I visited Gallery Funaki on the first day of Warwick Freeman’s new exhibition, ‘spring collection‘. It’s a beautifully cohesive group of work; each piece relating to the others in a way I’m yet to completely unwrap.
The above work, ‘handles‘, is a series of pendants reminiscent of screw-driver handles carved from obsidian, quartz, nephrite, petrified wood, jasper and other materials. They are imbued with a weight and majesty, drawn from the millions of years taken to create such beauty. My favourite is the small obsidian piece on the left; it is a gorgeous shape and size, and I imagine would feel fabulous hitting my body just above my belly as I walked.
The muted colour palette is drawn mainly from the natural materials and the black thread or oxidised metal. That said though, there are some gold pieces – the most magnificent being a gold ‘mask‘.
Three other pieces that immediately caught my attention were pendants made of jet. The shape of the first, called ‘holder‘, is a rectangular shape with notches carved around the edge – it put me in mind of winding wool around it, for it reminded me of the cardboard we would use to make pom-poms as kids. The second, ‘box‘, looks like a shape of an squat opened-out box – which I thought before I saw its name, so I wasn’t cheating!
The third pendant, ‘bracket‘, is a great shape that is a little difficult to describe, it actually reminded me of a door stop. But while I was there another visitor to the exhibit, who knew more about Warwick’s work than I, connected the shape to another piece of Warwick’s called ‘rape whistle‘ I think … so I feel there is still some reading for me to do into the background to this established New Zealand jeweller to uncover more of the threads that may come from older work through to this exhibition.
While I expect my thoughts will mature over time and with reading, my initial impression was that many of the works speak to domestic life: screw-drivers, fishing hooks, wool-winding card, mirror, apron hooks, sock hook, curtain hook. I look forward to more reading, thinking and writing about it.
‘spring collection‘ is at Gallery Funaki until 1st August 2009.