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.


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