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.





Svenja John ‘Assembly’ @ Gallery Funaki

11 10 2014

I do like the revamped Gallery Funaki website. You can see many of the pieces in this exhibition online if you aren’t in Melbourne; though it’s certainly worth personally seeing the current exhibition if you can, for Svenja John‘s ‘Assembly‘ is a riot of colour.

photograph taken with gallery permission

photograph taken with gallery permission

Exhibition media: “In the 20 years since I began working with the polycarbonate MakrofolTM I have developed, bit by bit, my own ‘Jewellery Construction Kit’. In the beginning there were only bone-shaped parts (which I called x-bones), linked together with rings of various sizes to form chains, earrings and bracelets. Eventually more than 10 different basic elements developed from which all the complex jewellery assemblies are plugged together“.

Svenja has a wonderful gift of putting colours together; and the mobiles are whimsical and I think I’d like one in my house.

photograph taken with gallery permission

photograph taken with gallery permission

To me the neckpieces are the stars of the exhibition. Strangely though I think I love the photographs of them more than the items themselves in person. It’s a strange thing indeed; I’m quite unsettled by the realisation. Perhaps the photographs are taken with some backlight, as the material somehow seems more translucent or even glowing.

Most attractive about these constructions are their allusions to medieval jewellery and Berlin iron work. My favourite is the piece in the middle; unfortunately there isn’t a detailed image of it on the exhibition site, but the colour combination is magnificent – magenta, purples, greys.

photograph taken with gallery permission

photograph taken with gallery permission

I did take some photographs of the right-hand side of the gallery, but I was a little distracted at the time and it was only when I arrived home that I realised they were all out of focus. Oopsies.

Svenja John ‘Assembly‘ is at Gallery Funaki until 25th October 2014.

Also see: Svenja John ‘X_BRANEN‘ @ Gallery Funaki, August 2009





Bit. Excited.

14 09 2014

Jewellery lovers of Australia – you need to know about this!
Though you probably already do, no doubt
… but just in case…

The Powerhouse Museum (in Sydney) is in the process of installing their upcoming exhibition “A fine possession: jewellery and identity“.

Exhibition media: “Among the rarely seen items on display will be ancient Egyptian scarab jewels, Chinese kingfisher-feather jewels and a magnificent tiara and necklace made from exotic beetles for an English aristocrat. Australian highlights will include gold-rush jewellery, Indigenous necklaces made from pearl shells, a diamond Art Deco brooch in the form of aviator Charles Kingsford-Smith’s legendary ‘Southern Cross’ aircraft and the fabulous ‘Satine’ necklace worn by Nicole Kidman in the film Moulin Rouge. A striking selection of contemporary studio jewellery will reveal the imagination and skill of some of the most talented local and international jewellers working at the crossroads of art, craft and design.

For more see the Museum website [above is from here].

The exhibition opens 24th September 2014.

exhibition media; click on image for original source

exhibition media; click on image for original source





Showtime!

10 09 2014

Oh good lordy!
Look at what Gallery Funaki is doing ….

reproduced with explicit permission from Gallery Funaki

reproduced with explicit permission from Gallery Funaki

Holy moly!!!





Curse the flu

22 08 2014

So I have the flu. I’ve had it all week.
It’s a right pain. And I’m a total sook when I’m unwell.

Worse, it means that I now miss out on seeing ‘Wondernamel 2014‘ and ‘Around The Table‘ at First Site Gallery.

I wish their shows went for longer. Or that they were open for a few hours on a Saturday.
For those of us who work full-time (office hours) it’s nigh on impossible to see them.

First Site has put up some photographs from the opening night of the exhibitions – but they are more focused on people than the objects, and it’s hard to really get a sense for the works.

Oh well, there goes my hope I could vicariously visit the show through the wonder of the internets. Sad.

Did you go? Do you have photographs of the work you’d like to share?





Bin Dixon-Ward ‘Grids’ @ Craft

20 08 2014

Bright colour abounds at Bin Dixon-Ward‘s ‘Grids‘ exhibition at Craft.

'Small City'

‘Small City’

I like that each ring in the above collection has its own stand. On the surface the forms may appear repetitive, but subtle differences are the reward for careful inspection.

Exhibition media: “Bin Dixon-Ward’s exhibition is a playful exploration of the grid as it appears in the urban form.

Grids are everywhere, in the layout of our cities and towns, in land divisions for agriculture and housing, floor plans and building facades; the urban grid has endless translations.  As a fundamental unit of our endeavours to manage and control our environment, we use the grid to protect us, to navigate our way and to mark and control our boundaries.  The grid maintains a structure that is both self-supporting and flexible. Its foundations remain intact even when the surface is altered and eroded through use.

installation

installation

My sense is that the wearable pieces are far more powerful on a body than still and on display.

I am interested in how this technology will impact future creation of adornment – perhaps even self-service jewellery, where a ‘designer’ makes their original design available online and a person can purchase it to have it printed themselves in whatever colour and material they desire.

Bin’s website has some wonderful images of her work. And the exhibition was rapturously written about by the ladies at HandMadeLife (with beautiful photographs).

Bin Dixon-Ward’s ‘Grids‘ is at Craft until 30th August 2014.

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Update (21st August): Bin’s work is featured in one of the glossies – check out Pieces of Eight’s blog.

And the eagle-eyed among you would have spotted that the works list says there are 10 pieces in the ‘Small City‘ collection, but there are only 9 on the table. When I visited I counted and recounted about five times to be sure – then wondered if perhaps one had sold (though it’s exceptionally rare, if not unheard of for a piece to be removed from an exhibition before its finished); then had a sinking feeling that some despicable [swearword] had stolen one. But thankfully, after checking the original photographs from Craft, it seems that there may have always been 9 … just a little typo. Phew.

Bin has also been mentioned in the following previous blog posts:

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‘Transplantation’ @ Craft

18 08 2014

August is always a fabulous month at Craft – this month is no less than a jewellery and silversmithing extravaganza.

Transplantation – A sense of place and culture – British and Australian Narrative Jewellery‘ is a traveling exhibition curated by Professor Norman Cherry from the University of Lincoln (England).

installation

installation

Exhibition media: “This exhibition of contemporary narrative explores the sense of place and cultural identity through the theme of transplantation. Artists based in the UK and Australia have explored their own sense of place and individual cultural identity as a consequence of their personal and family experiences of transplantation.

Jewellery provides a means of recording memory and experience in a portable and wearable form. Through this medium it is possible to express ideas, thoughts, and concerns, which may not be achievable in other ways. Twelve contemporary jewellery artists from the UK and Australia have been selected to create up to three pieces of work each, which will articulate the notion of transplantation in a tangible form.

The exhibition design is reminiscent of a museum layout or like cases displaying specimens … no doubt quite deliberate given the concept. I think this kind of display puts me in mind of looking at ‘old or extinct things’ – bowing down to see the pieces, under glass, and in really very beautiful quality cabinets.

The Australian artists are separated from the English artists – two groups of six cabinets.

Australian group

Australian group

The works of the English group were very intriguing. I especially liked Lin Cheung’s work (in the bottom left of the below image) of 24 pennies made of gold ranging from 1 to 24 carat. The description of the story is beautiful and I think most evocative of the ‘transplantation’ concept.

English group

English group

Participating artists are:

Australia

  • Anna Davern, Melbourne (notoriously and gleefully Australiana-loving, and therefore a perfect artist to include in such a show) [website, my blog posts]
  • Roseanne Bartley, Melbourne [blog]
  • Joung-Mee Do, Melbourne [my blog posts]
  • Nick Bastin, Melbourne [my blog posts]
  • Sheridan Kennedy, Sydney [website]
  • Bridie Lander, Sydney/Birmingham

England

  • Jivan Astfalck, London
  • Norman Cherry, Lincoln
  • Jack Cunningham, Birmingham [website]
  • Laura Potter, London [website]
  • Lin Cheung, London [website]
  • Jo Pond, Derby [website]

The exhibition catalogue is available online here (pdf).

Transplantation‘ has been traveling [see other locations here] and is at Craft until 30th August 2014.

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Update (an hour after initial publication): it was remiss of me (well, forgetful actually) to omit that Zoe Brand wrote a well considered review of this exhibition catalogue for AJF last year – see it here.

At the time Zoe and I had a brief email exchange about what exactly ‘narrative‘ jewellery is/was … I’ve always struggled with these genre-definitional-related terms.

When asked ‘what I understood the term ‘narrative jewellery’ to mean‘, my immediate reply went like this: “[I] initially thought that it would be jewellery with a story, but then realised that almost all contemporary jewellery has a back-story or concept.  Well, let’s see : it’s not figurative, purely conceptual, status objects, ‘ugly / unwearable’, materiality-exploration, technique-driven, tradition-busting, form-focal, lyric … could it be political or social commentary, personal commentary? Thoughts then wandered to the narrative usually referring to a ‘story of the self’, told in first-person… does this always have to be done in a way that is obvious to a viewer (to enable categorisation)?“. Clearly confused.

I really enjoyed reading Zoe’s essay again after seeing the show … and completely agree with her statement: “the work of Australian Anna Davern is, for me, the most successful example of what I would call narrative work in this exhibition. There was absolutely no need to read her statement to understand what her work suggests. These half-man-half-animal figures immediately and with much humor allude to the shared and bloody history of both Australia and Britain.

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