Upcoming: ‘Unclasped’ @ Hellenic Museum

23 01 2016

It’s not usual for me to write a special post to talk about an upcoming exhibition … but I like to do this for friends from my RMIT days.

Dr Nicole Polentas … yes, she’s a Doctor now! … is curating an exhibition that will shortly open at Hellenic Museum in Melbourne.

Unclasped: Discovering Contemporary Greek Jewellery‘ is “an exhibition of contemporary jewellery objects, bringing together and examining the practices of twenty-two artists of Greek descent currently working in Greece, Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Cyprus and Australia.

The exhibition aims to provide a platform for contemporary thought in order to highlight the work of both established and emerging international Greek artists.

Exploring the connections between the manufacture and the act of wearing jewellery, the works encompass a wide variety of contemporary jewellery making techniques and mediums; expressing the diverse nature of modern jewellery practice within the Hellenic diaspora.

Exhibiting Jewellers: Aggelika Diplari, Akis Goumas, Anastasia Kandaraki, Artemis Valsamaki, Christina Karakalpaki, Constantinos Kyriacou, Danae Natsis, Demitra Thomloudis, Dimitris Nikolaidis, Efharis Alepedis, Erato Kouloubi, George Giannoutsos, Ismini Pachi, Liana Pattihis, Mala Siamptani, Maria Tsimpiskaki, Nicole Polentas, Niki Stylianou, Poly Nikolopoulou, Vicky Kanellopoulos, Vivi Touloumidi and Zeta Tsermou

[text from Hellenic Museum site]

The exhibition will run from 6th February to 3rd April 2016, and there are many associated events such as artist floor talks.

Check out Nicole’s facebook page for progress shots of the amazing exhibition space (designed by Christopher Earl Milbourne) and events.

exhibition media

exhibition media

exhibition media

exhibition media

Get along … I expect to see you there!

Please also see:





Nicole Polentas ‘Collective Conundrum’ @ Chili Art Gallery (Athens)

18 07 2013

I am so excited for Nicole – she has a solo exhibition in Athens opening this week, curated by Christopher Earl Milbourne.

Collective Conundrum‘ is at Chili Art Gallery from 19th to 27th July 2013.

Press release:
The Collective Conundrum is an exhibition of jewellery objects examining meta-narratives of place and identity. Each object presents itself as an amalgam of analogous perspectives, posing in an amalgamation of convoluted realities.
The foundation of the objects are built upon the re-contextualisation of traditional folklore and popular music throughout Greek history. This becomes a transformation into material form, mediating a transmission of conventions. The script is systematically structured with cultural and historical representation, which in turn presents itself as a visual puzzle.
The Collective Conundrum investigates and re-defines notions of identity and cultural authenticity, through an array of subjective signifiers. It examines the ways in which we think about cultural images, by portraying them in a new way. Through a coalescing of media, mimicry, satire and image saturation, the objects evaluate and reconfigure stereotypes, dispensing a matrix of alternate perspectives. The Greek character, the archetype, the hero are studied and manipulated, presenting a conundrum of contrasts.
The jewellery becomes the mediator and interface between what is real and what is myth.
The objects form a collective, consisting of metaphors and illusory contradictions.
Within the layers of complexity a sublime harmony is revealed!

Exhibition media

Exhibition media

Nicole_Invitation pdf-1_2

Exhibition media

For more on Nicole’s work: see my artist profile, all my stories about her, and her ‘Pschomanteum‘ exhibition at Gallery Loupe.

Also see Chili’s facebook page for more images of Nicole’s work in this exhibition.

Wish I was in Athens!





Nicole Polentas & Christopher Earl Milbourne ‘Psychomanteum’ @ Counihan Gallery

14 10 2011

Tonight (which is now last night by the time you’re reading this) was the opening of Nicole Polentas [artist profile] and Christopher Earl Milbourne ‘Psychomanteum‘ [link] at Counihan Gallery (Brunswick Town Hall).

What a wonderful event! Such a great show of support for these two artists. And an incredible body of work, displayed most especially sympathetically.

installation; photograph taken with artists permission

Exhibition media: “Christopher Earl Milbourne and Nicole Polentas explore the intersections between history and cultural memory. Symbolic evocations of place are manifest in jewellery, small-scale sculpture and song.

Two artists explore the qualities of materiality through sculpture and jewellery to provide a shared contemplation on the past, present and future.

Nicole Polentas and Christopher Earl Milbourne have designed their shared exhibition space to resemble the psychomanteum; the naturally occurring rockpools where people would go to consult the Oracles in Ancient Greece. Using cellular clusters of concrete, water and light to invert external space, the ambient and immersive gallery environment enables a consideration of the linkages between place and memory that each artist explores in their own practice.

installation (works of Nicole); photograph taken with artists permission

The opening speech from Associate Professor Robert Baines (who was head of our department when Nicole and I were studying our undergraduate degree) was pretty fabulous actually. He described the sense of giving a material form to the evoked image … I felt it really did pay due respect to the artists.

The plinths were made by the artists – so exacting and definite is the story of their work. It’s something special that they want to go to such lengths to show their work in the ‘right’ way. The tops of the plinths are concrete and many (I think most) filled with water to create the looking-pool. I also understand their hexagonal shape references the beehive, though I was so excited by the work and seeing my friends that I’ve now forgotten how this connected in (it was important, so will find out!). The exhibition design is seriously fantastic and looks great in the space.

installation (Chris's work); photograph taken with artists permission (sorry it's a bit fuzzy, the lighting was very low in this room - quite wonderful for experiencing the work though)

I am already a big fan of these two artists – they are friends of mine, and I love that I can say I’ve seen their work develop over the last six to seven years or so since we met. There is an amazing amount of work here – and their work has an exceptional two-way dialogue that really works.

Lastly, huge thanks to Nicole and her family for the wonderful Greek food spread – now THAT’s how to do an opening!!

Psychomanteum‘ is at Counihan Gallery until 6th November; there will be an artist talk this Saturday 15th October 2011.

Please click below to read more of the media release:

Read the rest of this entry »