Artist Profile: Nicole Polentas

13 05 2009

With some of her work currently showing in the ‘Paper Text‘ exhibition at Studio 20/17 (Sydney, until 30th May), I thought it would be great to chat with Melbourne-based maker Nicole Polentas.

Nicole Polentas; Exile: The Blackest Night necklace 2008; silver, gold, copper, plastic, epoxy, image, glass powder, paint, pearls; 420 x 180 x 60 mm

Exile: The Blackest Night, necklace 2008-2009; silver, gold, copper, plastic, epoxy, image, glass powder, paint, pearls

What have you been up to since we graduated from our RMIT undergraduate degree (at the end of 2006)?

Since I graduated from the undergraduate degree I decided to return to study and undertook an MFA (Masters in Fine Art) by coursework. I wanted to develop a process that I could use as a way of making objects that would become part of my identity as a maker. During the MFA I was trying to push the boundaries of what a jewellery object can be and what meanings it can project. I was experimenting with traditional and non-traditional processes and materials.
I exhibited at Galerie Marzee in the international graduate show in the Netherlands (in 2007) and also at Talente in Munich (in 2008). I was also commissioned by Kraft to make a gold commemorative jar for Vegemite (in 2008). I was also awarded the first prize for the Diana Morgan gold and silversmithing alumni and postgraduate show (in 2008). I recently returned from a trip to The Netherlands which I was involved in and helped manage the group show “Jewellery Topos” at Galerie Marzee. I am currently undertaking a research degree at RMIT.

Wow! See the below links for more details and images:

I have found some more information and images of other work Nicole has also exhibited:

Oil Bowl

Oil Bowl, 2008

Where are you currently exhibiting? Any upcoming shows?

I am currently exhibiting in ‘Paper Text‘ at Studio 20/17 in Sydney.
And I will be in the upcoming show at BUDA.

  • ‘Paper Text’ runs at Studio 20/17 until 30th May 2009.
  • The BUDA show isContemporary Australian Silver & Metalwork Exhibition‘ and is showing 6th – 21st June 2009.
Nicole Polentas; Untitled (bracelet); 2006; Sterling silver, plastic, copper and image; Photography by Jeremy Dillon

When Water Spills Over (bracelet); 2006; Sterling silver, plastic, copper and image; Photography by Jeremy Dillon

What has been your most exciting / rewarding experience over the last two years?

The trip to Galerie Marzee to see my work in Europe; and when I was awarded an Australian postgraduate scholarship to continue studies for the next 2 years.

4. What is the next step for your work?

As I am undertaking my MA I am researching the ways that jewellery objects can provide a sense of place through the exploration of collective memory, within my cultural background. I am traveling to Crete to research and experience the landscape and aim to engage in a social enquiry into cultural memory, to gain first hand resources that will inform my jewellery objects.


My Black Night, 2008

It has been wonderful to see the vision Nicole is now expressing as it has developed from her first steps in that direction during our degree – her work is beautiful and always impeccably made. Her investigation into a sense of place, and identity through place, is one I connect with strongly; and it heartens me to see her hard work and talent is being recognised both locally and internationally.

All  images used with permission of the artist.



9 responses

14 05 2009

Wow! I really like her work! Is the bracelet up for sale? Would be interested to get it XD

14 05 2009

Hi Myra
I agree, it is beautiful work!
Would you be happy for me to send your details (including email address) on to Nicole so she can follow up directly with you?

23 09 2009
Toowoomba Contemporary Wearables 2009 « Melbourne Jeweller

[…] place: Nicole Polentas [post]; ‘My black […]

15 01 2010

Beautiful Work! Where can I get a hold of Nicole’s email address?

16 01 2010

Hi Marina – Nicole’s work is gorgeous indeed; I will forward on your details to her (instead of publishing her email address here). I have seen your work on Kit and Caboodle, and it is very beautiful too!

19 01 2010

Thank you Karen!

3 04 2010
‘XAOS’ @ Hellenic Museum « Melbourne Jeweller

[…] @ Hellenic Museum 3 04 2010 I was honoured to be invited by Nicole Polentas (see my previous artist profile) to the formal opening of the ‘XAOS‘ exhibition at the Hellenic Museum a few weeks ago […]

18 07 2013
Nicole Polentas ‘Collective Conundrum’ @ Chili Art Gallery (Athens) | Melbourne Jeweller

[…] more on Nicole’s work: see my artist profile, all my stories about her, and her ‘Pschomanteum‘ exhibition at Gallery […]

6 11 2013
Schmuck 2014: congratulations! | Melbourne Jeweller

[…] Nicole Polentas […]

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