NGV acquires David Neale brooch

30 10 2013

Spotted on David Neale‘s blog, TheGoldenSmith: this amazing piece ‘Colour Fold‘ has been acquired by the National Gallery of Victoria.


image reproduced here with artist explicit permission; not to be reproduced from this post without permission

image reproduced here with artist explicit permission; not to be reproduced from this post; copyright belongs to the artist

Seriously great to see local contemporary makers being recognised by this institution.

Equally fabulous to see the NGV actively collecting jewellery – have any other jewellers had pieces acquired recently??

p.s. I thought that perhaps this was from his exhibition at Gallery Funaki (my review post here); it certainly looks to be one of the pieces in the preceding exhibition at Jam Factory (see David’s post here), but I’m not sure if it also made it to Funaki …

Why so sad?

1 09 2012

Today is the last day for David Neale’s Love Letters‘ at Pieces of Eight … and I’m not going to make it. That’s why I’m sad. Very sad. Seriously.

I greatly admire David’s work – his approach, his humour, his interest in traditional making, how restrictions have inspired him to create adaptations, and his writings.

So I’m incredibly sad I cannot get along to see his ‘Love Letters‘ exhibition in its collected glory. His writing about the exhibition (below) is touching and I completely understand it… and I want to go (*stamping feet*).

Thankfully David has been generously sharing images and posts about his work on his blog – how ridiculously adorable is the pea-pod pendant?! I hope he shares more of the pieces in the exhibition, so I can vicariously pretend I actually saw it in person… pretty please David…

exhibition media; click on image for original source


Exhibition media: “David Neale explores the idea of jewellery as a conveyor of love. With love being so lofty, and jewellery being so material, Neale tries to navigate pitfalls common jewellery such as superficiality, bombast, vanity, and the design challenge that jewellery needs to be partly “empty” to allow givers and wearers to bestow their own meaning to it.

A good question for the goldsmith is:

What does jewellery do?

It is very often sent as gift to say “I love you”- like a three-dimensional love letter.
So the next question for the goldsmith is one of design;

How can I make jewellery that is ready for this mission?

True, this will come down to typical decisions about materials and shapes and ergonomics, but in this quest the goldsmith must seek, above all, to imbue the attributes of generosity and dignity, eloquence and concision- and perhaps most elusively; some sort of draught; a capacity to carry love’s message, without forgetting it, without talking over the top of it, not crushing it- but holding and delivering it at the same time- for as long as possible.

David Neale 2012


My jewellery collection #24

19 10 2011

It’s no secret I have a jewellery-crush on David Neale‘s work … I’ve been unashamed and rather brazen about it.

I’ve been skirting around it for a while now, and following his recent ‘close’ post I finally succumbed to the inevitable – I now own a beautiful piece of David Neale Aster jewellery.

the package

Oh be still my beating heart!!

with flash ... so delicious!

without flash, at night, in my house ... weird ambient colour?

I may have squealed and danced about the house a bit when I opened my parcel …. maybe …

It’s a most magnificent 40mm sterling silver Aster pendent.

Now my task is to find a suitable and worthy chain. In the meantime though, with apologies to David(!), I really really want to wear it so it may actually be first seen on a not-so-ideal chain I already own.

So excited!

… previous post on my jewellery collection #23

David Neale and Emma Price @ Gallery Funaki

30 08 2010

I have had a crush on David Neale‘s pieces for some time now, so I was excited about seeing his work at Gallery Funaki. He is paired with Emma Price, whose exhibition at RMIT First Site in 2005 was the topic of my very first critical writing assignment. So my expectations were high, and happily this show was certainly a pleasure to visit.

exhibition media; click on image to go through to the original source (Gallery Funaki site)

Exhibition text states about David’ work:
There is a bold sense of the painterly in these works, as Neale’s powdery, textured colours become a dominant focus“;
and about Emma’s:
Her finely balanced structures are constructed from painstakingly drawn down tubing in gold, brass, silver and copper. The shifting, architectonic forms of her neckpieces seem to dance against the body.

photograph courtesy of Katie at Gallery Funaki

I am particularly attracted to the colouring in David’s collection – the powdery finish evokes a sense of nostalgia in my mind; some of the pastel colours remind me of my childhood (strangely, of my nana’s and grandma’s kitchen things) and even of school uniforms (the blues against greys, like in the one below).

Because the softer colours are such a connection for me, the little spots of very strong bright colours on a few of the pieces didn’t quite work for me; though for many I know that balance of soft and bold is the attractive part – I like different perspectives like that.

photograph taken with gallery permission

I spent a most enjoyable time reading back through David’s blog to find any related to these lovely objects – this is one of the things I love about blogs, that they can show a path through time:

  • 25th August 2010: showing the gem dust he has used in some of the colouring
  • 6th August 2010: a sneak peek at the exhibition; with some lovely detailed images of the work
  • 2nd August 2010: more information about the work in the Funaki exhibition – David points out that some of the paint is actually crushed marble or turquoise and lapis lazuli – amazingly beautiful idea!
  • though there isn’t anything specific on the blog, David took pieces from this group to Metalab for ‘Some and None‘ solo-exhibition [link] (3rd June – 1st July); their blog has some great images and an interview [here, here and here]
  • 9th April 2010: lots of photographs of pieces in the Metalab / Gallery Funaki / Jam Factory exhibition
  • 14th March 2010: photographs of pieces that David actually took to the first exhibition of this group of work, at Jam Factory Adelaide (‘Some and None‘ [link] 10th April – 16th May); I particularly liked these pieces, and I expect as they weren’t in the Funaki exhibition they found new homes in Adelaide
  • 7th January 2010: similar pieces for Itami, Japan – I like the second one (in detail)
  • 17th June 2009: a story with some pieces that look like ancestors of the current group?
  • 17th February 2009: another piece that may be an ancestor too?
  • 16th February 2009: a ten-year-old piece that speaks to me of the enduring attraction of this type of work for David
  • 1st February 2009: the first post on David’s blog, with a little painting that for me links directly into this group

Further, David’s website has a page with photographs of all the pieces from this group – my little camera just doesn’t give his work enough credit, so please do check them out.

photograph taken with gallery permission

There seems to be a great freedom and joy in the making of these pieces, which is something I admire. Though I wonder if it’s planned or a genuine reflection of David’s work practice – that is, they may be truly spontaneous or skillfully conceived to seem so. It is certainly not at all a criticism, and it really doesn’t matter either way at all, but I seem to like wondering such things and toying with the idea that my interpretation may not be reality at all!

I particularly liked the one in the centre above, among others – but (happily for David) many pieces were sold. As much as I love these little expressions, I worry whether the colours may erode over time with handling (fingerprints are the enemy of many a metal finish!)?

photograph courtesy of Katie at Gallery Funaki

While at the gallery I perused the draws and spotted a little pair of his Aster earrings (see here and here) – so incredibly beautiful, gold sheet worked in the way gold should be worked … in his hands the metal retains its incredible rich colouring, and an ancient-ness, like it could have been found in an archeological dig. I haven’t worn earrings for well over a decade, but if any earrings will bring me back to the earring-wearing-fold, these just may be responsible.

The pairing with Emma Price’s work is surprisingly sympathetic, with the graphic nature of both collections creating a connection. While the solid, soft-edged organic shapes of David’s work are contrasted with Emma’s linear empty forms, for me it really works.

photograph taken with gallery permission

The mixed metals of the fine square-profile tubes gives a life to the constructions, which wouldn’t be as animated if the same metal were used throughout – I like this.

I’m not sure why, but something about them reminded me of the late 1970s or early 80s perhaps, though I cannot put my finger on why … perhaps the graphic nature, square-edged-ness, perhaps the gold/bronze colouring combined with the shapes … did anyone see the same and can help me identify why?

Some neckpieces were on silk, some on linen thread and some on fine chain – the chain linked in with the era evocation more for me than the thread did.

image courtesy of Katie at Gallery Funaki

The above piece was my favourite in the group.

It’s a quiet collection, one that rewards playing with the pieces, for they move quite beautifully (I never touch the pieces without permission mind!).

This is a wonderful exhibition. Both David and Emma’s works are fabulous in their own right, but something more is brought out in each of them when they are shown together.

Update: I wrote the above review before seeing Marcus’s review (ArtBlart) here; with some more images of the work. Also, Part B jewellery discussion group, organised by Melissa Cameron, will be meeting at Gallery Funaki this Saturday at 2pm to visit the show and retire somewhere nearby for coffee and discussion.

David Neale and Emma Price are showing at Gallery Funaki until 4th September 2010.

Update (30th August): please do click to see the great comment David has added, especially with respect to the painted surfaces – I should have known better than to be a little worried (especially given I make with paper, which has even more chance of not weathering a wearing well) … with time, and evidence of wearing, a piece does often become more beautiful; which reminds me of one of my favourite posts of David’s, about a gold painted brooch by Robert Smit