‘Lace in Fashion’ @ NGV International

12 01 2011

It seems I have something of a love-hate relationship with lace. Sometimes it feels far too fussy; and other times (more likely) I love the labour involved and the delicacy of the handmade lace.

NGV International has an exhibition Lace in Fashion that’s worth a visit if you’re interested in the craft.

photograph taken without flash, under gallery conditions

The most interesting part I read was a particular kind of lace was so labour intensive to hand-make (in about 17th or 18th century) that a pair of sleeve ruffles would take a worker 10 months of 15 hour work days to create. No wonder it was the preserve of the immensely wealthy, and that it was such a feature in portraits of the era.

photograph taken without flash, under gallery conditions

Lace in Fashion‘ is at the NGV International until 23rd January.

Exhibitions that were: 2010

10 01 2011

Just like I did last year, I thought I’d have a look back over the year that has passed and consider which were my favourite exhibitions.

It has to be said though that 2009 was a huge year for jewellery and other exhibitions that I enjoyed … this year seems to me, on initial reflection, as being someone quieter. That said though, a few memorable ones were (in chronological order):

There were many others that were wonderful; also, there were many outstanding individual works within groups exhibitions too…

I’d love to hear from readers and regular exhibition visitors – what was your favourite exhibition in 2010?

NGV Jewellery collection

7 01 2011

New Years Day – a visit to the NGV International was in order, as I haven’t been for some time.

Can I tell you how disappointed I was to see that the jewellery cabinet still has the same group of works that was there in April 2009 (more images in this post). That’s almost 20 months without evolution or change to the display. How sad for a city that has such a strong jewellery community.

When I visited the store-room in the NGV International with Amanda Dunmore in March 2010, I recall her mentioning that the huge hail storm that occurred that month would more than likely affect the rotation of future display schedule, as staff were needed to assist with conservation and helping with the impacts of the damage caused by the storm (but almost a year later now, I cannot remember the exact details of how much damage the water had made).

I hope the display is updated soon!

The only good point I took out of the visit is the colourful and joyful ring by Karl Fritsch – seeing it after visiting his exhibition (with Robert Baines and Gerd Rothmann) at Tarrawarra recently, put it in more context. However, the low lighting, and not being able to take photographs with flash (and yes, also given I haven’t yet worked out the best way to take such images with my little camera), means I have a more ‘artsy’ shot than intended!

photograph taken without flash, under gallery conditions


‘Siemens-RMIT Fine Art Awards’ @ RMIT Gallery

5 01 2011

I’m not quite sure how it happened, but it seems this year’s ‘Siemens – RMIT Fine Art Award‘ exhibition completely slipped through my cunning net until just a few days before it closes. Strange, especially considering I enjoyed last year’s exhibition so much.

My favourite of the exhibition is the winner, a painting by Xiao Yu Bia, below:

installation shot of Xiao Yu Bai's painting; photograph taken with gallery permission

Exhibition media: “Now in its 10th year, the 2010 Siemens-RMIT Fine Art Scholarship Awards, one of the most exciting business-arts initiatives in Australia, will be announced at RMIT Gallery on Thursday 25 November. This year 46 students from RMIT School of Art will be in the running for $32,000 in prize money. Students from Melbourne and regional Victoria as well as WA and Hong Kong have entered a diverse range of work including ceramics, drawing, fine art, photography, gold and silver smithing, media arts, painting, printmaking and sculpture.

image courtesy of RMIT gallery; Claire McArdle, Wind-Wheel Ring

The RMIT Gold and Silversmithing department is again represented by three artists:

image courtesy of gallery; Timothy Smullen, Brooch No. 1

Another piece I very much liked was a large lithograph by Susanna Castleden, right in the image below:

image courtesy of gallery; Susanna Castleden, Perpetual Line Cruise

A special note on photography within the RMIT Gallery – there are signs that photography is not permitted; however if you ask the gallery staff, you are able to fill out a permission request to take images, with conditions on their use. Those images I have taken above, were taken under the gallery permission guidelines, without flash.

Other images above were generously provided by RMIT Gallery, with sincere thanks to Evelyn Tsitas.

Siemans – RMIT Fine Art Awards‘ is at RMIT Gallery until 8th January.