‘Rock Solid’ @ Pieces of Eight

2 05 2011

I recently visited Pieces of Eight to see the ‘Rock Solid‘ exhibition – curated by Meredith Turnbull, with participant visual artists for whom this was their first attempt at broadening their practice to jewellery-making.
(4th May): I have to correct myself: for some this exhibition is their first exploration of jewellery-making, for others it already forms part of their broader art practice.

image courtesy and with permission of gallery

Exhibition media: “Rock Solid brings together a diverse group of 11 established visual artists. While the relationship of sculpture and installation to the body is often experienced as tacitly submerged or surrounded, this project asks the artists to make works that are at a scale that can be worn on the body. In their broader practices each artist displays an inherent sensitivity towards materials and a conceptual engagement with the art-making process. They investigate interests and ideas as far ranging as the exploration of the history of sites and objects; rare and endangered species and musique concrete, geometry, and spatialised sonics. Rock Solid is a multifarious and playful exploration of material fictions and imagined truths in the relationships between objects, sculpture and the body.

Participating artists are (alphabetically):

  • Dan Bell [Pieces of Eight blog post] – small-scale neckpieces with found components, and unusual and various materials
  • James Deutsher [Pieces of Eight blog post] – sterling silver hair pins, with the rounded ends so faithfully recreated!
  • Anna Ephraim [Pieces of Eight blog post] – porcelain budgies; beautifully crafted; I liked them but at the same time I was a little uncomfortable with the thread through their necks (I had a pet blue and white budgie as a child… perhaps that explains it a little?)
  • Bianca Hester [Pieces of Eight blog post; post2] – neckpieces made with a combination of materials, all put together with considered attention to their sympathy with each other
  • Christopher L G Hill [Pieces of Eight blog post; post2] – recycling colourful plastic bags
  • Leah Jackson [Pieces of Eight blog post] – black and gold ceramic pieces; some of her neckpieces referred to the eighties a little I thought!
  • Susan Jacobs [Pieces of Eight blog post] – quite lovely coloured blobs entangled in chain, I liked these a lot
  • Madeline Kidd [Pieces of Eight blog post; post2] – her colourful wooden pieces are in the right window
  • Dylan Martorell [Pieces of Eight blog post] – pieces using interesting materials such as electronics and coriander seeds
  • Rob McHaffie [Pieces of Eight blog post; post2] – porcelain face and tribal-inspired mask pendants, set near large head sculptures
  • Masato Takasaka [Pieces of Eight blog post] – the flourescent-transparent folded brooches were amazing, especially the way the creases were delineated by the material

image courtesy and with permission of gallery

There was a lot of colour and informality in the pieces in the exhibition. I also noticed that the pricing of the pieces is more reasonable than regular jewellery-exhibition-visitors may expect. Perhaps that’s a little to do with the materials – ceramics were popular, and I didn’t see any gold or gems?

I liked the exhibition media a lot; and found that they were made from ceramic, while I thought they reminded me of marbelled plasticine! I actually ended up commissioning a little piece from Leah Jackson – just like the little fellow on the middle plinth above, matt black on the outside and gloss black on the inside. I think it’s just sweet, but bold and also quite masculine.

image courtesy and with permission of gallery

There is a lot of information and beautiful images on the Pieces of Eight blog, including: an interview with Meredith, her floor talk and a review of the opening night. The exhibition has been reviewed by Dead Hare. I recall someone saying that they were confused by the pieces in this exhibition being mixed in amongst the regular jeweller cabinets (though I have no idea who told me this or whose the opinion was) – but I didn’t find this at all the case.

Rock Solid‘ is at Pieces of Eight until 7th May 2011.



2 responses

2 05 2011

I heard a review of Rock Solid (on 3RRR?) where the “confused” comment was made – I thought it unlikely to occur @ POE. Perhaps the reviewer was expecting more interpretative signage about RS and it’s significance or a higher degree of physical separation between the exhibition area and the rest of the space?

9 05 2011
ace wagstaff

Thanks for the link Melbourne Jeweller!

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