Svenja John ‘X_BRANEN‘ @ Gallery Funaki

28 08 2009

Oh I am so sad that this month has gone by so quickly that I am only now writing about this wonderful exhibition. It closes this weekend – so you need to run to Gallery Funaki today or tomorrow if you are to see it in person! Sorry for such short notice.

Exhibition media states: “In her latest jewellery, Svenja John works with her material, macrofol, four times thicker than she is used to. She has turned away from a spatial attachment system that creates volume, preferring a linear, additive method based on the principle of a chain and links.

X-BRANEN translates to X-BONES, and many of the elements are indeed skeletal. The immediate connection for me was to children’s toys and cartoons – both from the form of the materials, the thickness and shapes, and of course the colours. For example, the piece below has colouring that unexpectedly reminded me of a ‘Transformer’ (from the 80s cartoon, not from the recent movie) or even Skeletor (from the cartoon ‘Masters of the Universe’) … and the reverie begins…

from Gallery Funaki, image used with gallery permission

from Gallery Funaki, image used with gallery permission

The exhibition is interesting in that it has the X-BRANEN collection shown interspersed with a smaller number of pieces from her previous BREATH collection.

For me this does interrupt the flow and cohesiveness a little – mixing larger bolder thicker objects with fragile delicate ones. There is a significant difference in the feel of each group, most obviously in material thickness (though it is the same actual material), colour and construct. Putting these pieces side-by-side puts them into a dialogue I wasn’t entirely sure about. That said though, I am very happy to see the older works, as they are totally gorgeous and I like them very much.

from Gallery Funaki, image used with gallery permission

from Gallery Funaki, image used with gallery permission

Svenja is a high-profile European jeweller, and to have an exhibition of her work in Melbourne is fantastic. More of her work can be seen on her site, Klimt02, JewelersWerk Gallery, and Contemporary Applied Arts site.

The macrofol in the new works has been water-jet cut, and was hand-cut in the older pieces; and in both cases has been hand-coloured. The careful design and planning necessary to put all the components together in the X-BRANEN work is amazing, as they’re quite complex.

Below are some of my sketches of the works …



Svenja John’s ‘X_BRANEN‘ is at Gallery Funaki until 29th August 2009.



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11 10 2014
Svenja John ‘Assembly’ @ Gallery Funaki | Melbourne Jeweller

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