RMIT jewellery auction – the night

24 08 2009

I was so dearly hoping to add to my collection at this year’s auction, but was defeated by an amazingly enthusiastic crowd doing some fantastic bidding!

auction01

just before the start

The venue was packed initially, but the crowd reduced a little after the first break.  I do have to admit that I went home (like a nana, I know) during the second set (of four) as I was feeling mighty weary, and more importantly had been out-bid on the brooch I really really wanted – a beautiful enamelled piece by Claire O’Halloran [piece, her site]. That’s not to say there weren’t lovely pieces after #31 of #101, but I did have my heart set…

In my day (again, nana, I know) we were impossibly tickled and impressed when a piece reached $150 say – but this year that mark was effortlessly sailed past by many in the first and early second set … a good indication indeed of the wealth of support for this event and the artists and the artform. Someone next to me remarked: ‘what global financial crisis’.

A lot of effort goes in to organising this kind of event (especially while also attempting to concentrate on producing a body of work for assessment in a few short months), and each graduating year learns from the previous years. The one tip (by no means meant as a criticism of this year’s event) I would suggest to next year’s group is to look for a larger venue – this annual evening is so very popular, and as alumni and general community support continues to grow, more seats and room will become necessary. That said though, through my own experience, I completely understand how hard it is to find a venue that ticks all the boxes – close to uni (for safe transport of pieces and organisation), drinkies for the bidders, a good feel, a least a little protection from random-crazy-dudes who wander by and make havoc (this happened a few times in the past), and not too expensive to hire (preferably free), with the facilities for holding an auction (stage/platform, audio, lights, projector, etc). It is easy to underestimate how successful you’ll be and I would venture to say that every year has been surprised by it – perhaps planning for a very large attendance sometimes feels like tempting fate. This was actually a pretty good venue, but if only it was a smidge larger.

The most impressive development was the on-line previewing – the photography was exceptional, and it did relieve some of the pressure to get to the boards to see the pieces on the night. This must be continued in future years, it is almost necessary.

I hope the graduate group had a fantastic night and that the fundraising was most successful!

Please feel free to share your experiences of the evening – did you get to take home the piece you had your heart set on? Did you stay to the end and have some more stories to share?


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