‘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

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Blog roundup

6 11 2015

Its been many moons since my last blog roundup post …

Going through my Links page, I’ve found the following to move from ‘current’ to ‘hibernating’; listed here for posterity:

Moving these from ‘hibernating’ back to ‘current’ … it’s unusual!

And the following have been removed, as they’ve not been updated in a year or more:

I’ve also gone through all website links and removed those that no longer work.
And changed NMIT to Melbourne Polytechnic (bit late!).

Happy reading.

Laura Potter ‘Craft Samples’ @ Personal Space Project

21 04 2015

Once again I’m totally enamored with an exhibition in Zoe Brand’s ‘Personal Space Project’ : Laura Potter‘s ‘Craft Samples‘.

This collection is titled ‘Redacted Brooches‘.

exhibition media; image used with explicit permission

exhibition media; image used with explicit permission

Without being able to see these in person, I can only get a feel for them via Zoe’s images. But what’s not to love about this group I ask you? The muted colours of the denuded transfer-printed fabric, the little ephemeral wisps of brightly-coloured embroidery thread saved into little plastic bags … like the outcome from an archeological dig or scientific investigation.

Exhibition media: “I had no idea so much of the handicraft I saw as a child came in kit-form, allowing impressive household items to be fashioned by women who had very little skill or feel for materials. My mother subscribed to a monthly magazine full of projects to sew, weave, cast and carve. It was like a craft recipe book with a list of materials and tools, step-by-step instructions, tutorial images and patterns to cut out and use. It was craft-by-numbers. I thought what my [relatives were] doing was accomplished and difficult. I am now not so sure that it was.

exhibition media; used with explicit permission

exhibition media; used with explicit permission

I admit to getting a bit lost in revery about this collection.

I wondered if Laura’s quasi-destruction of these pieces is an expression of her disappointment that these aren’t the unique and special objects she was led to believe. She is excavating the evidence that they’re not personally designed nor very special at all.

Perhaps she wants revenge for being tricked by exposing them for what they are? Though I dare say that if there was genuine anger then these handcrafted brooches (in their original frames) wouldn’t be so carefully disassembled for us to see their components.

At times I can see a kind of sadness here too … a quiet sorrow for things not being as once thought.

This is a such a brilliant meditation on the subject…

exhibition media

exhibition media; used with explicit permission

I completely love the display – the large group makes the investigation seem compulsive and perhaps even unfinished, both sentiments I can relate to.

As a child I did a lot of similar ’embroider by numbers’ – textile kits, with pre-printed and cut and finished fabric, and all the thread you need. I have a soft nostalgia for these objects, maybe a kinder recollection. Interestingly, I don’t ever remember seeing embroidered brooches like these, and perhaps that’s explained by Laura being a UK native – maybe these just weren’t done in Australia, but more a British object.

Be sure to read Zoe’s text about the work for her perspective too – I like reading how others’ see things; and also for more images.

Laura Potter ‘Craft Samples‘ is online at Personal Space Project (personal visits by appointment) until 30th April 2015.