Exhibition media: “Jewellery has been made and worn for personal, social and cultural reasons through millennia. Styles, materials and practices have varied across time and place, yet the desire to adorn ourselves has been universal.
Jewellery can influence the way people perceive us, make us more attractive, mark special events or symbolise wealth and status. We make, wear, give, receive, collect and express our identity, individuality and creativity through jewellery. It contributes to our spiritual, cultural and emotional well-being.
A fine possession celebrates the central place of jewellery in our lives, from antiquity to the present-day, through a sumptuous selection of jewellery made, worn and collected in Australia.

The website is excellent and shows selected items from each of the themes in the exhibition.

  • Belief & Magic – the kingfisher feather pieces were utterly gorgeous, and the inclusion of quite a broad group of pre-industrial cultures was great to see
  • Love & Death
  • Nature & Culture
  • Style & Revival
  • Gold & Identity
  • Status & Wealth
  • Men & Adornment
  • Modernity & Change
  • Evolution & Revolution
photography under gallery conditions; no flash

photography under gallery conditions; no flash

Within the cabinets where were explorations of sub-themes too … materials, identity (I was exceptionally happy to see Nicole Polentas included here), fantasy (and again I was most pleased Claire McArdle is represented here) …

There are a genuinely impressive number of pieces, with many being loaned from private and other collections. My visit made me want to know more about the oft-mentioned ‘Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences’ … which after only a little investigation it became clear was in fact the parent of the Powerhouse. So I have visited them after all!

It surprised me that there were pieces here from the NGV that I’ve not seen exhibited in our own gallery before – including a stunning opal tiara.

I’m sure others have written, and will write, more eloquently about the structure of the exhibition and other such technical matters. I’ll attempt to list them at the bottom of this post as they arise.

photography under gallery conditions; no flash

photography under gallery conditions; no flash

You can see from the images above that the room was dark. Damn dark. Painted black and only with limited lighting on the items.

What is this about? Have curators recently all made a pact to do this (remember the Incas at NGA earlier this year)? I found the darkness disorienting and exceptionally tiring; it was difficult to refocus my eyes after looking at the underlit cabinets to find my way to the next one. It was genuinely disconcerting and exhausting.

The description cards were also a little disappointing with the names of the makers being almost secondary (an example is below). It is in much smaller text than the headline, which was usually a description like brooch or the title of the work, and even came after the materials listing.

item card

item card

In an ante-room there are two cabinets with work of graduates – which is fabulous. And they were well lit; making the discomfort of the main exhibition viewing all the more obvious. The most outstanding from this group was a three brooch group by Andrea Caliguiri (item card above).

It’s a shame that there isn’t a publication associated with this exhibition. Though I wonder, given many of the pieces are loaned, if there just wasn’t time before the opening. Does anyone know if a publication may be coming? What a magnificent opportunity to document such a group … I hope one is forthcoming. Perhaps a kick-starter project would help? I’d totally donate!

Nature cabinet; photography under gallery conditions; no flash

Nature cabinet; photography under gallery conditions; no flash

All that said, I enjoyed the exhibition and consider it a landmark for jewellery; in fact I mentioned to friend afterwards that I think this is the best gathering of jewellery I’ve ever seen, even better than the V&A (though that could be a little hyperbolic, and it’s only fair to admit that my memory has faded a little on that count).

A Fine Possession: Jewellery and Identity‘ is at Powerhouse Museum (Sydney) until 20th September 2015. I may in fact visit again.

Press / Reviews

18th September: Jewellery gone overboard at Powerhouse Museum? Suits you sir (The Age)

20th September: Nicole Kidman’s Moulin Rouge necklace stars in Powerhouse Museum exhibition A Fine Possession (Herald Sun)

28th September: Sim Luttin, A Fine Possession

1st October: A Fine Possession – Rare Gem at Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum

1st October: A Fine Possession: Jewellery and Identity Review

25th October: radio interview: Jewellery expert Anne Schofield (one of the key people involved in this exhibition)

Update (30th October): make sure you watch Powerhouse Museum’s Facebook page – they’re regularly focusing on pieces from the exhibition.





‘National Contemporary Jewellery Award‘ @ COTA

26 10 2014

Hooowee, I’d forgotten how humid Sydney can feel in Spring; but the sun was out and that always makes me happy.

As planned, I popped into Courtesy of the Artist to see the ‘National Contemporary Jewellery Award‘.

Exhibition media: “The National Contemporary Jewellery Award was started in 1992 by the Griffith Regional Art Gallery to support the development of the National Contemporary Jewellery Collection.

photograph with gallery permission

photograph with gallery permission

COTA’s gallery room is a beautiful space.

It was a strange experience though – I think I’ve already seen the pieces (perhaps all; though if not, almost all) online, so seeing them in person wasn’t as much of a thrill as it would be without the prior exposure.

Of course I’m glad I saw them in person – and I really do think that the prevalence of online documentation of exhibitions is completely fabulous (especially for anyone not able to go due to geography or mobility etc) – though this may be something for curators to think about.

I wonder if the ease of seeing pieces online (facebook especially) is taking the edge off the need to visit exhibitions in person? Though I expect that it may also in fact be increasing traffic. Do any gallery staff have a feel for the impact of online photos? As a balance, I would suspect that a few key pieces online would be ideal, with full documentation after the show has closed (oh wait, that’s been the case here, as this is a traveling show!).

Thoughts from more experienced curators, and other exhibition visitors, are most welcome.

photograph with gallery permission

photograph with gallery permission

Participating artists are:

  • Sun-Woong Bang, Alyra Bartasek, Julie Blyfield, Brendon Collins
  • Emma Fielden, Karin Findeis, Felix Gill, Pennie Jagiello
  • Lauren Joffe, Rebecca Hinwood, Carly Lay, Danielle Mackenzie
  • Vicki Mason, Shan Shan Mok, Courtnee Nichols, Carl Noonan
  • Juliette Pastorok, Felicity Peters, Jessamy Pollock,Phoebe Porter
  • Jana Roman, Bridgette Shepherd, Emily Snadden, Sarah Spackman, Blanche Tilden
photograph with gallery permission

photograph with gallery permission

Highlights for me were:

  • brooches by Emma Fielen
  • brooches by Jessamy Pollack (whose work I admired in BUDA last year)
  • colourful neckpiece (centre in image above) by Karin Findeis.

National Contemporary Jewellery Award 2014′ is at Courtesy of the Artist (Sydney) until 1st November 2014.

—-

Update (28th October): It was remiss of me not to link to the Griffith Regional Gallery, where “NCJA is an acquisitive prize sponsored by Griffith City Council and held at Griffith Regional Art Gallery biennially.“. This exhibition showed there 4th – 28th September.

Also, their facebook page is where I saw high quality images of the works.

—-





Gold harp strings

20 10 2014

Recently I was told about wire strung harps, and that while mythology sometimes referred to them as ‘golden’ this may not have been hyperbole but in fact descriptive. What?! Yes, harps may have in fact been strung with gold.

What a fabulous thing.

Henry VIII playing harp; click on image for original Wiki source

Henry VIII playing harp; click on image for original Wiki source

A little bit of internets reading later, and I’ve found a few articles you may be interested in if you’d like to read more.

An article (2003) by Ann Heymann indicates that an Australian team were the first to practically explore the possibility of precious metal strings, and successfully used silver. Eventually she led a team that strung a specific kind of harp, a clairseach, with gold strings.

Another article (2010) by Cynthia Cathcart explores her own journey to string a harp with (sterling) silver.

Lastly, there’s an article comparing wire-strung and gut-strung harps … probably one for the musically focused reader. In fact the site this article is from is dedicated to harps … for the musician for sure!

So interesting … the second article will be of interest to technical metalsmiths, as it describes various hardness tests etc.





Upcoming Sydney visit

16 10 2014

So I’m popping into Sydney for a day-trip later in the month to see some jewellery exhibitions.

Powerhouse Museum’s ‘A fine possession: jewellery and identity‘ is first.
Then the ‘National Contemporary Jewellery Award‘ at COTA.
And M Contemporary ‘Intimately Connected‘.
If I have time I’ll pop into Studio 20/17 of course.

What else should I put on the list?

Update (20th October): maybe I can add Craft NSW ‘Emerging Artist: Craft Award 2014





Most important exhibition

14 10 2014

With thanks to a heads-up from the inimitable Zoe Brand of Personal Space Project fame, I’m now aware of a Kickstarter project ‘Shows & Tales‘: the AJF (Art Jewelry Forum) raising funds for a publication focusing on exhibitions.

Naturally I want to be a supporter … not the least because jewellery is my thing, but I’m very interested in reading and thinking about the content. I’m deciding between the various supporter levels, and one of them includes the publication on the AJF website of a brief paragraph about your most important exhibition.

I liked this idea so much I thought I’d write it here anyway. Perhaps there will be more than one when I give the idea a bit more time to sink in … but the first that came to mind was: ‘Ad Astra per Aspera‘ in 2003. I wrote the below a few years ago and I’m not sure I can put it any better.

When I moved to Melbourne (to study goldsmithing) the first exhibition I visited was the 2003 RMIT Gold & Silversmithing Graduate exhibition ‘Ad Astra per Aspera‘, which translates to ‘to the stars with difficulty’, at the Melbourne Gold Treasury Museum.

This was a key moment for me – I wandered around the exhibits and felt like I was in the right place; that this was something I not only wanted to do, but felt I was able to do, and it made sense to me and almost felt like home.

 





My jewellery collection #29

13 10 2014

I’ve finally had time to pop into Gallery Funaki (as evidenced by my recent post) and collect my Helen Britton Showtime bag

showtime

showtime

… and therefore I now have a new piece to add to my collection: a Helen Britton (obviously!) little sterling silver lucky tooth charm.

Helen Britton piece

Helen Britton piece

A genuinely significant piece of Helen’s is still on my lust-list … soon Karen, soon.