While I was making for the ‘My Australia‘ exhibition I tinkered with making earrings with these incredibly beautiful opals (unfortunately covered in my fingerprints in this photo!).
My workload, jewellery and otherwise, meant that they haven’t yet been made … though perhaps in the next few months they’ll materialize.
I was really looking forward to seeing Claire McArdle‘s ‘Gilty‘ exhibition. The exhibition opened on Monday night (22nd April), but I wasn’t able to visit until the Saturday.
Exhibition media: “If an illusion deceives your perception does it make the first understanding invalid?
Does a gilt object betray us in some way or does it possess a truth of its own?
A skin of gold matches the contours of the bead in precise detail. It masks the underlying material of the piece which makes up 99% of its volume and 0% of its surface. How do you value the piece?
Is this piece pretending to be something else or is it exactly what it is and we have deceived ourselves with visual assumptions?
If you know the chain carrying the beads, the chain which is almost fully covered, is made of 18ct gold, how do you value the piece now?
Is this a truth wrapped in a deception? Or is it just a piece to be perceived with available knowledge and accepted for its form and known materiality?
Is this work guilty for being gilty?“
Together with the magic exhibition image below, you can understand why I was fascinated and was looking forward to seeing the show.
I was imagining necklaces just like the one above, in my eyes referring to ancient works, lining the walls and challenging us to wonder how we value them if they’re plated and not pure gold … or even a mixture of both … and how do we know …
Instead there were chains on black circles, accompanied by photographs of what must have been there before.
It was incomprehensible to me and my friend.
We were both incredibly disappointed.
What had gone wrong with our understanding of the exhibition media?
We sought out comfort (for me, churros and chocolate) and sat down to chat about it. It was only then, when I spent time reading the little take-away booklet from the exhibition, that it became clearer.
In the booklet: “an exhibition experienced twice …
Neckpieces experienced once as wearable gilt forms. Experienced again as edible gilt beads revealing the true gold chain beneath. The pieces have not changed, they are as they always were. But the circumstances of perception have shifted. …
Objects once untouchable, displayed on gallery walls are now free to be consumed. Something on the body to become something of the body.“
Oh, so the beads were edible-gold-covered chocolate on gold chain. So the beads have been eaten at some point. Which explains only the chains remaining.
This is a fantastic and genuinely intriguing shift in perception and a great idea for an installation/performance, and it’s understandable why this was not obvious in the media as the surprise is the whole point.
However, if I knew that the there was to be a one-off ‘reveal’ of kinds, I would have made every effort to make it to the opening night. Perhaps it would have been best as a one-night-only event? With a week-long exhibition, it has left those of us not seeing the original work (well, at the very least me and my friend) really very sad.
Claire McArdle’s ‘Gilty‘ was at No Vacancy Gallery from 22nd – 28th April 2013.
Update (2nd May): please do also see Claire McArdle’s blog post (posted yesterday), and it has so many incredible images of her work and Zoe Brand’s excellent essays; and I love how Melissa Cameron describes it. You cannot imagine how much I wish I could have been there for the opening night – it looks like so much fun. AND there’s a video!
The flu has had me in its grip for so long now that I nearly missed ‘Signature Style‘ at Craft, only catching it on the last day.
Exhibition media: “Signature Style is a major group exhibition exploring models of collaborative practice in contemporary jewellery. Featuring the work of some of Melbourne’s most exciting artists and jewellery practitioners Signature Style will be a significant addition to the emerging discourse around collaboration and contemporary craft. Collaboration poses a very different method of working – by its very nature, collaboration eschews individual artistic identity in favour of some kind of ‘third’ position. Signature Style will examine new methodologies of working and ‘work’, thinking through the potentials of collaboration within craft and design.“
The combination of pieces by Meredith Turnbull and Manon van Kouswijk is stunning; their display gorgeous and sympathetic. I noticed though that their collaboration was more a conversation, as there didn’t seem to be any pieces with both of their names against them. This differed from other artists collaborations, as most of these were attributed to both artists.
I also loved the work by Katherine Wheeler and Polly van der Glas. Even though hair and teeth are not really my thing, and the fingers freaked me out initially, it must be said that their materials seemed well-matched. Katherine has written on her blog about the collaboration, with some lovely images; I especially enjoyed reading that: “We have both found the most successful pieces within our installation are the ones that have been made together- and taken on the 3rd entity through the collaborative process- not entirely either artist’s signature style, but a successful merge of the two.“
Thirdly, the dress by Tessa Blazey and Alexi Freeman is arresting. The shadow it creates on the wall is too beautiful.
Participating artists are:
Karla Way has written about her work on her blog too, and has some amazing images of her incredible work with Dylan; while I found the sheer number of objects to look at a little overwhelming, my friend loved LOVED it [see her blog post here].
Natalia Milosz-Piekarska has also written about her work on her blog too. Her body piece is incredibly beautiful and the video shown alongside it, worn by dancer Katherine Doube is mesmerising.
Update (30th April): also see VettiLiveinNorthcote’s post for some lovely images of the installation.
Bridget Bodenham has also shared an image of her work with Nina.
‘Signature Style‘ was at Craft 8th March – 27th April 2013.
I had such fun making three brooches for the ‘My Australia‘ exhibition.
As I mentioned in my previous post, the construction was a little different to work I’ve made before. The adaptions to construction were due to these being brooches, not pendants – so I needed to find a way of incorporating the brooch backs / pins.
They were essentially made upside-down, with the bezel set on the back. I could probably refine the method with more practice.
I added a single thread of fine gold cloisonné wire to the back of the ‘Sunrise‘ brooch … I love surprises just for the wearer.
I’d love to see the exhibition in its entirety – the collection of makers looks diverse and interesting!
‘My Australia‘ is at Seven Spirit Bay Eco Resort until November 2013. [see update below]
Update (26th April): The exhibition was originally to open in April and go through to November; however I understand that due to unforeseen circumstances, the exhibition will be moved to a new location and will open in a few months.
Some sneak peek images were shared a little while ago; and it’s my practice to wait until an exhibition is up before showing in detail images.
Jasmine put the call out for artists to join her exhibition: “Create a body of work that details ‘your Australia’, what Australia holds true to you with a focus on the natural landscape.” Naturally, my thoughts immediately turned to my little collection of opals; and to expand my exploration of combining opals and woven paper panels.
I felt it was time to reduce reliance on (or perhaps the prominence of) the woven paper component … so my three brooches show a progression seeing a large portion of the weave to seeing very little of it.
From left to right: ‘Sunrise‘, ‘Rockpool‘ and ‘Riverbed‘.
My camera / photography set-up isn’t too fancy, and as such I find it pretty tricky to find the best way to photograph the incredible beauty of opals.
These were constructed in a manner a little different to previous work … I’ll detail in another post tomorrow.
Update (26th April): The exhibition was originally to open in April; however I understand that due to unforeseen circumstances, the exhibition will be moved to a new location and will open in a few months.
It’s a little late, and you’re likely to know this already …
The winners of the Herbert Hofmann Award at Schmuck 2013 were announced on 9th March 2013.
The above text is from the Handwerk & Design website announcement.