‘Found in Translation’ @ RMIT School of Art Gallery

9 11 2009

The RMIT Gold and Silversmithing 1st and 2nd year undergraduate show is ‘Found in Translation‘ at the RMIT School of Art Gallery. There are 109 pieces (according to the works list) of 31 artists. In my year there were only 12 students per cohort, but there seem to be more accepted into each year now – I understand one of the groups has 18 students, which is a lot!


installation view

The exhibition design is great – I liked the circular components and cluster groupings; I understand the white tops were laser cut to ensure perfect circles – fantastic attention to detail. There are many pieces on the walls too, which frees up floor space and gives a more uncluttered feel.

Exhibition media: ‘Found in Translation showcases the jewellery and hollowware made by first and second year students who are currently studying Gold and Silversmithing in the School of Art at RMIT University. The title of the exhibition reflects the ever-constant battle these developing artists wage in their endeavour to translate material and concept into object, whilst finding their individual voices within a thriving local and international gold and silversmithing community. Please join the students in celebrating the outcome of (many) hours of labor involving flaming torches, red-hot kilns and filed fingertips during this highlight of the School of Art Gallery exhibition calendar.


installation view

In a further development to a previous post on gems in jewellery, this exhibition surprised me in that it has many many examples of set stones. I noted the prevalence of claw-settings, and was told (by two delightful first-year students sitting the gallery, Loredana and Lucinda) that one of the first-year projects was claw setting, in which the students were to make a piece that referenced an art movement of their choice.

There were earrings referencing Fauvism ‘Hear the Wild Beasts‘, made by Kate Peterson; they’re outrageously colourful and wouldn’t have been out of place on Dynasty or some other over-the-top eighties drama-orama! There were also hair combs referencing Art Nouveau by Laura Barlow, and gorgeous brooches inspired by Australian Impressionism and incorporating only Australian gems by Loredana Ducco. The below brooches are ‘Brooch of Hours’ by Lucinda Knight.


photograph taken with artist permission

It seems that the project listing now taken in first and second year are slightly different to those I was taken through in my degree. Along with the claw-setting project, there are a group of works of fused necklaces using found objects – not really my aesthetic, but as a student sometimes you just have to go with the projects as they’re prescribed. There are also some great pieces from the raising and hinge projects.

Other pieces that caught my attention include:

  • the fabulous pin on ‘The Naturalist Study’ by Alysha Batliwalla
  • ‘Mourning Brooch’ by Katie Jayne Britchford [Update (6th December): Katie is now blogging, see here]
  • the humour of the ‘Escape’ brooch by Colly Yichieh Lu, which is a large black fabric bag for the person to ‘escape’ into (it’s on the back wall in the top installation photograph)
  • ‘Golden Stain Brooch’ by Marcos Guzman
  • two small brass pouring vessels ‘You’ve Got Your Fathers Nose’ by Khyran Randall-Demllo
  • … to name only a few…

My two significant thoughts walking away from this exhibition were firstly the fabulous use of colour (much of this coming from the stones used in the claw-setting pieces) and secondly a big question: where are the teapots?

It is my understanding that second-year students still make a teapot, however there is only one on exhibit here… where are the others?!

This is an impressive exhibition and I enjoyed my visit, which was much enriched by the conversation with the two exhibiting students. Go and see it, and be sure to engage and ask questions of those who are sitting the gallery – they’re the artists and it’s always lovely to be asked about your own work.

Found in Translation‘ is at RMIT School of Art Gallery until this Friday 13th November – so hurry!



3 responses

12 11 2009

Oh I’m FINALLY getting to this tomorrow! Just in the nick of time, so excited!
Glad to hear its good.

And THANKYOU for your last post on exhibition ettiquette!!! I can’t believe how vague people are about things you would think are so obvious!!

21 06 2010
No more teapots at RMIT? « Melbourne Jeweller

[…] year and explains why I saw only one teapot at the first/second year exhibition (my review story here) in […]

1 11 2010
‘Got a Nice Ring to it’ @ RMIT First Site Gallery « Melbourne Jeweller

[…] year’s exhibition was ‘Found in Translation‘, see my post here. This year’s exhibition is in a smaller space, which unfortunately does means fewer pieces […]

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