‘Once More, with Love’ @ Northcity4

21 02 2013

Ooh, you must get along to ‘Once More, with Love‘ at Northcity4, it’s amazing and inspiring.

photograph taken with permission

photograph taken with permission

Media: “Once More, With Love’ is a not-for-profit travelling jewellery exhibition exploring concepts of sustainability, recycling and ethical production. The project involves over 30kg of unwanted jewellery items donated by the Australian public which have been reworked ‘with love’ by a diverse selection of twenty one contemporary jewellers. The works created for Once More, With Love propose a potential new life cycle for materials, while creating space for reflecting on their origins.

The Once More, With Love project was started in 2010 by Suse Scholem. Suse was inspired by the activities of the American group Ethical Metalsmiths, who have significantly increased ethical/sustainability awareness in the American jewellery industry.  Once More, With Love grew as the number of jewellers involved increased, and Simon Cottrell,  took on the role of co-curator.

Make sure you read the website for much more information and back story; and images of the work and the process to make them (fabulous!).

I visited the exhibition with a dear friend [see her post] who had donated some of the jewellery in the mystery bags – it was such a delight for her to see some of her unwanted pieces being used in new interpretations.

photograph taken with permission

photograph taken with permission

Each jeweller was given a bag of no-longer-wanted jewellery to remake into new jewels. A photograph of the ‘bag of goodies’ is displayed alongside the new pieces – a brilliant idea, as part of the fun for me was looking for the origin of each component.

I found it so interesting that I was able to identify many of the jewellers’ works without seeing their name (on the fabulously recycled displays) – I’m sure that’s to do with my increased knowledge of jewellers’ oeuvre.

There were many examples of direct use of the materials in the goodie-bags. Other more intriguing uses of the original objects includes melting of plastic components, grinding of semi-precious stones into powder to use as dye, and most exceptionally melting of metal into new shapes.

If you haven’t had a look at Ethical Metalsmiths, do take some time. I remember seeing two of the founders at a conference, and distinctly remember the advice of making jewellery in such a way that it would be easier to deconstruct and reuse in the future. With this in mind, especially at this exhibition, I noticed some of the reinterpreted pieces were made in such a way that they were no longer able to be reused themselves in the future – an interesting juxtaposition for me. It didn’t stop me from enjoying the work, but it was quite a debate in my mind.


photograph taken with permission

Participating artists (in alphabetical order):

Quite a lot has been written about this exhibition, as it has already been shown in Sydney at Studio 20/17 and in Canberra at Bilk. There’s a great press page on the OMWL website; also HandMadeLife, WearableArtBlog and Joyaviva.

As the exhibition is traveling, note that some pieces have already been sold and may not make it to the next destination (though some collectors are permitting the pieces to travel).

Once More, with Love‘ is at Northcity4 until 2nd March 2013.

Update (21st February): there is a related workshop this weekend at Northcity4 … maybe you’d like to join in? Suse will be joined by Emma Grace (of Treasury workshop fame) to host a workshop where “participants will have the opportunity to deconstruct recycled jewellery and under the guidance of Emma and Suse, create a completely new piece of jewellery to take home. Materials and tools will be provided.” It’s so great to see these two powerhouses of sustainable practice collaborating!



One response

22 02 2013
once more with love : northcity4 | Vetti: Live in Northcote

[…] for curating such a magnificent project. Why did they do this? Read the interview at Northcity4 , Melbourne Jeweller’s review, and Joyaviva’s post about the real cost of […]

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