‘5×7: early career Australian makers’ @ Gallery Funaki

14 05 2016

Oh dear readers, it has been a marvellously convoluted life that I’ve been living over the last month or more … so much so that it was only possible to visit ‘5×7: early career Australian makers‘ at Gallery Funaki on its last day.

For that I most sincerely beg forgiveness … though I anticipate that many of you have visited yourself, and if not I hope you’ve been watching the online pictures.

photograph taken with explicit gallery permission

photograph taken with explicit gallery permission ; Lindy

Makers invited to exhibit are:

photograph taken with explicit gallery permission

photograph taken with explicit gallery permission ; Marcos (left) and Zoe (right)

I’ve been a long-time sincere admirer of Inari’s work – you may never, or perhaps only rarely, see work with such genuine spirit; or an artist with such a bright internal fire and need to create. The earrings and brooch in this collection were standouts for me; their darkness and surface finish is incredibly ethereal, though somehow broodingly standoffish at the same time. The little aluminium pin was a delight too. And while I admit to being troubled by not being able to hear what the larger scale sculptures were saying, I cannot help but be impressed by their scale and confidence.

I’ve also been a long-time supporter of, and interlocutor with, Zoe – her work is full of words and I freakin’ love words. I’m brutally self-critical and open about my struggle with humour and irreverence in jewellery, as I am far too much of a rigid traditionalist regarding the preciousness of adornment … though I like to think that I’m lightening up a little through exposure to work like Zoe’s (the earrings she’s making for the current Bilk exhibition are fantastic fun – see!). I have such respect for her work, her ethic, her enthusiasm in encouraging other makers, and truly wish I had her approach to making. I actually had a bit of a senior moment, when I initially misread the ‘GO ON’ pendant as ‘GOON’ … ah, showing my Queensland university days there.

photograph taken with explicit gallery permission

photograph taken with explicit gallery permission ; Inari (left) and Annie (right)

In all her previous graduate exhibitions (that I’ve been able to visit) I’ve called out Lindy’s work as exceptional – I do really respond to her vessels’ shapes, and the black is the blackest black I’ve seen in a very long time (it must take her so much preparation and intense care to create). If I hadn’t blown my budget on my recent Norwegian adventures, I may have brought one home with me – though the ones I responded to most had already been bought (which is so super for them and Lindy, not so much for me).

Annie’s work felt a little different to the other makers, though I couldn’t quite put my finger on why … perhaps it was due to the colours, with these pieces being pale blue and pinks, and the other work in the show being quite monochromatic and/or low/subdued colouring. Sadly I have quite an aversion to pastels – completely not the fault of the maker of course, all my own fault!

The collection of pendants by Marcos was a revelation. It shouldn’t have been of course, as I’ve seen his work in many graduate and other shows … but it seems this particular group really called out to my attentions. I was speaking with another maker recently, and they made a great observation that I agree with (but cannot claim as my own) : he makes perspex look like it’s not perspex. It can really be a tricky material, though in his hands it’s transformed and given a delicious matt finish. How he put the colours into the holes in the material is beyond me! I spent ages, along with today’s most excellent gallery attendant, trying to figure how how he did it … part of me really really seriously wants to know, but I rather enjoy the mystery of not knowing too.

Warmest congratulations to the makers for being invited … by the best contemporary jewellery gallery in the universe no less(!) … to exhibit in this group show. I look forward to seeing how their work develops over the coming years.

5×7: early career Australian makers‘ was at Gallery Funaki until 14th May 2016.

ps. a note on photography: there was a sign asking for no photographs; this is the first time I’ve seen this at Funaki though it is of course understandable; the above photographs were taken with explicit gallery permission

Calendar: April 2016

31 03 2016

post last updated: 15th April

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‘Wondernamel 2015’ @ First Site Gallery

4 09 2015

I do love visiting the annual ‘Wondernamel‘ exhibition at RMIT First Site Gallery… RMIT students show their amazing pieces that include enamel.

In fact, I would go so far as to say that a characteristic of this show is the more experimental use of enamels compared to my time (ten years ago, ahem) and particularly its application to three-dimensional smithing pieces. I’d also venture to say there are fewer ‘traditional’ items, I don’t recall seeing cloisonné or champleve?


photograph with permission

My favourites include:

  • Katie Collins’s ‘And there it was, under the dust’ neckpiece is extraordinary (foreground in first image above)
  • the assured use of enamel on Sue Buchanan’s ‘Flower‘ pieces (second image below)
  • Naoko Inuzuka’s ‘Element‘ pieces
  • Katherine Hubble ‘Lillian‘ and ‘Ida‘ pieces (second from the foreground in the third image)
Sue Buchanan, Flower, black #6, #7

Sue Buchanan, Flower, black #6, #7

Participating artists:

  • Natasha Avila [website] , Sue Buchanan , Rossi Childs [website]
  • Katie Collins [website] ,  Annie Gobel [website] , Katherine Hubble [blog]
  • Naoko Inuzuka [website] , Cara Johnson , Wendy Korol
  • Lindy McSwan [website] , Elizabeth Rich , Michaela Pegum
  • Kate Wischusen [website] , Aurelia Yeomans [FBpage]
photograph with permission

photograph with permission

Check out the First Site facebook page for more photographs.

Sorry, I was only able to visit this on its last day … ‘Wondernamel‘ was part of Radiant Pavilion and was at The First Site Gallery until 4th September 2015 (today).

Other posts:

Calendar: January 2015

31 12 2014

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