Warwick Freeman ‘Prime’ @ Gallery Fuanki

10 09 2015

Warwick Freeman’s latest solo show at Gallery Funaki is ‘Prime … an exploration of the three primary colours through single materials : yellow – silcrete, blue – lapiz lazuli, red – jasper.

photograph with gallery permission

photograph with gallery permission

I wanted to like this show … sadly I felt I couldn’t connect with much of it; by no means is that anyone’s doing but mine of course. Perhaps the colours were too strong for me? Perhaps the near-figurative pieces triggered my figurative-aversion? Perhaps I have work to do to develop a more intuitive understanding of materiality?

[I nearly didn’t share the above paragraph … I fear readers may confuse ‘liking’ with ‘respecting’ … I totally respect the work and the artist; why wouldn’t you respect a person willing to share their art? Often when I feel unconnected I expect it’s entirely my problem that I must have missed the point.]

That said, I really did like the brooches made with dust from the stone materials – the colouring is painterly and the backs are beautifully sparely constructed. They reminded me of his previous show ‘Making Dust‘.

photograph with gallery permission

photograph with gallery permission

The line of carved faces on the wall (above) were interesting … naturally triggering my figurative ‘issues’, but I love collections displayed like this, as though in an anthropomorphic museum.

Prime‘ is part of Radiant Pavilion and is at Gallery Funaki until 12th September 2015.

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Warwick Freeman ‘making dust’ @ Gallery Funaki

26 05 2012

Finally, I’ve made it to a jewellery exhibition in Melbourne! Hoorah! Sadly though, it was on this exhibition’s last day – but at least I made it to Warwick Freeman’s ‘making dust‘ at Gallery Funaki.

The key piece ‘dust‘ is a pretty amazing collection of panels on which Warwick has adhered dust that he has meticulously collected from his studio (an example is below). I understand that he was incredibly careful to collect the dust from each material he works with and displays them here on cards (with a non-coloured binder) … the collection gives the viewer what is essentially a condensed view of his colour palette.

exhibition media; click on image for original source

A few of the pieces reminded me of birds and faces (below) and noses … and triggered, as expected, my resistance to figurative works. That’s okay, it’s just the way I am; I don’t dislike them, I simply cannot find I can connect with them.

exhibition media; click on image for original source

I did respond to two rings of large pieces of lapiz lazuli … displayed as though the stone was a plinth. I liked the gentle humour in this.

There is quite a range of materials and symbols / iconography …

Exhibiton media: “Warwick Freeman’s latest exhibition explores form, material and the quiet profundity of the everyday object. The rear wall of the gallery features Freeman’s new installation, ‘Dust’, a kind of documentary record featuring the residual dust of sixty materials that the artist has used in his jewellery making, mounted on boards and offering a graphic palette of Freeman’s practice. His jewellery pieces; carved, found or both, are imbued with the directness, honesty and talismanic power that are the hallmarks of his artistic vision.

While I very much enjoyed his last show at Gallery Funaki, ‘spring collection‘ (I can hardly believe it was almost three years ago!), I had more trouble putting the various components of this show ‘together’ in my mind. I expect this is more to do with my fragmented attention than anything else.

Warwick Freeman’s ‘making dust‘ was at Gallery Funaki from May 1st to 26th 2012.





Warwick Freeman ‘spring collection’ @ Gallery Funaki

10 07 2009

I visited Gallery Funaki on the first day of Warwick Freeman’s new exhibition, ‘spring collection‘. It’s a beautifully cohesive group of work; each piece relating to the others in a way I’m yet to completely unwrap.

exhibition media; used with gallery permission

exhibition media; used with gallery permission

The above work, ‘handles‘, is a series of pendants reminiscent of screw-driver handles carved from obsidian, quartz, nephrite, petrified wood, jasper and other materials. They are imbued with a weight and majesty, drawn from the millions of years taken to create such beauty. My favourite is the small obsidian piece on the left; it is a gorgeous shape and size, and I imagine would feel fabulous hitting my body just above my belly as I walked.

The muted colour palette is drawn mainly from the natural materials and the black thread or oxidised metal. That said though, there are some gold pieces – the most magnificent being a gold ‘mask‘.

Three other pieces that immediately caught my attention were pendants made of jet. The shape of the first, called ‘holder‘, is a rectangular shape with notches carved around the edge – it put me in mind of winding wool around it, for it reminded me of the cardboard we would use to make pom-poms as kids. The second, ‘box‘, looks like a shape of an squat opened-out box – which I thought before I saw its name, so I wasn’t cheating!

The third pendant, ‘bracket‘, is a great shape that is a little difficult to describe, it actually reminded me of a door stop. But while I was there another visitor to the exhibit, who knew more about Warwick’s work than I, connected the shape to another piece of Warwick’s called ‘rape whistle‘ I think … so I feel there is still some reading for me to do into the background to this established New Zealand jeweller to uncover more of the threads that may come from older work through to this exhibition.

While I expect my thoughts will mature over time and with reading, my initial impression was that many of the works speak to domestic life: screw-drivers, fishing hooks, wool-winding card, mirror, apron hooks, sock hook, curtain hook. I look forward to more reading, thinking and writing about it.

spring collection‘ is at Gallery Funaki until 1st August 2009.