Calendar: December 2011

30 11 2011

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NMIT graduates ‘Auteur’ @ Northcote Town Hall

29 11 2011

It’s that time of year – many graduate exhibitions to visit.

The NMIT graduate (Advanced Diploma of Engineering Technology (Jewellery), 2yrs) exhibition is ‘Auteur‘ at the Northcote Town Hall.

image taken with permission

Participating artists are: Emilia Athanasiadis, Katia Di Crescenzo, Emily Jane Edwards, Maximillian Egan, Tatiana Torres Garcia, Carla Garro [site], Maha Ghobrial [site; particularly liked the enamelled neckpiece], Rayin Haining, Jayde Hollingworth, Kate Jungwirth [site; her pieces were quiet and beautifully made], Carole Kernohan, Jenny Maynard, Rikki Moore, Rebecca Munn, Asha Nicholas, Larah Nott, Stephanie Putker, Chanittha (Gibby) Satitphat, Penny Scallan, Siobhan Elise Schembri, Paula Slutskin, Chloe Smith [blog], Rhiannon Smith, Michelle Stewart [site], Khanittha (Karen) Suwitthayaporn, Ilze Svarcs [site], Jessica Helen Travassoros [site], Chi Trung Trinh, Henrietta Walker, Joel Walton [I really liked his ‘Orbit’ piece, and think it’d look great as an object], Robert Withall.

image taken with permission

I wrote in my review post on the last NMIT exhibition of the different focuses of NMIT and RMIT. I don’t want to repeat myself, but it’s hard not to notice – especially when I visit the exhibitions on the same day. The most obvious observation is that the NMIT exhibition has so much more highly polished metal (not a finish I like unfortunately).

image taken with gallery permission

If you’re interested, check out my post on last year’s exhibition ‘Forge‘.

I’ve seen so much art today, I have art fatigue!!

Auteur‘ is at Northcote Town Hall until 27th November 2011.

Melbourne jewellery galleries and artists: part 4

27 11 2011

Just a quick update to my little series of posts on the topic of the relationship of jewellers to galleries in Melbourne …

Anna Davern kindly (bravely) wrote a comment on the most recent post, and has just today published a post with musing of her own on the topic …

It has given me some insight to the individual artist’s struggle with such matters … it can’t be easy.

Thank you Anna.

I’d love to know about others’ thoughts too.

Update (28th November)

Thanks also to Katherine Bowman for sharing her thoughts on her post yesterday too.

The expectation of discounts is a prickly one – I think a customer has no inherent right to expect such a thing (though they may hope), and if that is their sole motivation for contacting the artist directly then I would question their genuine understanding and valuing of the handmade.

When I commission work from artists privately, I have asked them if they would make me something and I ask them what they will charge me for it. Simple.

If an artist chooses to offer me a discount, of course I would not decline. However far be it from me to expect or ask for one – heavens!! Often I will already have a feel for what I may expect to pay before asking (I don’t want to be embarrassed, or waste their time). And in the rare case that I’m not in a position to pay a price for the time being, I postpone the purchase until I can.

The way I see it – I think it’s more than fair for an artist to ask for retail price when they have received a private commission. To my way of thinking, while the artist may not have all the setup fees and commissions etc. that a retail space may, I feel like the ‘extra’ an artist may receive by selling a piece privately versus through a gallery is a kind of bonus for them. That’s not quite the right word … hopefully you see what I mean.

And I absolutely feel for Anna when she writes how she relies totally on the honesty of the approaching customer to understand if there is a particular gallery that has fostered the interest in her work. On top of that, I begin to feel uncomfortable about how difficult it could become to manage when your work is in a few galleries as well as online, any of which could have influenced the potential purchaser.

What has also come home through thinking about this is the sincere mutual respect between galleries and artists – each wanting to do the best for the other. There is no suggestion that all artists can go ‘renegade’ and depart from the gallery system … and I wouldn’t think many would want to anyway, for galleries in Melbourne offer so more to an artist than just a shelf to sell work on (critique, support, encouragement, expertise in selling, managing enquiries, new opportunities, audiences and more … the list is pretty long).

I perceive an awkward conflict though between this and in the need for an artist to make a living; an artist would usually receive more money ‘in the hand’ through charging full retail price on a private commission than they would if the same piece is sold through a gallery.

Though it sometimes feels a bit wrong to sully the beauty of making with the reality of money…

[Just to be clear: I don’t sell through a gallery or private commissions … as I’ve recently written, I hardly make any more! So the above is just my sense of the issue.]

Update (28th November): Lucy has added a great comment too – thank you! I particularly love her comment that she’d rather spend time making than selling … beautifully said.

RMIT students ‘Work Hardened’ @ Spill Art Space

26 11 2011

It’s pretty strange sometimes how fast time goes – I’ve not been well and have been missing exhibitions all over the place.

Though I did finally make it to the RMIT 1st and 2nd Year Gold & Silversmithing (Bachelor of Fine Arts) student exhibition ‘Work Hardened‘ at Spill Art Space at Boscia Galleries, unfortunately it was on the last day (good for me, not so good for readers).

installation; image taken with gallery permission

There’s a lot to look at – there are 130 pieces of jewellery and smithing here.

And I very much liked the gallery space – light-filled and not as empty as some spaces can feel. I’ll keep this in mind for any of my future exhibition ambitions.

installation; image taken with gallery permission

!st year students: Meg Ayton, Chloe Biddiscombe, Sue Buchanan, Pamela Chan, Katie Collins, Eli Giannini, Cecielia Gregory, Ada Hodgson, Sarah Jones, Kim Jonsson, Jasmina Krupic, Patrick Mays, Roslyn Peric, Jana Roman, Kate Wischusen, Michael Wong, Xuelin Wong

installation; image taken with gallery permission

2nd year students: Bridget Barnes, Isobel Fish, Annie Gobel, Eva Gaitatzis, Anna Gibbs, Annie Gobel, Lucinda Knight, Chris Massey, Ally McNaughton, Lindy McSwan, Danica Moorcoft, Thomas O’Hara, Stephen Robb, Elise Sheehan, Lena Danli Sun, Romy Sweetnam, Breanna Timmins, Natt Underwood, Esther Weinberg, San Young Kim

installation; image taken with gallery permission

The smithing pieces were most impressive to me. I do love raising … ah, the memories. I was wondering who was the smithing teacher this year, as the pieces were all pretty great and a number particularly adventurous and took a great deal of skill.

Standout pieces for me were:

  • Annie Gobel, ‘Elevated from the Ground‘, vessels and tray; beautiful colourful enamelled pieces; it seemed to me that there was a sureness and maturity in this piece, so that I wondered if the artist had previous experience before this degree; see the far left in the third image above
  • Danica Moorcoft, ‘Fritzel, Baby Bowl‘, vessel; this is included in the stand-out list mainly because it totally freaked me out! it’s interesting and I like some personality (though it made me really very uncomfortable); see top left in the second image above
  • Lindy McSwan, ‘Four Score Years and One’, vessels; actually, this was my favourite of the show, truly gorgeous vessels

    Lindy McSwan 'Four Score Years and One'

  • Eva Gaitatzis, ‘The History of Everything‘, tray and related objects; a lyrical arrangement I really liked (second favourite, if I may)

    Eva Gaitatizis 'The History of Everything'

  • Ally McNaughton, ‘ExtraTEArrestrials‘, teapots; absolutely loved the deconstructed teapots, stunningly made; left and bottom in the image below
  • Sue Buchanan, ‘Hold‘, container; folded black gorgeousness (no image here unfortunately)
  • … there were many many wonderful pieces, though I cannot write about them all (it was a struggle to limit myself to six, even when I promised myself I’d only choose five!)

Ally McNaughton, Elise Sheehan, Stephen Robb

I look forward to seeing some of the works these students make when they’re given free rein in third year… I was thinking how I liked first and second year work, for you can see the spark of ‘what they want to do’ starting to shine through ‘what they need to do’ for the degree … if that makes sense.

For a little bit of fun, check out my 1st and 2nd year exhibition review from last year:
Got a Nice Ring to it‘.

Work Hardened‘ was at Spill Art Space at Boscia Galleries from 16th to 26th November 2011.