I promise, this is the last post about this project.
This collection had quite a number of components. I’ve already written about my most favourite ones, but thought I’d share some images of the other ‘minor’ pieces.
Our final year exhibition was called ‘Out of the Basement‘. I love this title.
For those unfamiliar with RMIT G&S, our rooms were in the basement of building 2 – so this was a wonderful turn of phrase, and I’m still incredibly fond of it.
We’d decided to use the image from the previous year’s graduating exhibition book, with a slight twist. We were keen to develop a series, and hoped that following years may continue – a kind of motif for RMIT G&S. Happily they did for at least two more years after this.
We had a great deal of difficulty in securing a location for our exhibition – a tip for any graduating class, start sorting this at the end of second year or the beginning of third year at the latest, seriously. We eventually agreed to ‘renovate’ an unused building across the grass courtyard outside building 2, called ‘The Cottage’. Apparently at one stage it was the space for G&S postgraduate students, but had fell into serious neglect.
Man, did that take some work. Though to be fair, a great deal of it was undertaken by our fabulous lecturer and technician. As it turns out, the university was so impressed and suddenly ‘remembered’ the space, that they then undertook to properly renovate it the following year.
I exhibited a group from my ‘Quilted Fragments‘ collection, and the ‘Mapping the Self‘ group. And my essay ‘Stealing the Mona Lisa‘ was also published in the exhibition book – so I’m officially a published author.
Strangely, it seems that I didn’t take an photographs … though I cannot believe that! So I can only assume I have misplaced the photo files somewhere. That makes me very sad. I cannot even find a copy of the exhibition invitation. Any of my RMIT alumni with an invite, please do send me a scanned copy.
I’m glad to have found Fitzroyalty’s post, which includes some images of the exhibition – the second image, reproduced below, is my work (erm and yes, the bottom one is of unphotogenic me and the beautiful Lucy). Thank you Brian!
I do have such intense memories of this exhibition, and the preparation for it (the auction, the book, the space) … ah, memories.
Graduates were (alphabetic by first name):
This is my last post in my series from my RMIT years. I’m happy to have all the projects (at least partially) documented here. Though it is a little sad that I’ve finished talking about them already.
ps. As I was doing a little internet research for the exhibition, to see if anyone else had written about it, I found that the National Library of Australia‘s copy was ‘missing’. So I sent them an email asking if I could send them another copy for their collection – you know, doing my bit – and I’m pleased to say they accepted my offer. I love sharing the love!
One of our ‘context’ projects was to design and set up a mini-exhibition in the display cases in the hallway of the RMIT G&S part of the building.
We worked in pairs and the exhibition was up for a week each. We were required to document the show as well.
I partnered with the lovely lovely Jamie Andersson – he was one of my dearest friends during my degree. We decided that of the five panels of the display case, we would have two each and the middle one would share our work.
My side included work that was being used for my ‘Mapping the Self‘ project. The intent was to work from left to right, white to black, large to small scale, paper to solid materials, one layer to mulit-layer.
This mirrored Jamie’s work ‘Grey Matt(er)‘, which was a selection of his vast collection of found object, which he (matt) painted in graded scale from black to white. I remember he was really happy with this collection and it featured in our year-end exhibition.
A few more detailed photographs below.
… last post in this series: RMIT Year 3, Semester 2, Silversmithing, continued …
… see more projects from RMIT Year 3 here …
To continue with this project…
3. Outer Hebrides, Scotland
dimensions: 170 * 85 * 22 mm
map source: Bartholomew’s “Half-Inch to Mile” Map of Scotland, sheet 23
4. Main Island, Orkney, Scotland
dimensions: 165 * 90 * 22 mm
map source: Bartholomew’s “Half-Inch to Mile” Map of Scotland, sheet 28
These were all made from 0.5mm aluminium sheet and bone-coloured 3mm perspex. Initially I had used the perspex as a kind of stiffener to help saw-piercing the aluminium. Though I loved the look of it I kept it as part of the finished object… reminded me of the saying ‘in my bones’.
The engraved lines are the four compass points. And all of the securing post points are placed at the end of these lines.
These are still among my favourite pieces from university – definitely in terms of silversmithing, and perhaps only third after the gold and quilt brooches.
To continue with this project…
The three most important pieces from this collection are below.
Exhibit #1: Quilted Fragments, Brooch, Silver
“These fragments were found together in a recent find in regional Provence. They have been arranged as they are proposed to have been originally in relation to one another. The floral pattern seems to continue throughout the textile; as can be seen by the flower at the top of the image which is repeated in the bottom separate fragment.“
Exhibit #2: Quilted Fragment, Brooch, White
“These fragments show a pattern typical of the area in which they were found. The home in which these were found had been fire damaged, as evidenced in these textiles.“
Exhibit #5: Quilted Fragments, Brooch, Black
“The motif used in these fragments is strikingly similar to that in Exhibit #1. As such, the two groups together have been used to derive a possible detail of the extended pattern. The black colouring of the textile is most unusual for this region, with most work done in white or brightly colour fabric. As such, these fragments are somewhat of a rarity.“
All of these brooches were constructed with fine silver very-thinly rolled sheets, pressed using a fly-press into a carved perspex block. This is similar to the construction of my Gold brooches. You can almost piece together these three pieces to derive the carved picture.
The motif I used in the carving was the False Sarsaparilla (Hardenbergia violacea) flower. This was a very special flower in my childhood – my grandfather and I would regularly go for bushwalks around his home and this was my favourite of the wild flowers.
The perspex backing was a reference to the museum practice of extrapolating the pattern of objects where only fragments remain.
My most favourite piece is Exhibit #5. I think it may even be the only piece I’ve ever made that became what I thought it would in my mind: the materialisation of the idea. The story behind making this particular piece still makes me smile – Kiko Gianocca was a guest lecturer for this project, and as we chatted about my progress I showed him the silver pieces and how I planned to connect them, and he said “this one must be black”. I looked at him silently for a little while; “it must be black?” I repeated; “oh it does not matter” he replied with a delightful shrug and dismissive gesture of his european hand. He was right. Oh my goodness he was so right.
This collection was the closest I came to free creation – where I felt less sure about the outcome and more willing to simply play.
Third year, second semester, Silversmithing: Mapping the Self
As mentioned in my previous post, this was a project of free personal exploration. I continued from the silversmithing project of Semester 1 that year.
As I wrote in the ‘map’ that accompanied the collection:
“For each of us there are special places in world where we feel that we belong. But what if you have not previously been to these places – what if you have come across them on your travels, yet these places resonate and have a strange pull on you? Somehow you sense you belong, in the landscape, or amongst the people of that place.
Have you found a fragment of your identity in this place?
Or does this place somehow form a part of your identity?
Is this a kind of ‘genetic memory’ – a familiarity built into your very make-up?
Where are your special places? Where would your map guide your visitors?
The special places I have so far found are detailed in this map – at least those found to date. I am sure there will be further volumes in the future.
Thank you for visiting, but please do take care, tread lightly, and take your litter with you.“
I made four small-scale objects, one for each of the places I’ve visited in my travels that I felt a special affinity for. Each of these map-based objects was accompanied by a matching-scale porcelain slip-cast fingerprint (one of my finger prints, enlarged and carved into linoleum, onto which the ceramic was poured).
The fingerprints were not the most successful part of this grouping, but I did and still do very much love the small objects. I was especially pleased that I had resolved the securing of the layers in a much better fashion than the first semester project.
1. Cornwall, England
dimensions: 190 * 115 * 20 mm
map source: Ordnance Survey, sheet 203, 1:50000
2. Avebury, Wiltshire, England
dimensions: 160 * 90 * 22 mm
map source: Ordnance Survey, sheet 173, 1:50000
Will write more shortly.