Sim Luttin ‘It’s Always Darkest Just Before the Dawn’ @ The Snug Space

3 09 2015

After having watched this body of work develop via Sim’s instagram, I was very happy to see that it would be shown in Melbourne.

It’s Always Darkest Just Before the Dawn‘ is Sim Luttin‘s exhibition at The Snug Space, part of Radiant Pavilion and Craft Cubed.

installation; photograph taken with gallery permission

installation; photograph taken with gallery permission

It is a refined study in form and monochrome, and absolutely worth the visit (Northcote really isn’t so far away people!).

installation; photograph taken with gallery permission

installation; photograph taken with gallery permission

And not to mention a study in determination and patience – the components in the neckpieces must have taken forever to make.

installation; photograph taken with gallery permisison

installation; photograph taken with gallery permisison

The brooches are beautiful … little black memory pools, for quiet contemplation.

Make sure you visit her website for more detailed photographs.

installation; photograph taken with gallery permission

installation; photograph taken with gallery permission

The photographs are lovely and I adore how their presentation in a group transforms them into some kind of presence.

It’s Always Darkest Just Before the Dawn‘ is part of Radiant Pavilion and is at The Snug Space until 6th September 2015.





‘Small’ & ‘paper_plastic_metal_stone’ @ Black Finch

2 09 2015

And so my Radiant Pavilion madness starts. I’m sad to say that I simply won’t be able to see everything I want to see … but such is the sacrifice one makes, by working in an office, so one can buy jewellery for love … you know.

So, first, ‘Small‘ at Black Finch.

This is a sweet group of three collections from RMIT students. I was saying to the lovely gallery person that I could barely get myself together enough to get my course work done, let alone pieces for an exhibition – so huge kudos to these artists.

Artists: Cara Johnson, Naasicaa Larsen, Gabbee Stolp

installation; photograph taken with gallery permission

installation; photograph taken with gallery permission

Gabbee’s bees are a delight; and Naasicaa’s piece about time is subtle (I like the exploration of time). Cara’s is a sensational piece I think … the bird is exquisitely small (but of course), and it sits in the net in a precarious way … I liked it a lot.

Small‘ is actually in the display window before the gallery door – so it’s available for viewing outside of gallery hours (though I’m not sure about lighting for night times).

Small‘ is part of Radiant Pavilion and is at Black Finch until 30th September 2015.

Now, while I was visiting I was taken by the neckpiece being worn by the delightful Black Finch gallery person. Amazing!

I didn’t take a photograph, as I was hesitant to ask (of course I now wish I had) … but discussion uncovered that it is a piece from another Radiant Pavilion exhibition ‘paper_plastic_metal_stone‘.

Artists: Katie Jayne Britchford, Gillian Deery, Clementine Edwards, Emi Fukuda

It was a Katie Jayne Britchford piece – which is obvious in hindsight and I should have identified it before having to be told! Honestly. Embarrassing.

Made of hefty slices of agate (I think) interspaced by what was perhaps opaque white perspex, on a rope. The simplicity was stunning, in the good way. It reminded me of Dorothea Pruhl‘s work in its monumentality.

This exhibition is actually a little different in that it is being worn by various gallery people during the week, and you can also see it online … I do hope I get to see more.

paper_plastic_metal_stone‘ is part of Radiant Pavilion and will be on people until 6th September 2015.





‘Victorian Craft Award’ @ 45downstairs

2 08 2015

Following on from my visit to the Victorian Craft Award‘ at Craft, I popped into the continued exhibition at 45downstairs.

I’ve said a million times, I love this space for its brightness and that window.

exhibition at 45downstairs

exhibition at 45downstairs

More textile works are here than were at Craft … which I was glad to see, as I was beginning to wonder about their inclusion. The grouping in the first (smaller) room were beautifully curated; they look amazing together, being similar in their colourings.

exhibition at 45downstairs

exhibition at 45downstairs

I took a number of photographs, but I think in my haste I failed to get the focus right. Grrr.

My absolute run-away favourite of this group was the large pastel-coloured ceramic ‘Sometimes Yes‘ by Kate Jones (front and centre in the top image); and therefore I was exceptionally pleased she won the ceramic award.

A close second was the wall installation ‘Domestic Rail‘ by Mark Edgoose; and more work by Lindy McSwan’s ‘Take Me Back to Blue Rag Range‘.

Victorian Craft Award‘ is at Craft and other venues until 15th August 2015 … quick quick, that’s only two weeks!





‘Victorian Craft Award’ @ Craft

1 08 2015

The ‘Victorian Craft Award‘ exhibition is exceptional and important. Sounds pompous yes … I know, but I challenge you to tell me of better exposition of contemporary craft.

Today the award winners were announced:

  • Lynne Kosky Jewellery Award : Natalia Milosz-Piekarska
  • Jewellery Encouragement Award : Sun-Woong Bang
  • Excellence Award : Manon van Kouswijk
  • Decal Ceramic Award : Kate Jones
exhibition at Craft

exhibition at Craft

This post is about the work showing at Craft. The exhibition is so comprehensive they’ve had to share is across a number of sites, including 45downstairs (post coming), Sofitel and 1 Spring St.

The 116 artists to participate are listed on the Craft website [I really wanted to link to the Victorian Craft Award website, but I just couldn’t get the darn thing to load – while it wouldn’t be fabulous if that means my computron is being silly, I kind of hope that’s the case and everyone else can see the site easily].

Katherine Bowman, Vito Bila, and I'm sorry but I didn't note the ceramic artitsts names

(anticlockwise from bottom left) Katherine Bowman, Vito Bila, Lene Kuhl Jakobsen, Anna Forsyth

There are many beautiful objects here … something close to overwhelming actually.

Those I particularly responded to, from the group at Craft, include:

  • Elizabeth Kennedy’s ‘Stains and Memories‘; tender and evocative embroidery and jewellery works

    Elizabeth Kennedy

    Elizabeth Kennedy

  • John Dermer’s ‘Salt Glazed Porcelain‘; a gorgeous shape and beguiling glaze colours

    John Dermer

    John Dermer

  • Katie Jacobs’s ‘Wolf Head‘ has an impressive presence (in first image)
  • Michael Wong’s ‘Jelly Legs‘ brooch is assured

I’ll write about the work at 45downstairs next.

Victorian Craft Award‘ is at Craft and other venues until 15th August 2015 … quick quick, that’s only two weeks!





Patrícia Correia Domingues & Sara Gackowska ‘Surfacing’ @ Gallery Funaki

5 06 2015

Surfacing‘ is a Gallery Funaki exhibition of the work of two artists, Patrícia Correia Domingues (Portugal) and Sara Gackowska (Poland) … joint winners of the inaugural 2014 Mari Funaki Award for Contemporary Jewellery for emerging artists.

surface01

photograph taken with gallery permission

I have been watching the social media and photographs of the work pop up since the opening, and yet was still surprised by how incredibly sympathetic the body of work of each artist is to the other. It is truly stunning. So much so that I even asked Katie (gallery director) if the women collaborated, or if they knew of each others’ collection as they developed the work for this exhibition [which I now know they did not].

The palate of colours are beautiful near each other – the grey of the hematite of Sara’s pieces and that of Patrícia’s necuron ones, the whites of Patrícia’s artificial coral and ivory, and the rusty-red of Sara’s resin.

The forms are resonant too – particularly the rounded ovals employed, in various scales, by each artist.

And of course the interest in each in fracturing and fault-lining their materials.

photograph taken with gallery permission

photograph taken with gallery permission

I especially liked Patrícia’s ‘Duality’ brooches (2015, artificial coral, steel), the frame one the best; and most of all her ‘Geographic & Imagination’, brooches (2015, necuron, steel) … the two in the centre (wall-mounted and on plinth) in the image below … the fault lines in the material are completely wonderful, and the scale of the wall-mounted one is just perfect. I couldn’t help but wonder how many experiments were made before these beauties were produced.

Make sure you visit Gallery Funaki’s exhibition page to see beautiful detailed photographs.

photograph taken with gallery permission

photograph taken with gallery permission

I recall one of our professors at university talking (wittering on?!) at length about ‘materiality’. At the time, I can now admit, that I was somewhat confused… however, I think I now know a little better. And if I was all about art theory, I’d say these two artists are exceptional examples of ‘materiality’ … which I like to define as the dedicated exploration of the properties and possibilities of a particular medium or material.

For ’emerging artists’ their work is refined and knowing, quiet and confident (perhaps almost determined?) … it seems that they may have spent many decades with their chosen material instead of only a few years.

Make sure you go.

Surfacing‘, an exhibition of work by Patrícia Correia Domingues and Sara Gackowska, is at Gallery Funaki until 20th June 2015.





Anna Davern ‘Impressa’ @ e.g.etal

19 05 2015

Quick sticks! Get along to e.g.etal before the end of this weekend to see Anna Davern‘s ‘Impressa‘.

Anna is an unashamed lover of all things kitsch, especially Australiana – and what’s not to love about that.

photograph taken with gallery permission

photograph taken with gallery permission

Using printed steel Anna has created brooches from images of Ned Kelly, Queen Elizabeth II (who she insists on naming Liz, much to my delight) and Queen Elizabeth I. All images have been cut into strips or squares, and those elements are then rearranged.

…Sometimes the strips are attached separated, sometimes the altered image is printed as a single image on the metal.

…Sometimes the photographic/steel layer is fastened to the blackened brooch back by delicate folded prongs, sometimes by rivets (I love rivets; I may have mentioned that before).

…Sometimes the rivets are blackened, sometimes they’re gold *swoon*.

exhibition media; click on image for original source

exhibition media; click on image for original source

The oval and round brooches mimic miniature paintings … which were once a personal and highly precious keepsake portrait of a loved one. Does that mean we are to love these people? Even though they’re so distorted?

…Or is this commenting on the fact that if we think we love and adore someone so far from our real life, then we simply must be worshiping an inevitably distorted image of them?

…Then again, perhaps Anna is just experimenting, enjoying the process and having fun.

…They look like the pictures on those funny little screen toys we used to have as kids (in the, ahem, 70s) on which the picture looks different from one angle than the other (I cannot remember what they were called); and the same optical device was recently used for a Tram advert about inspectors (Melbourne reference; one must be pleased with that).

I wondered about why these particular three people were chosen. Ned and Elizabeth II I can understand from the perspective of the sculpting of the Australian identity; Elizabeth I is not quite the same.. so I’m curious …perhaps because of her direct connection to Liz? Perhaps I’m being daft and missing an obvious connection … you will tell me won’t you, if I am?

Make sure you visit the e.g.etal page for the exhibition for more detailed photographs of some of the pieces. Especially ‘Liz Slice 3‘; look at the back of it, look at the back of it!

Exhibition media (too good not to reproduce here whole):
Davern’s work features pictures of people from Australian political and social life as a means to dissect clichéd images of Australian identity.Using images found on old biscuit tins or historical photos printed on to metal, Davern slices, rearranges and reconstructs these pictures to create works that trick the eye with their disconcerting familiarity.

By reworking these cult-like symbols their power over us becomes fluid and slippery. As objects of adornment seen through the lens of the Impressa, they offer a reflection on our cultural roots, which lie in the colonisation of Australia by the British.

Unafraid to move freely between lo-fi kitsch and the precious object, Anna continues to develop a visual language with the power to question our loyalties to conservatism. Her humorous renditions of cultural identification allay our fears of deeper, more critical discussions about political and social life, and to this end the brooches laugh at romantic notions of allegiance and turn them upside down.

Anna Davern ‘Impressa‘ is at e.g.etal until 23rd May 2015.

ps. I had a look for the exhibition title in the dictionary and found a very similar word ‘impresa’ which means a device, or motto or emblem … what a great connection.

Update (less than an hour after initial publication) with a psquillion thanks to Anna, I have attached the accompanying essay written by Ramona Barry of HandMadeLife fame … Impressa_RamonaBarry_Essay. I will give this my undivided attention forthwith

See also:





Katherine Bowman ‘My Assemblages’ @ Milly Sleeping

6 05 2015

Katherine Bowman is showing a small collection of works ‘My Assemblages‘ at Milly Sleeping (a lovely little boutique in Carlton).

It’s a gorgeous group.

photograph taken with permission

photograph taken with permission

The above photograph doesn’t do it justice at all. The colours are wonderful, the display is beautifully balanced, and there’s a sense of delight that’s palpable.

I was especially taken with the pendant second-from-the-left … I even tried it on … I’m still thinking about taking it home. If you’re like me and regularly read Katherine’s blog, you’ll also have seen some images of these as I did; even so, when I saw them in person their scale surprised and pleased me.

I also tried on the rings, and they’re completely amazing (especially Ring #3).

Make sure you check out Katherine’s blog for much more beautiful photographs of these works, as well as the accompanying watercolours.

This is a perfectly compact and coherent collection, and offering this kind of showing space to a maker is pretty special. Most importantly because of the small-ish scale : my feeling is that it may permit a little more adventure, perhaps it would encourage a maker to take a little more risk to follow a new line of enquiry when the group is relatively intimate.

As a maker (though relapsed?!) I’d find this kind of presentation forum and scale much more approachable and achievable, as opposed to a blockbuster solo show (well at least that’s how I’d imagine it). And the fewer objects there are, the more each one can be seen in better focus and appreciated for its uniqueness.

Go along; be inspired.

Katherine Bowman’s ‘My Assemblages‘ is at Milly Sleeping until 24th May 2015.

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See also:

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