Beauty in the city

25 09 2010

Waiting for a tram…

Century Building

… on the corner of Swanston Street and Collins Streets …

Manchester Unity Building

Art Deco delights.


Sydney visit, part #3, Metalab & COTA

24 09 2010

The third jewellery gallery I visited while in Sydney recently was Metalab. The delightful Nina spent some time talking with me about the current exhibition, and taking me through the many drawers of works.

Designer Sushi; photograph taken with gallery permission

The current exhibition, above, was so interesting and a great idea – makers and designers were sent a small collection of items in a sushi box, and they either used them directly or for reference to create a work.

cabinets; photograph taken with gallery permission

cabinets; photograph taken with permission

The cabinets were full of treasures – my favourite piece here, and in fact of my entire visit to Sydney, is the blackened silver brooch below by Peta Kruger [her website, Metalab interview]. The Art Deco influence (almost Metropolis-like in my mind) and the hand work in the engraving is so enthralling – gorgeous! In fact, the brooch has been haunting me since I left the gallery … perhaps I should have taken it home…

Peta Kruger; at Metalab; photograph taken with gallery permission

An interesting topic Nina mentioned was that Sydney was very much an earrings and neckpiece kind of audience, which I would contrast to Melbourne having quite a strong brooch tendency. What do other makers think?

I next went to Object, but have nothing to report as the exhibition wasn’t jewellery-specific.

The last jewellery gallery for my Sydney visit was COTA (Courtesy of the Artist), the Metalab gallery in the centre of Sydney (the atmospheric Strand Arcade). I understand the store was initially a pop-up, but is shortly due to undergo a more permanent refit.

COTA; photograph taken with permission

Sydney jewellery making community – thank you for making my visit so enjoyable!

Sydney visit, part #2, Studio 20/17

22 09 2010

With this gallery being the first to invite me to join a group exhibition since I graduated university, in ‘Feast‘ curated by Zoe Brand (see many my posts here), and then the subsequent ‘Winter Brooches‘ (here), a visit to Studio 20/17 was a must-do on my recent whirl-wind trip to Sydney.

Studio 20/17; photograph taken with permission

After walking from my hotel in the centre of Sydney (yes it took a little while, but it was such a gorgeous morning!), I met the lovely Bridget, who was so generous with her time. We spoke about the space, the wider environment it is in (in a great contemporary art complex) and her work practice.

It was great to be exposed to some Sydney-based jewellers’ work – in doing so, I realised just how Melbourne-centric my maker knowledge is (naturally enough really!).

My favourite piece spotted during the visit was a pale-blue dipped pin by Lina Peterson. In this piece a combination of copper wiring and crystals are dipped in brightly coloured plastic.

I meant to but forgot to ask about the name – can anyone tell me why it’s called 20/17?

Sydney visit, part #1, Gaffa Gallery

20 09 2010

Well, didn’t I have a fabulous time in Sydney! Oh my, yes I did.

I didn’t have as much time on the Saturday as I had hoped. For when galleries only open at 11am, and one is flying back to Melbourne at 4pm for a much-anticipated dinner-date, there is not a lot of time to get around. So sadly the Powerhouse was dropped from the itinerary (very sad) and anywhere outside the city/Darlinghurst/Surrey Hills area was not a chance.

Luckily I had time Friday afternoon (after the not-so-awesome conference that day), so visited the lovely super-passionate-about-jewellery-and-her-gallery Zoe Brand at Gaffa Gallery.

Gaffa Gallery 1: Girls around the World

Exhibition media: “The Ten More Girls collective is an internationally faceted group of female artists who believe that they can make the world go round by creating beautiful unique jewellery & objects. For the third year in a row they are uniting to hold an annual exhibition of contemporary wearable art. … This year’s theme, Girls Around the World reflects the group’s interest in diverse cultures, their love of travel and issues such as globalization, international politics, the environment & human rights.

installation; photograph taken with gallery permission

I like the idea that these ten makers, who studied together, have created their third joint exhibition. It’s something I think many groups of students hold as a possibility of doing after they graduate, but rarely is it seen to be followed through with this many participants so well.

My favourite pieces include the map neckpiece by Jasmine Matus and the little-house ‘Daily Walk‘ neckpiece by A Mi Kim.

installation; photograph taken with gallery permission

installation; photograph taken with gallery permission

Gaffa Gallery 3: Donna Page ‘Felicity, Passion & Rapture’

I initially liked this three-part exhibition: the white satin reminding me of the soft folds only possessed by women, and the delicate text embroidery on the thin handkerchiefs. I am a big fan of hand worked embroidery, so was disappointed to realise that this was in fact machine-made embroidery … it took a little bit of the specialness away for me.

installation; photograph taken with gallery permission

Gaffa Gallery; Keeper Gallery: Duke Frost ‘Up Down Charm Strange Truth Beauty

Exhibition media: “Recently, Duke Frost has begun an obsession with Quantum Physics. He enjoys quark particles as they come in six flavours: up, down, charm, strange, top (truth) and bottom (beauty). He also makes a habit of collecting words, taking long romantic strolls in the park and offering elderly passengers his seat on the train.

installation; photograph taken with gallery permission

Duke Frost is an alter-ego of a prolific maker, and I understand the group of work was conceived and made within a matter of days. Very funny quotes typed on plywood – genius!


The above shows are at Gaffa Gallery until 21st September 2010.

Finally, what a great space Gaffa is. If I was in Sydney, I’d love a studio space here. If you’re in Sydney, make sure you visit if you haven’t already.

Update (22nd September): oops, I completely omitted the links to the jewellers I mentioned: Jasmine Matus and A Mi Kami. Both makers have mentioned my post on their blogs (thank you!) and I have also added them to my links page.