Karl Fritsch ‘yodel’ @ Gallery Funaki

11 07 2014

What’s not to love about Karl Fritsch I ask you?

Karl’s latest exhibition, yodel‘ at Gallery Funaki, delivers what you’d expect, and hope for, from this modern master – subversiveness, cheekiness, playfulness, unusual handling of materials, challenge, uncertainty, remarkable individuality, smirks, and absolute delight.

beautiful image courtesy of Gallery Funaki; image copyright belongs to the gallery

beautiful image courtesy of Gallery Funaki; image copyright belongs to the gallery

Exhibition media: “His rings, both precious and anti-precious, beautiful and proudly anti-beautiful, bear the weight and scars of centuries of embedded cultural belief about jewellery’s manifestation of status. Using precious materials as well as rough hewn aluminium, stones and glass, Fritsch’s work has the look of something buried for a thousand years while remaining utterly contemporary.
Selected works are also shown from a recent collaboration between Fritsch and Auckland based photographer Gavin Hipkins

exhibition media; courtesy of Gallery Funaki and the copyright remains with the gallery

exhibition media; with thanks to and courtesy of Gallery Funaki; copyright remains with the gallery

There are some truly monumental pieces in this exhibition, including those in the exhibition image (above). These are made of aluminium and set with brightly coloured stones. I admit to being both amused and uncomfortable with them.

They’re cheerful and hilarious in their chunkiness, scale and gaudy colour combinations … and in reflecting on them I realised that for some reason I do prefer my jewellery to be serious [which is entirely my burden to bear and not the responsibility of any artist to relieve me of it!]. I wondered if I may have found them more satisfying if the finish were more textured and bashed-about and a smidge less shiny-shiny [again, totally my perception]? I’d like to think more about these…

Ring #351, 2011; image with thanks to and courtesy of Gallery Funaki; copyright remains with the gallery

There were some rings that I genuinely fell in love with, much to my delight. Most especially a yellow gold ring set with orange garnets (above). The gold rectangular strip, perhaps 10mm by 2mm (or so), has been simply curved into a ring with a satisfying overlap; with five little pillows set with varying colours of tiny garnets. Completely delightful in my view. I tried it on, though sadly my skin tone doesn’t do it justice – it needs someone with more olive or tanned skin than I to bring it to life. Sigh.

The others that particularly appealed to me where the yellow gold ones, set with little stones. I suspect I’m in a matt gold kind of phase… how ridiculously gorgeous is the one in the image below?!

with thanks to and courtesy of Gallery Funaki; copyright remains with the gallery

with thanks to and courtesy of Gallery Funaki; copyright remains with the gallery

There is so much to look at and think about: 67 rings (with creations years varying from 2014 back to 2004), 2 bracelets, and 7 collaborative images and objects.

with thanks to and courtesy of Gallery Funaki; copyright remains with the gallery

with thanks to and courtesy of Gallery Funaki; copyright remains with the gallery; ‘Der Tiefenglanz (Cosmos)’, 2014, silver gelatin print, aluminium, cubic zirconia

The photographic collaborations with Gavin Hipkins are moody and interesting; though I did find myself somewhat distracted by the glory of Karl’s rings. The above is particularly amazing – the scale in the image is misleading, as I originally thought it may be about postcard size, but in fact it’s about A4 and so the scratches are forceful and have great presence.

It’s a surprise to me that my understanding of Karl’s work continues to deepen, and I’m glad for it. Go forth and see what you see too.

Karl Fritsch’s ‘yodel‘ is at Gallery Funaki until 9th August 2014.

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Other posts about Karl Fritsch:

20th December 2010: Returning to the jewel is a return from exile’ @ Tarrawarra Museum of Art

9th June 2010: Karl Fritsch ‘freeling‘ @ Gallery Funaki

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Update (12th July): after a little more thought, I wondered about the title of the exhibition … why ‘yodel‘?

A little bit of research later … consider these descriptions of yodeling: “repeated changes of pitch during a single note” or “oscillates on neighbor tones” or “an ornament or trill in phrases which have long syllables” and “the basic yodel requires sudden alterations of vocal register from a low-pitched chest voice to high falsetto tones” and of course its use as a means of village-to-village communication.

While I cannot speak for why the title was chosen, I do like very much the connections these little snippets create in my mind.

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Helen Britton ‘pairs of pieces’ @ Gallery Funaki

24 05 2014

Regular readers will know of my exceptionally strong admiration of Helen Britton‘s jewellery (she’s on my lust-list and I’ve been smitten for a while now).

Well, I was beside myself* while viewing her latest exhibition: pairs of pieces‘ at Gallery Funaki.

photograph taken with permission

photograph taken with permission

The exhibition media is eloquent and enlightening, and worth repeating in full:

“When I’m making my work, although I rarely have a clear idea of the end result, I am in pursuit of a fleeting vision that I chase along until the pieces start to materialize on my worktable. Over so many years of making I have observed that this often results in pairs of pieces. There they are then, in the end, these two friendly companions, singing together, vibrating at the right intensity, complementing each other, yet quite autonomous.

What happened along the way? Was there just too much to say to fit into one work? The vision is often dense and chaotic, so perhaps it is a kind of spreading and organizing within the creative process that produces the two possibilities. And this is jewellery after all, so there needs to be space for the wearer.

It not only like this though. At other times, works are being made or coming back to the studio. I lay them out to revisit them, learn more about them, and during this process I recognize quite clearly relationships between pairs, that may in fact be separated by months or even years. For this exhibition I have made and gathered works that examine this experience.”

Helen Britton, 2014

photograph taken with permission

photograph taken with permission

Once again the monochrome rings called out to me. They’re absolutely stunning.

If the one on the left in the image below hadn’t already been sold I expect I’d be fretting over whether to purchase it or not … completely amazing.

courtesy of the gallery; click on image for original source

courtesy of the gallery; click on image for original source

The neckpieces are beautiful too – which even surprised me, as I don’t usually respond to too much colouring in jewellery. There was a brooch with the most enchanting lavender / pale rose kind of colour that I couldn’t take my eyes from.

And then there was this ring .. swoon.

courtesy of the gallery; click on image for original source

courtesy of the gallery; click on image for original source

I also really liked the exhibition design: the uneven and rough-edged constructions are ideal stages for the jewellery.

Make sure you look at all of the images on the Gallery Funaki site – too beautiful. In fact, go and see it in person if you can.

Helen Britton ‘pairs of pieces‘ is at Gallery Funaki until 14th June 2014.

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* I may have squealed a little when I spotted the rings.
I’m also pretty sure I did a little skippy-dance as I made my way towards them.

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Mari Funaki Award

14 03 2014

I’m so pleased to share with you the news from Gallery Funaki (though I’m sure most of you have already seen it!):

We’re thrilled to announce the inaugural Mari Funaki Award for Contemporary Jewellery. Mari was a unique and passionate advocate for contemporary jewellery in Australia, both through her own remarkable practice and her establishment and directorship of Gallery Funaki.

This Award aims to celebrate Mari’s legacy by rewarding the skills and vision of jewellers both here and overseas and by providing a platform for outstanding new work to be shown here in Australia. A panel of three judges (to be announced) will award prizes in both established and emerging categories, with total prize money valued at AUD$11,000.

For entry conditions and more information, please email Award Manager Chloë Powell at award@galleryfunaki.com.au or download the PDF below [link here].

The Award is generously supported by Vivienne and Leo Donati, Johannes Hartfuss and Fabian Jungbeck.

event media

event media

Important dates:

  • Applications close: 18 June 2014 (11:59pm, Australian Eastern Standard Time)
  • Finalists notified: 25 June 2014
  • Work/s received by: 30 July 2014
  • Award exhibition: 12 August – 13 September 2014

How absolutely wonderful.





‘PROJECT: Jewellery for T-shirts’ @ Gallery Funaki

4 02 2014

With this show Gallery Funaki launches its “series of occasional, week-long shows collectively titled PROJECT:  These short exhibitions explore collaborations, new enquiries and multidisciplinary approaches, and seek connections with artists from outside the jewellery field who engage with the body as a platform for their practice.

This is “PROJECT: Jewellery for T-shirts“, a collaboration between Helen Britton (of my lust-list fame) and Justine McKnight.

photograph taken with gallery permission

photograph taken with gallery permission

It was quite something to walk into Funaki and see it exhibiting objects so different from previous visits. The garments were beautifully serene, elegant, and sometimes gently animated by the zephyr through the open door. Being in a (familiar) gallery setting put me in the mindset of viewing them as works of art, more than simply clothes.

Exhibition media: “We’re intrigued by the interplay between clothing and jewellery. The physicality of one influences the other as we work with the weight of cloth or metal, the size and shape of elements, the texture of a surface or an edge. Then there’s the content: deconstruction, process, mark, gesture, structure and materiality. Transience. The forms react to one other, not only through the making process, but finally on the body as well: arranging, rearranging, each movement suggesting new possibilities.

photograph taken with gallery permission

photograph taken with gallery permission

It dawned on me – why don’t we makers do this more often? Make jewellery in response to specific garments? I know it’s done for fashion collections, presented in shows and such. And I imagine of course for high-end ensembles. What about our everyday favourite items? Why shouldn’t your favourite t-shirt have its own custom designed brooch (especially positioned of course) or neckpiece? [Or does everyone do this and no-one told me?!]

I love this idea; and I very much enjoyed the beauty of the outcome. The sympathy and understanding between the two makers is obvious.

The combination at the front of the above image is the most striking. Though it is closely rivaled by the one at the back of this row, with the black marks scattering across the body and a gorgeous brooch worn on the upper left.

I think it’s super that Gallery Funaki have introduced these mini-exhibitions – little forays into perhaps more adventurous arenas, giving the gallery and its visitors some wriggle-room to experiment and play and perhaps even take a risk. I do look forward to the next one.

PROJECT: Jewellery for T-shirts‘ is at Gallery Funaki until this Saturday 8th February.





Henriette Schuster ‘almost invisible’ @ Gallery Funaki

14 08 2013

This was my first time seeing the work of Henriette Schuster, and it was an absolute delight. Her solo show is ‘almost invisible‘ at Gallery Funaki.

Her jewellery collection sits alongside her drawings. The pieces are quiet, simple (in the most perfect way), and subtle.

image courtesy of Gallery Funaki

image courtesy of Gallery Funaki

There are a large number of pieces for a solo exhibition – a handful of earrings, some rings, with many pendants and neckpieces.

The metal components are silver, yellow gold and blackened silver; the colour palette black, white, red and neon yellow.

  • The revelation for me was the hanging material for the pendants: elastic. A great alternative to silk or linen thread, I would expect it would be more capable of handling robust wear and not to mention the clean lines it permits for shorter pieces (which can still be put over the head).
  • There is a group of blackened pendants which I would call figurative or narrative (in the left of the image above) – little brushes, cups and representations of other items.
  • Another group (on the bench above), like silver cylindrical branches, are on the brightest neon yellow elastic thread – gorgeous arrangements of shapes and linear intersections. Another collection is similar though on red thread and with blackened elements.
  • A further group of pendants and rings (in the enclave to the right of the below image) explores the interrelationship between two circles or spheres … some on red or black thread.

And how magnificent does the new gallery fit-out look.

image courtesy Funaki Gallery

image courtesy Funaki Gallery

Exhibition media: “In her first solo exhibition at Gallery Funaki, Munich based artist Henriette Schuster presents a collection of jewellery that uses precious metals in simple, almost naïve ways to explore basic aesthetic relationships between two similar forms. In addition, we will be showing a series of Schuster’s drawings that both draw from and feed into her jewellery practice.

Sometimes the most affecting gestures are very small and very quiet. Schuster creates jewellery and drawings that shy away from bold declarations and instead, wait quietly for close attention. Working with silver and thread, Henriette’s jewellery is arrestingly simple and direct: small elements, often in pairs, sit in delicate balance with one another, a subtle dance of interdependence and connection. Familiar household objects like teacups, thimbles and brushes take on unexpected symbolism and tenderness as they hang, paired and companionate, on boldly coloured elastic. Tubes of silver are bent in simple and graphic forms, creating drawings on the body. And Schuster’s drawings, which will be shown for the first time in Australia, are studies in understatement and lightness. Schuster’s vision is unobtrusive but always quietly compelling.

exhibition image; from website; click on image for original source

exhibition image; from website; click on image for original source

For me the above piece was the most outstanding of the exhibition, it’s called ‘Tear‘ and is yellow gold. So simple and stunning. I am still considering if it needs to come home with me.

Make sure you visit the Gallery Funaki website for more images of the lovely work. Better still, go and see them in person.

almost invisible‘ is at Gallery Funaki until 17th August 2013.





Kiko Gianocca, Marc Monzo ‘on second thoughts’ @ Gallery Funaki

5 10 2012

I have a soft spot for Kiko – he took one of our classes in our third year at RMIT; so I was very much looking forward to this exhibition. Add to that, Katie was one day wearing the most stunning gold earrings by Marc, and I couldn’t wait!

The conversation between the jewellery of Kiko Gianocca and Marc Monzo in ‘on second thoughts‘ is pretty special.

exhibition media; click on image for original source

Kiko’s work includes some rings with (what I would consider his ‘signature’) two-eye holes, molten neckpieces and enameled (I think?) plate brooches with images on the back. These brooches are beautifully constructed and conceived; they feel quiet when on the bench, though I imagine are fairly monumental when worn.

exhibition image; click on image for original source

The pieces I loved the most from Kiko were his silver-plated wooden pendants. Stunning simplicity; the texture is beguiling. I wanted one. I haven’t been able to find any images of them yet, though they are similar to those in his previous exhibition (as shown by ArtBlart here).

Exhibition media: “The jewellery of Kiko Gianocca (Switzerland) and Marc Monzó (Spain) is born of a need to make sense of the temporality, connectedness and the personal. Each uses a visual and material language entirely his own, yet both share a directness and minimalism that cut straight to the core of what it means to wear jewellery and imbue it with meaning.

This was the first time I’ve seen Marc’s work. I have no real explanation for it, though I felt there were two kinds of his work – restrained linear pieces and those referencing the ‘ring’ (like these). I was especially attracted to his little brooches, like those in the image below.

not from the exhibition; click on image for original source

There is so much to see in this exhibition, and to be truthful I’m not sure I’ve come to terms with it all yet!

What I do like about this exhibition is that much of it is the ‘quiet’ kind of contemporary jewellery … wonderful.

on second thoughts‘ is at Gallery Funaki until 20th October 2012.

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Update (7th October): Gallery Funaki’s facebook page has a beautiful photograph of Kiko’s rings

from Gallery Funaki facebook; click on image for original source

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