NGV Collection

10 04 2009

A very rainy day recently prompted a visit to the National Gallery of Victoria International (NGV).

There is a small display table dedicated to contemporary jewellery – in the Decorative Arts & Design gallery on the top floor.

The current grouping is accompanied by the following text:
A feature of recent jewellery making has been the increasing use of materials not traditionally associated with fine jewellery. Since the 1970s, instead of relying on gold, silver and precious gemstones, increasing numbers of jewellers have sought and experimented with the expressive qualities of materials devoid of inherent monetary value. This has led to jewellery produced in a wide range of media including aluminium, plastics, found objects, wood, paper and stone.

ngv_20090403

In keeping with the text, all of the eight pieces shown are post-1968. They are (left to right):

  • Blanche Tilden, ‘Short conveyor’, 1997; pyrex glass, titanium, 925 silver
  • Hubertus von Skal, ‘Bracelet’, 1977; silver, gold
  • Hubertus von Skal, ‘Pendant’, 1977; stone, gold, string
  • Hubertus von Skal, ‘Miniature, brooch’, 1968; mirror, steel
  • Mascha Moje, ‘Pendant’, 2000; 925 silver, nylon thread
  • Warwick Freeman, ‘Pebble ball’, 1995; pebbles, resin, nylon cord
  • Warwick Freeman, ‘Scallop brooch’, 1995; scallop shell, gold, silver
  • Warwick Freeman, ‘Pearl mirror pendant’, 1999; nacre, obsidian

Are there not more outrageous examples of jewellery using non-traditional materials in the NGV collection than these?

While I think the Mascha Moje piece of two merged pierced spheres in particular is beautiful, it is mostly silver and much of her work is not. And the bracelet by Hubertus von Skal is in fact traditional gold and silver – though I expect it was included here to show three of his pieces, alongside three of Warwick Freeman’s, as mini collections almost.

I don’t know how often the display changes, but I will pop in again in a month or so to see.

As an aside, three of the four artists above are represented by Gallery Funaki; and Warwick has a show there in July.


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