e.g.etal Giving Beads auction

12 03 2009

Tuesday night offered two exciting events for jewellery lovers: the opening night of Julie Blyfield’s exhibition at Gallery Funaki, and the e.g.etal Giving Bead Auction at Comme. It wasn’t an easy choice, but the possibility of securing a one-off bead at the auction was too great an opportunity to miss, especially as my spending would benefit Beyond Blue.

The e.g.etal team put together a wonderful evening and a superb collection of unique beads by leading (mainly) Australian contemporary artisans. Their organisation of this event cannot be faulted. Purchasing the tickets was easy, and the organisers even sent a reminder text message on the day, which I thought was a good idea although there was no chance I was going to forget! The venue was magnificent, its opulence suiting the event well. The necklaces were beautifully displayed in their own presentation box or on models circulating through the crowd. Virginia Trioli was the perfect MC for the evening, delightfully witty and engaging, and obviously a knowledgeable jewellery-lover.

I took a few photographs, but it now seems that I left the macro option on and the images ended up a bit ‘artistic’.

photograph taken with permission of event organisers

photograph taken with permission of event organisers

Alongside the pieces being auctioned was an incredible collection of necklaces being raffled. This made me happy, as it meant I had a much better chance of taking one home.

The raffle pieces included single bead necklaces by Katherine Bowman, Natalia Milosz-Pierksa, Amy Renshaw, Kathryn Wardill, Mark Vaarwerk, Fiona Kwong; a three-bead necklace by Yuko Fujito, Anna Davern, and Melanie Katsalidis; another three-bead piece by Anna Wallis, Krista McRea, and Ari Athans [I really wanted this one and was very sad it wasn’t my name called out]. I’m fairly sure I’ve not remembered all of the artists – I apologise to those I’ve omitted and I’d appreciate it if anyone can help me complete the list.
Update: the other raffled necklaces were by Claire Taylor, Jessica Morrison, Cassandra Chilton, Mitsui Slattery and Mana Kawasaki.

Also raffled was an enamel and silver necklace by Lucy Hearn, one of the series that won her the e.g.etal 2008 student design prize. There were other non-jewellery items raffled and auctioned, including evenings in well-known hotels, dinners at lovely restaurants, clothing ensembles from Alice Euphemia and Alpha60, spa products, and much more than I can remember – my focus was, after all, on the lovely jewels.

The main event for the evening was of course the auction. Necklaces auctioned were significant pieces described below (though not in order):

  • a beautiful enamelled bead by Debbie Sheezel; I was happy to put my hand up to start the bidding on this one for I really wanted it. I became uncertain if I should follow as the price rose; now in hindsight I regret not continuing;
  • a bead with an Argyle diamond by Marcus Foley, making particular reference to the gallery’s 10 year anniversary;
  • a telescopic bead by Phoebe Porter, made with 10 components again to reference the gallery’s milestone;
  • a beautifully hand-carved bead by Jennifer Martin;
  • finally, the major piece of the evening was the full-bead necklace, with beads from more than thirty contributing artisans.

I think there is one or two I’m missing …. again, I would appreciate any help.
: thank you to Belinda at e.g.etal for the following information

  • a Nicky Hepburn bead, which won the e.g.etal second place award;
  • the Jennifer Martin bead won the e.g.etal third place award;
  • the Phoebe Porter bead won the e.g.etal first place award;
  • the major piece was titled ‘Thruth is wherever you want it“;
  • artists contributing to the major piece are: Belinda Newick, Anna  Varendorff, Caz Guiney, Julia deVille, Emma Jane Donald, Katrina Webber, Phill Mason, Zoe Jay Veness, Daehoon Kang, David Parker, Dore  Stockhausen, Joung Mee Do, Elizabeth Kennedy, Jane Barwick, Julie  Carter, Vikki  Kassioras, Jasmine Watson, Katheryn Leopoldseder, Elizabeth Kennedy, Vikki Kassioras, Sean O’Connell, Tania Patterson, Cass Partington & Darren Harvey, David  Elliot, Julie Vine, Caitlin Boyce, Jeanette Dyke, Mattew von Sturmer.

The bidding took a little while to warm up, and the audience response was stronger when the images on the wall corresponded with the piece being auctioned. On the whole, the bidding seemed subdued and quiet to me, and to my mind many of the successful bidders now own beautiful unique works of art bought at an amazing price for their quality.

Congratulations to e.g.etal for an most enjoyable evening, and I truly hope their hard work has brought Beyond Blue a generous financial contribution.

Update (29th March 2009): See the e.g.etal website for follow up story and more images of the evening. The night raised $12000 for Beyond Blue.



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