‘Proud’ @ VCA Margaret Laurence Gallery

23 09 2009

This exhibition was only on for three days (11-13th September 2009) at the Margaret Laurence Gallery in the Victoria College of Arts (VCA), so I’m pretty impressed that I could organise myself enough to visit it.

Proud‘ was advertised in the Art Almanac as ‘art students exhibition and prizes‘; sadly though, an internet search shows no other references, so I have no links and don’t know who won what prizes.

installation view; photograph taken with permission

installation view; photograph taken with permission

The more of these group shows I visit, the more obvious it seems to me that I am gravitating towards photography and drawing, at least when there is no jewellery to distract me. There was a lot of work here, but I found I didn’t respond or connect to many of the pieces – though there was a great large-scale pen/ink drawing [sadly I didn't take note of the artist; centre in the below photograph.

However I did find a piece I like very much, a photograph by Sarah Mote, which I'll hopefully be bringing home shortly [you can see some of her work on the VCA Photo blog].

installation view; photograph taken with permission

installation view; photograph taken with permission

This visit also brought into perspective the campaign to Save the VCA. I have been hearing about this in the press, but life has been so busy the last few months that I must admit I don’t know enough of the detail of the fight, but am now inspired to do some more reading about it…





In the press…

22 09 2009

The Australian Financial Review Magazine, a glossy monthly that comes with the weighty business tome, often has items of luxury exposed in its pages.

The September 2009 issue doesn’t disappoint, with the below two items:

(1) pg 57, a magnificent ring by Phil Mason represented by e.g.etal; text (not shown) states: “Goldsmith Phil Mason recently became the first Australian selected as a finalist in the Saul Bell Award (Las Vegas) and the Passion Award Design Competition (St Louis). His passion ring features a faceted black spinel stone set onto gold hinges that open to reveal a secret compartment. 18ct yellow and white gold, black spinel, rubies, diamonds” (image is not attributed, but is also on the e.g.etal site here).

Spectacular! [though I imagine I would snag it on all manner of garments and soft furnishings]

The Australian Financial Review Magazine, September 2009, pg 57

The Australian Financial Review Magazine, September 2009, pg 57

(2) pg 14; an article on the unusual jewellery of Patrick Jelk; interesting but not really to my taste; however, the incorporation of historic references is something most art does, though usually more implicitly

The Australian Financial Review Magazine, September 2009, pg 14

The Australian Financial Review Magazine, September 2009, pg 14





Seeking: art school exhibition dates

21 09 2009

There are lots of exhibitions coming up for undergraduates, graduates and post-graduates from the many fine art degrees in Melbourne … so I thought I’d start a calendar for all of them.

I am seeking contributions from readers – do you know of any?

For now all contributions will be retained as comments, and I’ll create a new post in late October or early November with all the collated information.

I cannot seem to find a lot of information, but those I have found are below, in starting-date order:

  • 4th – 13th November 2009: RMIT, undergraduates (1st/2nd year), gold & silversmithing; RMIT School of Art Gallery [link]; opening night 4th November, 5-7pm
  • 12th – 22nd November 2009: NMIT, graduates, jewellery; Northcote Town Hall [link]
  • 16th – ?? November 2009: RMIT, graduates (3rd year), gold & silversmithing; Guildford Lane Gallery [link]; unsure about opening or closing date
  • 24th – 29th November 2009: VCA, graduates and postgraduates, all school of art; Margaret Laurence Gallery [link]; opening night 23rd November
  • 8th – 13th December 2009: VCA, masters students, all school of art; Margaret Laurence Gallery [link]

No need to be shy, please add those you know about!

Update (6th October): be sure to check out the comments for the latest information

Update (7th October): new information from RMIT for many other fine art exhibitions [here]





Blog roundup

19 09 2009

Wee-hee … lots to read:

  • I have discovered (oh I know I’m not Magellen!) the Art Jewelry Forum [link]; it has an American focus, but has some great discussions and image bank
  • MetalCyberSpace (and other sites) point out that entries for inclusion in the Lark book ‘500 Silver Jewelry Designs‘ is open, last day for arrival of application is 4th December 2009 [post]
  • in searching the RMIT site for some images of a recent exhibition and student work, I literally stumbled upon a story about Robert Baines’s publication and the RMIT Research Repository – well worth looking at for academic work [link] – I’m looking forward to reading this paper, and perhaps writing about my thoughts on it…
  • the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney has a gorgeous exhibition ‘From Earth to the Universe‘ – I love images of space [link, another link]
  • the BBC news site described the conservation of a silver Viking hoard [link] – I love these kinds of stories that connect us to the past
  • Vikki Kassioras has gorgeous new earrings using bronzite [post]
  • and lastly, Katherine Bowman shared a lovely poem [post]

Happy reading!





‘Losing the Unique’ @ Shifted Gallery

18 09 2009

Jasmine Targett and Debbie Symonds recently collaborated on ‘Inside the Realm of Invisible Spheres‘ [previous post], and their latest work ‘Losing the Unique‘ is at Shifted Gallery in Richmond.

This work continues the focus on the changes seen in nature and implicitly questions the role of humans in this shift. In the text that accompanies the exhibition, Debbie writes: ‘my artistic practice is an investigation and interrogation of humanity’s ecological conundrum and the discourse pertaining to this situation. The precarious position that human and non human species face are the central themes of my research …‘. Debbie has created two-dimensional representations of the call/song of selected albatross species, to call ‘attention to their plummeting population numbers‘.

photograph taken with gallery permission

photograph taken with gallery permission

Jasmine’s work is in three parts: stoneware, porcelain and silver; all referencing the Pelargonium genus. In her text she states: ‘the notion of reductionism within scientific paradigms is that it excludes the need for individual identity … individual identity masses into group classifications. What was once unique is now lost within the system‘. I think the silver installation, ‘Memores acti prudentest futuri‘, best represents this idea – by preserving the individuality of each leaf, not just the variety or the plant.

photograph taken with gallery permission

photograph taken with gallery permission

I’m interested in how Jasmine was able to keep the natural shape of the leaf after the casting process, which I would think would flatten the leaves out (but that could simply be my incomplete understanding of casting of course!).

In a little example of connectivity, the other artist exhibiting in the gallery was Terence Bogue – who is one of the photographers of choice for Melbourne jewellers, metalsmiths and ceramic artists. Here he shows a small number of photographic studies of the clavicle and scapula – quiet and contemplative work.

Losing the Unique‘ is at Shifted Gallery until 26th September 2009.





Metal prices

17 09 2009

Recently I heard that the gold price had gone over US$1000 per ounce.

As I haven’t made anything for a few years now, I was wondering how the prices for silver and gold have changed in the last five years. I found the following links for gold and silver prices, and have the graphs below.

5 year gold price, per ounce, in US$

5 year gold price, per ounce, in US$; as at 11th Sept 2009

Gold is now at the same price as it was early last year when the GFC was just being realised; and the same price it hit later last year. I wonder whether that is a portent? The Age recently had an article dampening the excitement of the price, looking more at the price in Australian dollars after accounting for the exchange rate etc [for the more financially minded], here.

5 year silver price, in $US; as at 11th Sept 2009

5 year silver price, in $US; as at 11th Sept 2009

A couple of other observations:

  • silver moved in parallel with gold until mid-last year when it fell much heavier than gold did;
  • it looks like silver now costs more than double what it did (in $US) when I was at university;
  • we should have stockpiled silver (and gold, if you can afford it!) late last year;
  • and though I didn’t use a lot of gold (though she is just lovely to work with), it is now over two-and-a-half times more expensive than five years ago;

The comparison of silver and gold reminded me of something my very first teacher once told me – silver is the bitch of metals, gold is the queen (if you’ve made with both, you’ll know what she meant!).