‘Cornucopia’ @ Guildford Lane Gallery

23 11 2009

Following on from the 1st and 2nd year show is the exhibition of the graduating group from RMIT Gold & Silversmithing: ‘Cornucopia‘ at Guildford Lane Gallery.

installation view

Participating exhibitors are (in alphabetical order):

  • Helen Bowman
  • Michaela Bruton*
  • Catherine Da Costa
  • Emi Fukuda
  • Sam Horstman* [kit and caboodle]; the cuffs/bracelets are stunning and well developed
  • Naoko Inuzuka; I really liked the enamelling used in the four brooches; and my favourite piece in the whole show is ‘Water Drop’ vessel – such fantastic soldering technique and patience must have been required for this!
  • Claire McArdle
  • Suzi Kyriakidis [site]; I liked the brooches referencing mapping
  • Victoria Mathews
  • Victoria Purves
  • Fiona Simmons
  • Roxanne Watts [site]
  • Rochelle Woods
  • Charles Wyatt [site]; the untitled brooch (item #15) is fabulous

Michaela and Sam (marked with *) were also in the It’s Got Legs‘ exhibition earlier in the year, therefore I expect they’re graduating from Honours perhaps, not the bachelor degree?

installation view

I notice there was not as much obvious colour as there was in the 1st/2nd year exhibition; but it does exist in many works in more subtle ways. Further, there isn’t the same proliferation of gems. However, in Robert Baines’s introduction in the accompanying book/catalogue, he states “When viewing the work of RMIT Gold and Silversmithing students there is always evidence of gems but this precious material sits along preciously crafted galvanised steel, plastic, enamel, porcelain and rubber.

The gallery is set up beautifully for this exhibition and the lighting is great. Due to the space, each exhibitor is able to present quite a number of their works, which is always fantastic to see.

The book for the exhibition is impressive too; with each artist having four pages for their work (bit jealous!). Though I do notice that there are no essays this time – interesting? And after the last four years using the same basic image (of the back of our beloved building 2), each year adding their mark of individuality (eg. selectively coloured, black embossed), this year has moved on from that series and have used a square format with a cover image of a collection of everyone’s work. I liked the idea of the series, but I do admit that the series (of which my year was the second to use) had probably reached the end of its time and it was time to develop a new look. Besides that, the back of building 2 no longer looks the way it does in the image with the crazy renovations that are still in progress.

There are some truly wonderful pieces here, and I look forward to seeing how these emerging jewellers make their way in the coming years. Congratulations!

Cornucopia‘ is at Guildford Lane Gallery until 26th November 2009.

Karin Findeis ‘sampler’ @ Craft Victoria

20 11 2009

As mentioned in the previous story, Craft Victoria has a wonderful group of exhibitions currently showing; and in gallery 3 is Karin Findeissampler‘.

Exhibition media: “In her latest exhibition sampler, Karin Findeis uses the intimate environment of jewellery to investigate the history of collecting. Findeis positions herself as a contemporary explorer, the jewellery she makes reflecting the environments within which she lives and travels. Findeis’s process references the collecting practices of the Enlightenment era where diverse elements were drawn together and categorised to create a semblance of order; the ‘real’ and the ‘ideal’ reconciled through representation and reinterpretation.


exhibition media; photography by Barry Langrishe; click on photo to link to original source

There are fifteen open boxes displayed at about waist level, internally white and externally dark blue-grey. Each box is oversized and open, displaying a piece of jewellery.

The display of the 37 component ‘Entomoid‘ in this exhibition is a little different to the media image above. I think the graphing-type paper used in the above image evokes more a feeling of collection and ordering and scientific enquiry than the plain paper below…


photograph taken with permission

Each piece is named and then subtitled with ‘from the collection of …‘; where the collections are ‘entomoids‘, ‘amalgama‘ and ‘miracles‘. The group above is the only entomoid; there are nine in ‘amalgama‘ and six in ‘miracles‘. Though the connection within the groups is a little faint to me, I would propose that the ‘miracle‘ group is more delicate where the ‘amalgama‘ group more colourful and bold even.

Two pieces I liked most are: ‘China blue‘, a lime-yellow-green ceramic and oxidised saw-pierced backing brooch; and I am intrigued by ‘Veneficus magu (holotype)‘, a brooch of driftwood peppered with small onyx beads. An image of ‘China Blue‘ can be seen here in a story about exhibition when it was held in Sydney early last year; and an image of the latter can be seen on Karin’s site here.


photograph taken with permission

sampler‘ is at Craft Victoria until 28th November 2009.

Update (31st January 2010): Craft Vic blog has an interview with Karin here.

Metal prices update

19 11 2009

Two months ago (here) I wrote that gold prices had exceeded US$1000 per ounce. Last week the price shot over US$1100 per ounce. Should have bought gold two months ago on that basis…

Three interesting graphs below (from 17th November 2009):

1. Gold price in US$ for last 5 years – compare the last two months to the graph in the previous post

gold price US$ per ounce; 17th November 2009; click on image to link through to original source

2. Gold price in US$ for last 60 days – zooming in on the two months since my previous post

gold price US$ per ounce; 17th November 2009; click on image to link through to original source

3. most importantly for those of us working and buying gold in Australia, the movement in gold prices during 2009 has been countered by the strengthening of the exchange rate of Australian dollar against the US dollar; essentially this is reflecting the depreciation in the US$ across almost all currencies (for the not so financially minded, their economy is in more trouble than almost the whole world); in effect, the price of gold has actually reduced for us during most of this year, though it’s fair to say that the AU$ price has also seen the latest peak come through and it popped over AU$1200 at the start of November (to coincide with the start of the US$ rise)

gold price in AUS$ per ounce; 17th November 2009; click on image to link through to the original source

So my take is:

  • gold per ounce in US$ has increased by approximately 14% since the start of October 2009; and approx. 8% since the start of November 2009
  • gold per ounce in AU$ has increased by approx. 7% since the start of October 2009; after being pretty stable between July and the end of October
  • also, silver has increased since the start of September 2009; going up approx. 12% since the start of November 2009; and has gone especially berserk in the last week [link here, graph not shown above]

Also check out this report in The Age for a really interesting article about influencing factors in the recent movements.

    ‘A Key to Help Make Your Own World Visible’ @ Craft Victoria

    18 11 2009

    Craft Victoria has three fabulous exhibitions running at the moment. I visited last week and will write about the jewellery exhibition shortly, but would love to share with you the gorgeousness that is A Key to Help Make Your Own World Visible‘ by Gracia Haby and Louise Jennison.


    photograph taken with permission

    There are watercolours, four-colour lithograph offset prints and artist books. For me though, the most lovely pieces are the ‘collaged books’ – old postcard books that have been drawn and pasted on to create fabulous artworks. Seriously wonderful!


    photograph taken with permission

    Exhibition text: “In Der Steppenwolf the ‘Magic Theatre’ is a hallucinatory, parallel world controlled by saxophone player, Pablo: “I can throw open to you no picture-gallery but your own soul,” he tells the suffering protagonist Harry, “All I can give you is the opportunity, the impulse, the key. I help you to make your own world visible. That is all.” Taking its cue from Hesse’s surrealistic landscape, A Key to Help Make Your Own World Visible presents a series of hidden interior topographies; worlds existing somewhere between the pain and beauty of things past.

    I enjoyed the quiet quirk in this exhibition very much. It has also been reviewed by VettiLiveInNorthcote (I know, another one!) and Melbourne Art Review among many; it was also covered on ABC Sunday Arts in mid-October, there’s an interview on InsideOut; and also check out the Elsewhere blog by Louise Jennison too (with some great installation photographs); and of course look at the Craft Vic blog.

    A Key to Help Make Your Own World Visible’ is at Craft Victoria until 28th November 2009.