‘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

Jeweller hunting

19 02 2012

One of my favourite jewellery ladies, the marvellous Zoe Brand, is a-hunting jewellers.

From her blog: “I’m jeweller hunting, send me an e-mail with your website/blog address and your contact details, I like to be kept informed, and I’ve always got a need to know some fantastic jewellers (you know curating shows etc). Don’t be shy drop me a line – zowe@hotmail.com – feel free to spread the word. The more the merrier!

And from her facebook: “I’m hunting down jewellers, drop me an e-mail with your website/blog and contact details – zowe@hotmail.com – you never know, something or nothing might come of it. Either way you have nothing to lose right?!

Intriguing … I don’t know what it’s all about … so mysterious … am looking forward to seeing what comes of it!

Sydney visit, part #1, Gaffa Gallery

20 09 2010

Well, didn’t I have a fabulous time in Sydney! Oh my, yes I did.

I didn’t have as much time on the Saturday as I had hoped. For when galleries only open at 11am, and one is flying back to Melbourne at 4pm for a much-anticipated dinner-date, there is not a lot of time to get around. So sadly the Powerhouse was dropped from the itinerary (very sad) and anywhere outside the city/Darlinghurst/Surrey Hills area was not a chance.

Luckily I had time Friday afternoon (after the not-so-awesome conference that day), so visited the lovely super-passionate-about-jewellery-and-her-gallery Zoe Brand at Gaffa Gallery.

Gaffa Gallery 1: Girls around the World

Exhibition media: “The Ten More Girls collective is an internationally faceted group of female artists who believe that they can make the world go round by creating beautiful unique jewellery & objects. For the third year in a row they are uniting to hold an annual exhibition of contemporary wearable art. … This year’s theme, Girls Around the World reflects the group’s interest in diverse cultures, their love of travel and issues such as globalization, international politics, the environment & human rights.

installation; photograph taken with gallery permission

I like the idea that these ten makers, who studied together, have created their third joint exhibition. It’s something I think many groups of students hold as a possibility of doing after they graduate, but rarely is it seen to be followed through with this many participants so well.

My favourite pieces include the map neckpiece by Jasmine Matus and the little-house ‘Daily Walk‘ neckpiece by A Mi Kim.

installation; photograph taken with gallery permission

installation; photograph taken with gallery permission

Gaffa Gallery 3: Donna Page ‘Felicity, Passion & Rapture’

I initially liked this three-part exhibition: the white satin reminding me of the soft folds only possessed by women, and the delicate text embroidery on the thin handkerchiefs. I am a big fan of hand worked embroidery, so was disappointed to realise that this was in fact machine-made embroidery … it took a little bit of the specialness away for me.

installation; photograph taken with gallery permission

Gaffa Gallery; Keeper Gallery: Duke Frost ‘Up Down Charm Strange Truth Beauty

Exhibition media: “Recently, Duke Frost has begun an obsession with Quantum Physics. He enjoys quark particles as they come in six flavours: up, down, charm, strange, top (truth) and bottom (beauty). He also makes a habit of collecting words, taking long romantic strolls in the park and offering elderly passengers his seat on the train.

installation; photograph taken with gallery permission

Duke Frost is an alter-ego of a prolific maker, and I understand the group of work was conceived and made within a matter of days. Very funny quotes typed on plywood – genius!


The above shows are at Gaffa Gallery until 21st September 2010.

Finally, what a great space Gaffa is. If I was in Sydney, I’d love a studio space here. If you’re in Sydney, make sure you visit if you haven’t already.

Update (22nd September): oops, I completely omitted the links to the jewellers I mentioned: Jasmine Matus and A Mi Kami. Both makers have mentioned my post on their blogs (thank you!) and I have also added them to my links page.