Blog roundup

31 10 2010

Without much time to spend in the leisurely pursuit of reading the interwebs, I have noticed a few posts worth sharing:

Happy reading!

Calendar: November 2010

29 10 2010

all month

  • NGV (International) ‘Lace in Fashion‘ [link]; until 23rd January 2011

2nd November: last day for ‘Touch. Pause. Engage.‘ at Keeper Gallery, Gaffa (Sydney); “invites a diverse team of fifteen NZ jewellers to submit inventive and inspired works. Although many of the makers’ practices focus on different issues and are expressed in diverse forms, the side is fit and game ready. The roster is comprised of talented individuals with different skills and strengths who make a target of pushing the experimental aspects of their jewellery practice. The captains look forward to an exciting match. Who wants it?” [link]

3rd November: last day for ‘Everyday Objects‘ at Loft Gallery, “Six artists use traditional Gold and Silversmithing techniques to explore, interpret and re-imagine everyday objects and themes. Curate by Beka Hannah. Featuring: Claire McArdle, Georgia Lancaster, Inari Kiuru, Mary Hackett, Melissa Cameron, Beka Hannah.

5th November: ‘Bell Weather‘, RMIT Graduating Gold & Silversmithing exhibition, 1000 £ Bend [link]; until 12th November

exhibition media

6th November: last day for ‘Got a nice ring to it‘ First and Second Year – Gold and Silversmithing 2010 RMIT First Site Gallery [link]

7th November: ‘Returning to the jewel is a return from exile‘, Robert Baines, Karl Fritsch, Gerd Rothmann; Tarrawarra Museum of Art [link]; to be opened by Olga Zobel Biro, Director Galerie Biro, Munich; exhibition 7th November – 20 February 2011, Tue-Sun 11am-5pm

exhibition media

9th November: Gallery Funaki, ‘odd one outSally Marsland [link]; until 4th December

11th November: ForgeNMIT graduate exhibition, Northcote Town Hall [link]; until 21st November

18th November: last day for Blanche Tilden at the Canberra Glassworks ‘Fer et Verre‘ [link]; “work is inspired by the pre modernist glass and metal buildings, the Crystal Palace and the Palais de Machines“; the opening night will also be the scene of the lauch of an artist monograph ‘True‘, covering a history of Blanche’s practice as well as a number of essays about her work

21st November: 21st Anniversary Exhibition of The Gold & Silversmith Guild of Australia, at Goldsmith’s Gallery in San Remo (Gippsland region of Victoria) [link]; until 13th December

24th November: last day for ‘Pickled Ginger‘, exhibition of sushi-inspired jewellery, Mornington’s OakHill Gallery

exhibition media

27th November: last day for  ‘Scale Practice‘ Bridie Lumney and Meredith Turnbull, Craft Victoria [link]; “As practitioners of both installation art and jewellery Bridie Lunney and Meredith Turnbull explore the conceptual and material concerns continuous within their work regardless of scale

If you know of any other jewellery / object exhibitions over the remainder of the year, please let me know by comment or email …

I know there must be some more graduate exhibitions coming up soon … so I will need to get some listings soon!! The RMIT graduate calendar is here. Also check out the great calendar of other graduate shows here.


also plan ahead for this:

1st December: last day for application New Artist in Residence in Amsterdam: Studio Rian de Jong [link; thanks to Kevin Murray for the information]; “The Françoise van den Bosch Foundation challenges every jewellery artist to come up with a brilliant idea for a two month residency in May and June 2011 in Amsterdam. The studio is made available by jeweller Rian de Jong and her partner Herman Marres. The Françoise van den Bosch Foundation is responsible for the policy and the choice of the artist. The studio is situated in a new area in the centre of Amsterdam, near the harbour. City live, the proximity of the harbour and the IJ river, the presence of three outstanding galleries for contemporary jewellery, the famous Gerrit Rietveld Academy’s jewellery department and the professional network of the Françoise van den Bosch Foundation make Amsterdam an attractive place to be for a jeweller. This will be the start of a yearly artist in residency in Amsterdam, in May/June. Fill in the application form and mail to (before December 1st 2010):


… last calendar post: October 2010

RMIT Year 1, Semester 2, Jewellery #3

27 10 2010

First year, second semester, Jewellery, project #3: ‘Sounds like?’

The aim of the project was ‘to make a sound, relate to sound, relate to the ear‘. The technical exercises attached to the project were earring hooks and butterflies.

I started with the idea of synesthesia – where people experience a mixture of the senses, particularly colour associated with music. I had wanted to experiment with translating music into colour on paper and in metal/enamel … but I couldn’t connect with it, because I don’t experience it myself.

The next idea was the cochlear implant … perhaps seems random, but the ear link was a necessary part of the project. I found this cool image while I was researching…

originally from ... but no longer active webpage

I wanted to make a metal shell, in fine thin silver and then cut it in parts like the image … but the only way seemed possible at the time was to use chenier and to form it was just beyond me in first year.

As I was trying to nut out the mechanics of possible construction alternatives (during an art theory lecture … they were awful!), I was doodling the contours of a shell and it dawned on me that the drawing looked like a collection of discs … like the piece I eventually made below.

shell pin; original image by Mark Kral; not to be reproduced without permission

I was in love with enamelling at the time, so thought that was the best way to add colour.

Unfortunately the weight of the pin is such that it’s not feasible to wear horizontally, and is best on sturdy fabrics (like jackets) … but I like the shape of the sweep of the pin.

shell pin; original image by Mark Kral; not to be reproduced without permission

… last post in this series: RMIT Year 1, Semester 2, Jewellery #2

Foolish diamonds

25 10 2010

What on earth is happening lately! Three stories in the last week that all have employed diamonds in a fairly unimpressive fashion.

1. Diamonds on Barbie – sold at auction recently for US$302k, with proceeds to go to breast cancer research … so the cause is important and worthy, but diamonds on a barbie doll?

from Telegraph; photograph by Tim Stewart; click on image to go through to the original source

2. Diamond brassiere – Victoria Secret’s annual diamond fantasy bra, this year with a price tag of US$2m … who buys these things?!


3. Diamond teeth – oh seriously! I can’t even believe this is possibly true, probably isn’t; but some ‘rapper’ (yes, that’s a pseudo-musician of the modern age) has apparently replaced his bottom teeth because diamonds ‘were cooler‘ … oh dear


Otto Kunzli & Therese Hilbert ‘Leonids and Fumerols’ @ Gallery Funaki

22 10 2010

International contemporary jewellery heavyweights Otto Kunzli and Therese Hilbert come together in the latest exhibition at Gallery Funaki: ‘Leonids and Fumerols‘.

exhibition media (click on image for original source)

Exhibition media: ”

There you are. You stand upon the earth; formed of the same stuff, rooted to your source by the forces that wed your weight with its. Yet look up to the sky: there too, your matter is spangled and scattered. You are born of the air and of the earth and exist in one blithe, bright moment between the comets and the core.

And what propels you forward? What moves your hand and fires your brain? What impels you to create? Does it come from inside, having churned in the hot, dark depths and pushed its way up, out, cooling as it surfaces? Or does it come from outside, from the frigid, silent beyond, rushing and raining down on you in blazing streaks of fire?

You are hurtled onward at 367 miles per second and yet you stand still, on a thin, green crust, between a seething sea of magma and a circling storm of ice and rock.
Here you are.

Katie Scott
September 2010

Therese Hilbert, Brooch 2009/10, exhibition media; click on the image to go through to the original source

My first impression was the roundness of Therese’s work compared to the linearity of Otto’s pieces – the contrast wasn’t complete, in that a few of Otto’s pieces are in fact also round (‘Orbit‘) or round-ish (‘Hana-bi‘ rings, and ‘Apokalypse II (the last parade of the planets in front of the dying sun)‘), but it is fairly pronounced to my way of seeing.

I feel though that they both share a fastidious attention to detail and precision … while a few edges are not strictly controlled (again, such as ‘Apokalypse II…‘ and some of Therese’s obsidian pieces), many are.

I didn’t take any photographs of this exhibition … to be truthful I felt a little intimidated to ask! I know, I know, there’s a first time for everything! The Gallery Funaki website has many lovely images though – so do pop along there to see.

Otto Kunzli, Fukidashi; exhibition media, click on image to go through to the original source

Aside from some flashes of bright colour in Theresa’s work (citrus yellow and orange), as well as the gold and a shot of white / red in Otto’s pieces, the dominant colouring is black and grey. Therese has used lava and obsidian.

Some of the materials Otto used were new and interesting to me. First: binchotan, used in his ‘Hana-bi‘ ring collection, is a densely black special kind of charcoal produced in Japan at very intense high heat and it’s kind of like porcelain in that it would fracture if you dropped it. Second: gatan (I’m pretty sure that’s what it was called), a kind of jet, which is a fossilised wood.

Here I admit that I didn’t know what the two words of the exhibition title meant before starting to write this post … so after researching it’s certainly worth sharing.
The Leonids “are a prolific meteor shower associated with the comet Tempel-Tuttle. The Leonids get their name from the location of their radiant constellation Leo: the meteors appear to radiate from that point in the sky” [the next shower is expected on 10th – 21st November 2010].
And Fumeroles “may occur along tiny cracks or long fissures, in chaotic clusters or fields, and on the surfaces of lava flows and thick deposits of pyroclastic flows.

Without even looking at the titles of the works or knowing the materials, I would have associated the Leonids with Otto’s work, and the Fumeroles with Therese’s work; of course the titles and lava/obsidian/materials certainly confirm the grouping! And even though Katie’s exhibition media was beautiful reading before I knew what the words meant, it is even more beautiful after knowing a little more.

Leonids and Fumaroles‘ is at Gallery Funaki until 30th October 2010.

My work in ‘re:production’

20 10 2010

I have only just realised that I didn’t write about my participation in ‘re:production‘, a group exhibition at the Keeper Gallery at Gaffa earlier in the year (3 – 15th June 2010).

Zoe wrote to me while I was in Spain (ah, memories!) and I was really interested in the concept: “Adorning almost every surface of a room, re:production is an exhibition of roughly 500 images that document the practices of a diverse range of contemporary jewellery makers. By removing the ‘end product’ of a work and displaying only the documentation in the form of a series of images, the viewer is given a different perspective from which to understand further the workings of contemporary jewellery practice.

My four images are below:

image 1 for re:production; amended copyright notice: not to be reproduced without permission

image 2 for re:production; amended copyright notice: not to be reproduced without permission

image 3 for re:production; amended copyright notice: not to be reproduced without permission

image 4 for re:production; amended copyright notice: not to be reproduced without permission

Mari Funaki ‘Objects’ @ NGV

18 10 2010

With only a week left before it closes, I finally found the right time to visit the Mari Funaki Objects‘ exhibition at the Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia. The danger of long-running exhibitions is that I seem to always think there’s enough time to visit, and so it doesn’t become something urgent until I suddenly realise I’m quickly running out of time!


installation; photograph taken with gallery permission (without flash)


Exhibition media: “Mari Funaki (1950-2010) was well known as one of Australia’s leading contemporary jewellers and metal-smiths. Working predominantly with gold and blackened mild steel, she was highly regarded for her distinctive geometric jewellery forms and sculptural objects. This exhibition encompasses a range of works dating from the late 1990s to 2010 highlighting Funaki’s brilliant inventiveness with line, mass, volume and space across various sculptural forms and her remarkable consistency of vision throughout her artistic career. Featuring a dynamic installation of blackened mild steel objects and a number of recent large scale sculptures, Mari Funaki: Objects follows the artist’s gradual shift away from wearable or functional objects towards purely sculptural forms.

The exhibition design is sympathetic with the objects – a darkened room with the objects highlighted on large exhibition platforms. The most striking aspect for me were the scale of the larger objects – the reclining one must have been up to two metres long, and the standing objects probably up to my hips.


installation; photograph taken with gallery permission (without flash)


The smithing and metalworking skills it must have taken to make these very large objects is formidable and mind-boggling for me to consider.


installation; photograph taken with gallery permission (without flash)


The centre standing piece above is particularly attractive to me – it seems forlorn and thoughtful.

The smaller works on the central platform, of which there were twenty, reminded me more of insects or crustaceans … precariously balancing on spindly black legs, not interested in their neighbours but absorbed in their own thoughts, each about to gingerly creep across the white surface.


installation; photograph taken with gallery permission (without flash)


The insect-like nature was a little alienating to me actually … I don’t much like insects and such. I felt it wasn’t easy for me to connect to the pieces. Though the two little ones below were quite gorgeous – and of the few visitors into the room while I was there, were also the pieces that most gravitated towards.

It seems obvious to me now that these little pieces are most like the larger piece that I admired, more so than any other pieces … so there is something particularly attractive to me about the quietness of the more vertical pieces that seem to have their heads down in thought… perhaps they are less predatory than those with their limbs more akimbo, ready for movement…


installation; photograph taken with gallery permission (without flash)


I missed out on a ticket to see the talk by Otto Kunzli a few weeks ago, which I am sad about – for perhaps it would have helped to see these works through the eyes of someone who knew Mari and her own feelings about the collection. I did enjoy my visit, but felt I could only connect to a few pieces and was dearly hoping to connect a little more.

Other writings about their experience of the exhibition: Markus of Art Blart shares a lovely interpretation and more images (with people, so you can see the scale of the larger pieces), and a brief mention by Regina Middleton; actually I am surprised more haven’t written…

Mari Funaki ‘Objects‘ is at Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia from 6th August – 24th October 2010.

A few more photographs below:

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