Kirsten Haydon ‘Ice storeroom’ @ Craft

25 07 2014

Kirsten was one of my two enameling teachers at RMIT. And for that I will be forever grateful – I love the practice, though of course haven’t done any for many years now. Not like Kirsten – she continues to explore the technique and her connection with the Antarctic in Ice storeroom‘ at Craft.

installation; photograph taken with gallery permission

installation; photograph taken with gallery permission

The installation is wonderful. I like how it transports you to another space – moving through the structure it encloses you and it genuinely feels like you’re quite separate from the gallery. It evokes a sparsely built storeroom.

The brooches are mostly circular (though with differing diameters), and seem to me to refer to ice cores.

Exhibition media: “The ice has a remarkable quality of preserving and storing knowledge within its structure. Inclusions, both micro and macro, in the ice can provide detail about the moment the ice was formed. This knowledge could be accessed from analysing the trapped gases or dust particles or by connecting with the narrative of an enclosed man-made object.
In this installation Ice storeroom builds on Haydon’s previous work with Antarctica and explores the notion that Antarctica is a repository for environmental and cultural knowledge.

photograph taken with gallery permission

photograph taken with gallery permission

There is more colour in this show than in her previous; with the additional hues within a limited palette of greys and blues and rusts, with a shot of dark grey / black in the bracelet in the foreground above.

Once again I like the neckpieces made of tube-components; and I loved the little objects and the neckpiece ‘ice monitor‘.

I initially thought that many of the pieces could be considered to be quite similar to previous collections (certainly not meant as a criticism but more an observation). However then I realised that newer pieces in this exhibition are accompanied with a smattering of older pieces (from 2006 and since), which may explain my sense of familiarity. I may also be experiencing ignorance or failing memory – I’m absolutely sure that were all the work to be in one room a progression would be completely obvious; and can you imagine how gorgeous that room would be!

That said, some of the neckpieces here show incredibly interesting development of form and construction (as in the ‘Lure of Radium‘ below).

I’d also like to know more about the installation on the back wall; for it is unique in the exhibition in including porcelain in the materials – though I couldn’t quite tell where…

media image; click on image for original source

media image in SMH article; click on image for original source

This exhibition has also been reviewed and written about by:

  • SMH: with a beautiful photograph and well-researched and thoughtful commentary
  • HandMadeLife: with many stunning photographs (including one of ‘ice monitor‘; my favourite statement “Every time we’ve seen her work there has been a level of finesse that makes the ideas feel as complete as the actual work. That accuracy of thinking and of execution is evident in every object, every surface, every well-considered corner of this installation.”
  • BlouIn ArtInfo

And make sure you check out the Craft interview with Kirsten here.

Kirsten Haydon ‘Ice storeroom‘ is at Craft until 26th July 2014.
[Sorry sorry - it closes tomorrow - I've had some trouble getting to this one.]

See also: 10th June 2011 Kirsten Haydon ‘ice structure‘ @ Gallery Funkai





My pieces for RMIT Auction 2014

14 07 2014

So the decision has been made.

This year I’ve donated two pairs of earrings to the RMIT Object-based Practice Gold & Silversmithing 2014 Auction:

donate_noflash

without flash

donate_flash

with flash

I like the back of them too.

In fact, a friend I made a bespoke pair for re-bent the ear wires to wear them ‘backwards’ – which in fact looks even more excellent.

donate_flatwhite

Flat White

donate_miami

Miami

Check the details of the RMIT Auction on their tumblr here – get donating and/or get buying!

[Please note: all images in this post not to be reproduced without permission]





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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Which to donate?

4 07 2014

The RMIT Jewellery Auction – officially named the RMIT Object-based Practice Gold & Silversmithing Jewellery Auction (and breathe) – is coming up in early August. Hoorah.

And so it is time to decide what to donate.

As regular readers know, I’m taking a break from making right now – so I’ll be choosing one of my already-made earrings.

Either one from the ‘Coffee’ series

'Coffee' ; image not to be reproduced without permission

‘Coffee’ ; image not to be reproduced without permission

or the ‘Summer’ group.

Summer group; image not to be reproduced without permission

‘Summer'; image not to be reproduced without permission

Decisions. Decisions.

Check out the donations on their tumblr blog.

Are you donating? Would you like to? If so, please make sure you contact the RMIT department; or send me an email and I’ll forward you the donation request email (with all details etc). Donations to be received by 16th July.





My jewellery collection #28

24 06 2014

I’ve undertaken a little Etsy purchase experiment and it’s turned out quite well actually.

I’ve bought a rose-cut aquamarine ring; sterling silver band and yellow gold bezel.

It feels good on; it’s true to size; and I like the stone very much indeed.

Bought from here.

… last post on my jewellery collection #27





More historic jewellery

18 06 2014

In more documentary-watching news … this is a magnificent pectoral (really just a pendant) from Egypt’s Middle Kingdom: the Senwosret III Pectoral (Egyptian Museum, Cairo).

screen shot from documentary, approx 7min mark

screen shot from documentary, approx 7min mark

From the second film in the BBC series ‘Treasures of Ancient Egypt‘.

Particularly entertaining is the commentators description of it as a ‘despot’s bauble: it’s sinister and dazzling, it’s alluring and also toxic … kind of like the jewellery equivalent of a poisonous orchid‘.

It’s gold and while it looks like enamel it’s actually set turquoise, carnelian and lapiz lazuli.