‘Winter Neckpieces’ @ Studio 20/17

10 05 2011

Winter Neckpieces‘, at Studio 20/17, showcases exceptional jewellery from established and talented jewellers … quite some company.

For the first time since my graduation from RMIT, I attended an opening for an exhibition containing some of my work. I’d forgotten how unsettling I find it – I am still a little self-conscious and uncertain enough to be something akin to sensitive, and so didn’t really want to hear or watch others’ reactions to my work. But that said, I am glad I did go.

exhibition installation

Above, on wall, left to right:

  • Bridget Kennedy [site]
  • Kristin D’agostino [blog]
  • Djurdica Kesic [site]

Above, on bench, left to right:

exhibition installation

Above, on wall, left to right:

Above, on bench, left to right:

exhibition installation

Above, on wall, left to right:

  • Lauren Simeoni [site]
  • Farah Bandookwala [site]

Above, on bench, left to right:

Other participating artists not in images above were:

  • Helena Bogucki [site]
  • Saori Kita (amazing rope pieces!) [site]

There is a great post on the Studio 20/17 blog about setting up the exhibition; with a few detailed photographs.

Winter Neckpieces‘ is at Studio 20/17 until 4th June 2011.


I had a strange experience viewing my pieces … which I’ve thought pretty carefully about whether to share or not, and decided for it.

As all exhibitors know, the curator(s) and gallery have the responsibility and delegated authority to determine how to best exhibit all pieces submitted to an exhibition – often without knowing exactly what’s coming until the deadline for delivery (or indeed a few days after sometimes!). As surely all artists recognise – not at all an easy task.

On first seeing my pieces displayed as they were, I needed to take a bit of ‘quiet time’ to process that not everyone (perhaps very few?) saw them the way I did. Naturally, you may say. As I did too, after a little time to think.

On seeing my neckpieces curled up on the exhibit bench, I admit to being somewhat bewildered or disheartened or something like that (not easy to find the right word for it) … I conceived of, and only ever saw, them as linear: hanging simply, an uncluttered oval, with majesty and singularity.

I hadn’t previously considered seeing them as others may, others who of course weren’t part of my creative inner thoughts. The flexibility of the woven silver and paper lends itself to movement and manipulation – why wouldn’t that be taken advantage of and shown? But it was so different to how I created them, what was in my mind…

This is not at all a criticism of the lovely ladies at the gallery (not at all, not at all, not at all!) … but it was actually quite a challenging moment for me.

I expect I’m not the only one to have this kind of experience…?
In time I know I will ‘get over it’ (as a friendly jeweller advised me!), and become less sensitive and more confident within my own practice … so it’s all part of the learning I think… and for that, I am glad.


Update (11th May): you may be wondering why I didn’t talk to the lovely ladies at the gallery about this? I’ve thought about that, and in retrospect I felt that I didn’t have a fully-formed ‘feeling’ or opinion in that moment, or an alternative to offer … and I didn’t feel it right at all to request a change, as I know a lot of thought and time had been put into the positions of all the pieces (plus, they have way more experience than I do!).

Since the weekend, I have (naturally) been in contact with the wonderful Melanie and Bridget, and they have been most generous in replying to my thoughts (and sympathising).

The most important “oh der” moment for me was – following the great deal of time and effort that goes into trying out many combinations of positioning for work – that my pieces were lost against the white walls of the space (I publish this with their permission).

Of course they would be! What’s most strange for me is that I hadn’t actually put them against white walls in my home, I’d only ever looked at them against the wood panelling of my (beautiful art-deco) hall.

This will sound awfully corny, but this has been an incredibly valuable experience for me – the more comfortable I become with my ‘artist’ identity, and with my own practice and finding my own words about it, the more I will be able to explain and discuss this in the moment … life is all about learning, yes?!


Update (15th May): the Studio 20/17 blog has another post with photos of the opening celebration


The sky is full of ghosts

7 05 2011

Today is the opening celebration of Winter Neckpieces‘ at Studio 20/17 (though the exhibition has been open since 3rd May).

All going well, I will be in Sydney this afternoon for the opening … which I am very much looking forward to.

In what is probably the last post on this collection (for now), below is an informal image of all three pieces that went to the exhibition.

image not to be reproduced without permission

Pendant ‘Aquarius’

6 05 2011

The last in the little collection ‘The Sky is Full of Ghosts’, is this pendant ‘Aquarius‘.

The shape of this piece was derived from the component in ‘For William‘; but instead of a flat circular central part, I was visualising a more three-dimensional piece. Of course though, it’s much bigger – about 45mm in diameter.

black and white; image not to be reproduced without permission

The pattern on the face of the central part are the main stars in the Aquarius star constellation. Perhaps next time I would draw in the traditional lines that join the stars, but I found a number of different ‘patterns’, so didn’t in the end!

side view; image not to be reproduced without permission

Neckpiece ‘For Caroline’

5 05 2011

Following from my previous post, a few images of ‘For Caroline‘.

I enjoyed reading about her. Caroline was William Herschel’s sister, and his trusted astronomical assistant. However her own skill and interest was formidable, and she is most known for discovering a number of comets. Significantly, she was the first woman to be awarded with a gold medal by the Royal Astronomical Society in 1828; the next time a woman was honoured was in 1996.

detail; (black and white); image not to be reproduced without permission

image not to be reproduced without permission

Again, the paper for the weaving was taken from an image in ‘Encyclopedia of Space Travel and Astronomy‘ (below). The little components were shown in a previous post, and were woven into the paper / silver weave.

detail of photograph from book