Calendar: April 2010

31 03 2010

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So busy…

29 03 2010

Things have been pretty crazy for me this last week and sadly I haven’t had enough hours in the day to do all that I’d like to! For the first time ever, I haven’t had time to write a story for today… apologies to my regular readers. I have lots of stories ready to write though, however may not get around to doing so for a few days yet …

  • a review of ‘XAOS‘, an exhibition at the Hellenic Museum including jeweller Nicole Polentas
  • a review of ‘Flock‘, an exhibition at RMIT First Site as part of LMFF
  • a story on my recent trip to see the collection at the NGV International (with thanks to Amanda Dunsmore, the curator of Decorative Arts)
  • the catalogue for ‘Sting of Passion‘ arrived in the mail a little while ago – so excited and will share more about that!
  • and I have been doing some making lately (which is why I’m so impossibly busy), and will share that story when the pieces are actually completed

There are many more stories waiting in the wings, but I wouldn’t want to spoil it for you … in the meantime, happy making and happy reading.

Artist profile: Lucy Hearn

26 03 2010

It’s been a little while since my last post in this series, on Claire O’Halloran, and I thought it was about time to remediate the situation. Again I have turned my attention to jewellers who were in my class at RMIT, and I’m happy to say that Lucy Hearn (nee Blackmore) has agreed to be my subject.

All images used with permission of the artist; not to be reproduced without permission.

White Ring Green, 2007, Copper, enamel, sterling silver and plastic - photo by Jeremy Dillon

1. What have you been up to since we graduated from our RMIT undergraduate degree (at the end of 2006)?

Well… After finishing third year in 2006, some of my work was exhibited at Craft Victoria as part of FRESH! which was great and lovely to meet Kate Rhodes and talk to her about my work.
I started 2007 with a new husband and a new name. Then I went back to RMIT to start an MFA… I didn’t really want to leave yet. I had some work fly to Germany for the Talente exhibition.
And I began to work in a different direction… enamel!
Since then, my jewellery has been selling from Studio Ingot and Craft Victoria. And I was commissioned to make a limited edition of pendants for e.g.etal.
I’ve also been involved in group exhibitions, such as Jewellery Topos in the Netherlands, Transformation at Gallery Funaki, Fruit Loop Bagues at First Site Gallery and of course the RMIT It’s Got Legs series of exhibitions. I also had a small solo exhibition in the window at Craft Victoria.
I finished the MFA at the end of 2008 and went to Amsterdam, Paris and Pforzheim for a short but very inspiring trip in 2009.
Since then I’ve been taking a bit of a break from serious jewellery making, concentrating instead on having fun with my 7 month old daughter.

Fruit Loop Bagues Group Exhibition with Nicole Polentas, Mel Miller, Nina Oikawa and Lucy Hearn at First Site Gallery, 2008 - photo by Lucy Hearn

Wow, so much success! A couple of links to see more:

  • see the RMIT website for information about the exhibition in the above image ‘Fruit Loop Bagues
  • Craft Victoria ‘Fresh!’ 2006 [here, under her maiden name] and announcement of stock [here]
  • Studio Ingot artist profile [here]
  • Gallery Funaki ‘Transformation‘ was an award exhibition, and it is fantastic Lucy was a finalist [here]
  • see the RMIT School of Art Gallery site for more on the ‘It’s got Legs 2008‘ and ‘It’s got Legs 2007
  • also see my previous review stories on: ‘Jewellery Topos‘, ‘It’s got Legs 2009
  • and my previous stories on her pieces in my jewellery collection: #13, #9#7, #6
  • Lucy was also interviewed in The Age early last year [here]
  • e.g.etal announcement of Lucy being awarded the pendant design [here], image below

e. g. etal pendants, 2008, Sterling silver, copper, enamel and plastic - photo by Terence Bogue

2. What has been your most exciting / rewarding experience over the last few years?

Being a part of the Jewellery Topos exhibition in the Netherlands was super exciting. It was a fantastic experience to travel there and meet Marie-Jose of Marzee. Her jewellery collection is phenomenal, I was so overwhelmed by amazing things to look at that I began to feel dizzy and sick… or perhaps it was just morning sickness? The entire trip was incredible, I was also able to see some impressive collections of ancient jewellery in the Louvre Museum and in Pforzheim, Germany.

So jealous…

3. What do you like most about making?

I love it when something works! When I pull a large enamelled piece out of the kiln and it hasn’t cracked or dripped and it’s beautifully shiny and finished after all the work I’ve done. It’s so satisfying. Possibly because this doesn’t happen every time!

White Vessel Group, 2007 - 2008, Copper, enamel and plastic - photo by Jeremy Dillon

From my personal viewpoint, I love Lucy’s spontaneity and willingness for the metal to guide her, especially when raising a piece. Though that said, her drawings are quite delightful too.


Not to mention her incredible sense of colour and injecting fun into personal adornment.

White Brooch Orange, 2007, Copper, enamel, sterling silver and plastic - photo by Nicole Polentas

Lucy and I sat next to each other in our final year in our undergraduate degree, and she always had a pretty good way of sensing when things weren’t quite working out for me and somehow always said something to put it all into perspective. The colour she used injected a much-needed jolt into our workspace (my work during that period was fairly minimalist with respect to colour), and I found myself experimenting with her way of working and I think it loosened my approach and I became more comfortable with figuring it out as I went (and not having all the answers before I started making).

4. What is the next step for your work / What does the next year or two hold for you?

The next step is to put a studio together which will happen later this year and start some serious making again. And after that, I’m not sure… I would love to build a body of work for a solo exhibition, but no plans at this stage.
I intend to continue enamelling and raising vessels and have fun playing and experimenting with them.

Many thanks to Lucy for being so generous and sharing so much about herself! I look forward to hearing more stories about her adorable daughter, and seeing her work develop when she finds the right time to return to making.

All images used with permission of the artist; not to be reproduced without permission.

Update (3rd April 2011): Lucy now has a blog

Update (7th October 2011): I am happy to say that Lucy has provided an image of her makers mark / hallmark … please also see my Makers Mark page for other artist marks!

Lucy Hearn; with artist permission

… previous artist profile: Claire O’Halloran

RMIT Year 1, Semester 1, Jewellery #3

24 03 2010

First year, first semester, Jewellery, project #3: ‘Colour setting’ – bezel setting

As our enamelling subject really required a means of cold joining, it was good timing that the second jewellery ‘making’ project was bezel setting. I was pleased though that I’d had wonderful tuition in this technique at the Goldsmiths School previously, so understanding the skill expanded the possibilities of design for me.

I took the title at face value for this project, and thought about setting a stone that was actually used to ‘make’ colour – such as lapis lazuli (blue) or malachite (green) or similar. My key reference book here was one that I had bought on impulse in Scotland during a short holiday there in mid-summer 2003 (I’ve written before about visiting stone circles there), and love and have re-read several times: Victoria Finlay’s ‘Colour: Travels through the paintbox‘ (here).

My original intent was to simply set a piece of lapis, however upon encouragement of the guest lecturer for the project, took it a step further and decided to literally ‘set the colour’ – to use a tablet of watercolour paint instead of a stone.

from sketch book for project; amended copyright notice: not to be reproduced without permission

It made sense that this be a ring, to reference that painting is usually done with the hands. The shape then obviously echoes the tablet itself. In contrast to project #2, there was only the one idea for this project.

colour setting ring; image: Mark Kral; amended copyright notice: not to be reproduced without permission

The above image is one taken at the time of assessment that year by an acquaintence as a favour – I like how the shadow gives details of the ring that cannot be seen from the angle of the photograph. Though it’s a bit grainy and doesn’t really show the intense colour. That said though, I have made numerous attempts myself but have had no success – it seems like one of those pieces that’s almost impossible to photograph.

side profile of ring; amended copyright notice: not to be reproduced without permission

I wouldn’t never consider wearing this ring as it’s too heavy and unbalanced. More importantly though I don’t really like it as something to be worn, though I like looking at it – I now think of it more as a conceptual exercise. Sometimes there are pieces (especially in first year) that end up being done mainly to satisfy assessment and don’t really resonate – though all projects have the potential and whether they do or not is probably more about time, timing and selection of the idea to go ahead and make.

Update [4th March 2013]: this object no longer exists, as I decided to recycle it!

‘XAOS’ @ Hellenic Museum, opening tonight

23 03 2010

A new exhibition ‘XAOS‘ is opening tonight (invite only) at the Hellenic Museum. It will be open to the public from tomorrow. I’m particularly looking forward to the work by Nicole Polentas (see my previous artist profile).

with permission of a participating artist

‘Figment’ @ e.g.etal

22 03 2010

Since first reading about the ‘Figment‘ exhibition, I have been looking forward to seeing how the e.g.etal store will look: “… our showroom will be transformed by a bespoke installation into a vibrant mythical landscape.  The intention of the installation is to imbue the space with a sense of whimsy and playfulness while allowing a direct connection with the individual works on display.” (from e.g.etal website)

The image in the previous post shows the overall visual effect of the installation, but it’s quite different to see a photograph of it to the experience of actually being in the midst of it.

installation; photograph taken with gallery permission

Strangely, when I first read about the ‘immersive landscape‘ intended for this exhibition, I had in my mind developed a vision of a lush green densely-foliaged forest, complex and with limited ability to see the whole room at once – which upon reflection may be because most of my ideas fable or myth seem to be set in a forest (something to pursue and elucidate later). So when I walked into the space as it has been created, it was quite a different setting to that I had created in my mind – which in itself is an interesting experience, the mind-shift from what is imagined to what is reality. On initially entering the space I was struck by there being no soft or organic surfaces, in contrast to what I had conjured up.

installation; photograph taken with gallery permission

The atmosphere created is almost hallucinogenic – one somewhat feels like Alice in Wonderland, entering a space where the roof is lower and you feel larger than you would in an ordinary room, or any gallery space (which usually have high ceilings). The projected lights create another worldly experience, and dodging the lights accidentally getting in your eyes makes you more conscious of how your body moves through the space and aware of where you are in relation to the work.

The jewellery sits on transparencies of drawings the artists made which working on the project – so you see the finished object and also see part of the journey to make them. These drawings bring colour to the space, and create the web of wonder on the walls. Of the exhibitions I’ve seen in the last year or more, this one is one of the best (if not the best) in terms of imaginative design and committment in executing the idea.

installation; photograph taken with gallery permission

The jewellery here is outstanding! Participating artists are (by surname):

  • Katherine Bowman; “inspired by the myth of Icarus … draws on James Reeves’ engaging 1969 text entitled ‘Gods & Voyagers, Legends of Ancient Greece’” (exhibition text); these pieces are my favourite in the show, they’re gorgeous (the round pendants in the first two images above); Katherine has some amazing images of these on her own blog, and she generously shares her process, from drawing to making; I would dearly love to take one of these home (especially Invention ‘Daedalus’)!
  • Michaela Bruton ‘The Sun is Sad and it’s Crying‘; “drawing from the notion of ‘animism’ – a vibrant view of creation that conveys an instinctual respect for the earth” (exhibition text); I’ve written before about Michaela’s work, and the fine soldering and patience to create her pieces [see stories: Siemens, Fresh!, Cornucopia, Legs]
  • Anna Davern; “the tale of “Little Suck-a-Thumb” within the well-known German children’s book Der Struwwelpeter by Heinrich Hoffmann permeated the nightmares of a young Anna Davern” (exhibition text); I didn’t read this until after I saw the work, but I can now place the menace of the imagery in these works and certainly can understand the bad dreams; they’re not ugly or evil by any means, but you know that kind of wierd place some childhood stories reside, between fantasy and horror … and the on-the-surface-placid images that have an undercurrent of nasty lurking; see Anna’s blog for photographs of some of her pieces
  • Natalia Milosz-Peikarska; “recalls childhood hours lost in a world of magic and witchcraft” (exhibition text); the colours Natalia uses are quite lovely; she has more images of her work and opening night on her blog too (I love that so many makers are blogging!)
  • Jessica Morrison ‘Day Dream‘; “still looking out the window and daydreaming” (exhibition text); in pieces unlike any I’ve seen before from Jess, she is exhibiting gorgeous stained-glass pieces in blues, reds and orange; I think these are plique-a-jour, which is just incredible for the scale (having done only a little of this technique before, I can only imagine the amount of time these took); I think there’s a lovely connection between the technique (which translates to ‘open to light’) and the imagery of the work; see more of Jessica’s work on her blog, Studio Ingot and e.g.etal website
  • Karla Way; “evokes resonant memories of an imagined childhood character – a mythical lizard traversing the wide, dusty grey landscape of remote Western Australia” (exhibition text); I particularly liked her necklace combining soft grey perspex and a strong pink agate, which she shows on her blog
  • Katherine Wheeler ‘Deciphered Landscapes‘;”evokes notions of timelessness, adventure and the wandering spirit of a holiday’s endless days” (exhibition text); Katherine must have been busy the last few months, with making for this and her own solo exhibition currently on a Hand Held Gallery! (see my previous story on her exhibition, and artist profile, for images of her work); also see her blog for more photographs of the exhibition and of the opening night

installation; photograph taken with gallery permission

So much effort has been expended for this exhibition, by the artists and curators and gallery staff (and carpenters!); and it’s truly a wonderful experience.

Figment‘ is at e.g.etal until 31st March 2010.

Update (24th March): check out more photos on e.g.etal’s blog; and also in pretty exciting news, some of the text in the above story has been quoted (with permission) in the latest e.g.etal newsletter (flattering indeed!).

Update (27th March): Katherine Wheeler has shared some images of her drawings and the work she provided for this exhibition on her blog.

Emma Sher @ Self Preservation

20 03 2010

The alumni of my RMIT class have been super-busy lately. Among them is Emma Sher, who has a display in the window of Self Preservation. I last wrote about Emma’s work almost a year ago when she had a solo exhibition at Charles Smith Gallery [here]. Also see Emma’s website for more images of her work.

window of Self Preservation

It’s a bit tricky to get a good image of the work in the window, due to the structure of the window itself!

Self Preservation window

I also popped along to Black Finch on the weekend and found some more of her work there too, alongside another classmate Michelle Taylor. Excellent work ladies!