Calendar: November 2009

31 10 2009

Graduate Shows

4th November: ‘Found in Translation‘, RMIT undergraduates (1st/2nd year), gold & silversmithing; RMIT School of Art Gallery [link]; opening night 4th November, 5-7pm; until 13th November
found001_adj found002_adj

13th November: ‘MINT‘, NMIT graduates, jewellery; Northcote Town Hall [link; site]; until 21st November


exhibition media

16th November: ‘Cornucopiaan abundance of fresh talent, contemporary jewellery and innovative holloware‘, RMIT graduates (3rd year), gold & silversmithing; Guildford Lane Gallery [link]; opening on 19th November; until 26th November

image used with artist permission; from exhibition media

Claire McArdle; image used with artist permission; from exhibition media

20th November: Monash Fine Art graduate exhibition, not sure of details yet but see comment on story here

24th November: VCA, graduates and postgraduates, all school of art; Margaret Laurence Gallery [link]; opening night 23rd November; until 29th November

There are lots of exhibitions of RMIT graduate and undergraduates – see this calendar for more details (photography, drawing, ceramics, sound art, textiles, architecture, media arts, interior design, sculpture, and more)

to the other exhibitions / events …

all month:

  • NGV International [link] ‘Building a Collection: Recent acquisitions of prints and drawings‘; until 31 January 2010; my review story

4th November: last day for applications to participate in JMGA-NSW annual exhibition ‘Takeaway’ [link]

5th November: Metalab (Sydney), Melissa Cameron ‘Iteration‘ [see previous story] and Jane Bowden ‘Wrapped‘ [link]; until 26th November

metalab Nov invite_adj

exhibition media

8th November: last day for NGV International [link] ‘Persuasion: Fashion in the Age of Jane Austen‘ (primarily textiles); my review story

14th November: Craft Vic ‘Hatch’ market [link], City Library, Flinders Lane, 11am – 4pm

15th November: last day for Marcos Davidson’s ‘The House of Hallmarcos‘ at Until Never [link]

16th November: last day for applications for Janet Holmes a Court Artist Grant [link]

20th November: last day for applications to participate in Stanthorpe Art Festival 2010 [link]

20th November: last day for application to participate in Brunswick Street Gallery ‘2009 BSG Art Prize’ [link]

21st November: Object Gallery (Sydney), group show ‘Precious Pendants‘ (contemporary jewellery) [link]; until 31st January 2010

… link to exhibitions and events on the October 2009 and November 2009 sneak peek calendar …

Peter Greenaway ‘The Last Supper’ @ Melbourne Festival

30 10 2009

One of the most advertised features of the Melbourne International Arts Festival is Peter Greenaway’s ‘The Last Supper multimedia extravaganza. The interior of North Melbourne Town Hall has been transformed to mimic the interior of the St. Maria della Grazie Church in Milan – a ‘clone’ of da Vinci’s masterpiece painting high on one wall, and a table stands in the middle of the room with all of the items shown in the painting reproduced in what looks like white plaster.

from exhibition media; click on photograph to link through to original source

from exhibition media; click on photograph to link through to original source

I haven’t seen the painting in person and I imagine this would have been quite amazing in its original setting; this is the first time this installation has been shown outside of Milan.

The projections on the painting are pretty and lovely and I am told a technical wonder; and I liked being immersed in the loud music. Though after the initial fascination with some of the lighting angles etc, it came to feel a bit clinically experimental and without narrative to me (highlighted by the repetition of a number of the sequences). Not that there’s anything wrong with that; perhaps that says more about my lack of knowledge of Greenaway’s work or philosophy.

Both the painting and the opposite wall are projected upon – I stood against a side wall and moving my head left then right to look at each wall at varying intervals actually gave me a bit of travel sickness of a sort (not entirely enjoyable).

I saw this the day before I attended Greenaway’s lecture. I wonder if it may have been more, or in fact less, interesting to see it after the lecture. I would have had more background; though on the other hand, during the lecture I was a bit disappointed to learn that some of the sequences in ‘The Last Supper‘ were in essence not unique and had already been explored in his first venture of this sort ‘The Watchman‘. Again, that may say more about my expectation, but it would have been more powerful to me if the light sequences had something specific to say about this special painting and not a technical bit of fun that could be applied to any painting…

I’m happy I went to see this, but sadly it didn’t blow my mind. However it does has many redeeming points, is worth seeing, and does have something interesting to say about the interaction of moving image in art and the art of installation. Lots of food for thought.

Peter Greenaway’s ‘The Last Supper‘ is at the Melbourne International Arts Festival until 8th November 2009; the projection is 20-minutes long, and is held every half-hour.

Carlier Makigawa ‘October 2009′ @ Gallery Funaki

28 10 2009

This month has been so crazy that I didn’t make it to Gallery Funaki to see this show until the weekend. Carlier Makigawa is showing her new collection ‘October 2009‘ – and it’s just lovely.

photograph courtesy of Gallery Funaki; used with permission

photograph courtesy of Gallery Funaki; used with permission

Her previous botanically-inspired collection included round-section wire, in voluptuous curves. The new work uses straighter lines; the metal is thinner, more delicate. The fineness of the wire invokes something more expressive; thoughtful and pensive in the larger pieces, hard-edged and determined in some of the smaller pieces.

photograph courtesy of Gallery Funaki; used with permission

photograph courtesy of Gallery Funaki; used with permission

Of the twenty-six pieces there are: three bracelets, four rings, a neckpiece, fourteen brooches and four objects. The neckpiece is in the window; the bracelets and objects on the left of the gallery; the brooches and rings on the right of the gallery, with large-scale black-and-white photographs of Carlier’s assistance Leah Teschendorff wearing some of the pieces. The separation works well; a kind of progression is seen through the smaller scale rings and brooches, to the bracelets and on to the objects.

photograph courtesy of Gallery Funaki; used with permission

photograph courtesy of Gallery Funaki; used with permission

Most of the pieces are made in sterling silver; though there are three in 18kt yellow gold, three in monel, and lacquer is used in one piece. A little shot of colour is injected with small pieces of coral in two brooches.

photograph courtesy of Gallery Funaki; used with permission

photograph courtesy of Gallery Funaki; used with permission

While the smaller pieces are beautiful, the objects had the most impact on me. Each of the four objects has two independent structures held in tight relationship; they are not attached, but interwoven. They seem to mournfully reach into each other, there’s a yearning; each needing the other, but there is space between them. I was deeply touched by them.

photograph courtesy of Gallery Funaki; used with permission

photograph courtesy of Gallery Funaki; used with permission

The exhibition media states: “Carlier Makigawa explores the parameters of small spaces in her new exhibition October 2009. Her spare, exacting constructions in silver wire have a monumentality that defies their scale and delicacy. Her new work consists of brooches and objects which move beyond the botanical inspiration of her earlier work to engage with more abstract notions of movement, compression and spatial manipulation.” It’s funny to me that the intent is in terms of abstraction and spatial exploration, yet I felt a very personal and emotional response.

For more images of Carlier’s work, see JMGA NSW site here. Marcus at ArtBlart has also reviewed this exhibition here, and includes more images.

Carlier Makigawa’s ‘October 2009‘ is at Gallery Funaki until 31st October 2009 – go and see it!

Beauty in the city

27 10 2009

Walking through the mall one early Saturday morning … actually looked up … and saw some beauty


These buildings house David Jones.


Bourke Street has some gems of early and mid century architecture.

Justine Austen ‘Monster Zoo’ @ Pieces of Eight

26 10 2009

Monster Zoo‘ by Justine Austen is the latest exhibition at Pieces of Eight. I had seen images of this work on Kit and Caboodle before, but when I visited the gallery I was surprised by the large number of them.

photograph taken with gallery permission

photograph taken with gallery permission

I had a bit of trouble photographing the work in the cabinet above.

The other surprising element were the black cutout bodies accompanying the pieces – they brought them more to life. However they seemed very familiar to me, very much like the shapes of the animals from ‘Where the Wild Things Are‘, but a bit more creepy in an inexplicable way. My gallery-visiting-friend said they reminded her of the toys you got in your cereal packages when we were children…

photograph taken with gallery permission

photograph taken with gallery permission

Thirty of the pieces are also photographed on Justine’s KickArts profile; they all have names and the exhibition is accompanied by text about what each of the monsters does. The three below differ in that they are much larger than the others and have a coloured (not silver) bodies.

photograph taken with gallery permission

photograph taken with gallery permission

After visiting the exhibition I read more about the work, including the interview on the Pieces of Eight blog, and note the artist reference the Wunderkammer. I can see the collection aspect here; as well as this idea being reflected in the diversity of materials used, other than the silver capsule-shaped ‘body’. However for me the uniformity of the heads (in that they only differ in the length between the half-spherical tops and bottoms) creates something of a familiarity as you move from one to the next, and in a way almost reduces the uniqueness of each and dilutes the Wunderkammer feel a little. I think of a Wunderkammer as a very eclectic grouping of strange things … so perhaps the way to think of this as a display of ‘monsters’ from a related genus and a subset of the collectors wider collection.

Following the fascinating discussion and commentary generated by a recent story on gems in contemporary jewellery, I found it pretty funny that the very next exhibition I visited was so gem-heavy!

The Pieces of Eight blog has other great images of the work and of the opening night. It was a bit of fun visiting this exhibition.

Monster Zoo‘ is at Pieces of Eight until 14th November 2009.

Jewellery at auction #3

25 10 2009

Did you know that the Peter MacCullum Cancer Foundation has a Jewellery Collection? I didn’t until I saw an advert for a Sotheby’s auction, with previews happening this weekend in Melbourne. More accurately though, it is a jewellery collection that has been donated to the foundation.

Media states: “A highlight of the jewellery sale is a magnificent collection of jewellery acquired during a forty year period from the 1930’s to 1960’s which has been donated to The Peter MacCallum Cancer Foundation. This collection includes some beautiful diamonds and coloured stones from Cartier and Drayson with the proceeds from the sale to be used for cancer research.

The auction will be held in Melbourne this week: 27th and 28th October 2009. The catalogue can be seen here – there are some seriously huge pieces (with estimates in the mid$100k). Aside from the jewellery there are other lovely pieces of decorative art and furniture from ‘The Connoisseur’s Collection’ – aahh, if only I had an enormous trust fund!

Seeking my enamel brooches

23 10 2009

In the inaugural post on my jewellery collection, I mentioned the ‘weird stealing people’ who took away much of my jewellery collection. They not only took the jewellery that had been given to me, but all I had made at the Goldsmith School (which I’ll share more about in the future) and the below brooches I made in my first semester first year.

amended copyright notice: image not to be reproduced without permission

amended copyright notice: image not to be reproduced without permission

I’ve mentioned before how much I loved enamelling, and these were my first cloisonne brooches. I enjoyed the making process so very much. There isn’t a whole lot of conceptualisation behind these; the front-face design came from an exploration of circle geometry; and I liked the idea of the progressive colouring (from memory they’re either 40 or 50mm in diameter).

At the end of assessment for first semester, these brooches were selected by the staff to put on display, alongside other selected enamel pieces from the class. So they were not at my home when I took photographs to document the work from the semester; as such the only image I have of them is the above one briefly taken by a lecturer before they were put on display.

They had been at my home less than a week or two when they were stolen. They were still wrapped in tissue; the thief didn’t even know what they were taking. It made me incredibly sad. It sounds a bit odd, but I almost miss them and wish I had them to wear and feel their weight.

I know they’re probably gone forever – but if you do ever happen to see anyone wearing them, or in a second-hand shop for sale, please please please do what you can to get them back to me!!