Julia deVille ‘Bequeath’ @ e.g.etal

2 11 2012

Julia deVille‘s first solo exhibition in over five years is Bequeath‘ at e.g.etal.

This is a purely jewellery collection; no taxidermy here (just in case it may have bothered you).

photograph taken with gallery permission

While the skulls are certainly arresting and striking, I felt they distracted a little from the finer pieces and made it difficult to see all of them (some rings had spun around and I wouldn’t dare touch them to see, as I didn’t want to be responsible for the whole skull crashing to the floor!).

photograph taken with gallery permission

Exhibition media: “Julia’s work is characterised by the use of symbols and motifs from past eras. Her precious rings combine found settings from antique jewellery. Over several years, Julia has sourced antique jewellery and gemstones—their original owners long since deceased—waiting patiently for the right combination to form a new creation in her mind and then at her workbench. Through conceptual consideration and traditional and contemporary techniques she appropriates and reconfigures older pieces to form a new design.

The briolettes were especially lovely.

Julia deVille’s ‘Bequeath‘ is at e.g.etal until 3rd November 2012.

Katherine Bowman ‘a found thing’ @ e.g.etal

28 09 2012

Oh no, oh no, oh no! I didn’t realise that Katherine’s exhibition ‘a found thing (consolation of consolations) was only open for two weeks … oh no!!!

As regular readers know, Katherine Bowman is one of my favourite jewellers. As such, I’m really very sad that I didn’t pay attention to the timing earlier, as now I know I won’t be able to see her beautiful exhibition in its collected glory in person.

exhibition media; click on image for original source

Exhibition media: “We form relationships with the objects we collect. These relationships define and add meaning to our lives. Over time, the jewellery that we collect comes to define who we are and our life’s experiences: its milestones and its fleeting moments, our thoughts and our feelings and our tastes. The rings, earrings, pendants and works on paper in this exhibition express an honesty of process, form and material. They are carefully brought into being to carry meanings both expressed and inexpressible. It is in seeing and in touching these works that we are taken in by them. A tactile relationship is formed and in this the role of the maker becomes immediately but also subtly evident.

I relate to the way Katherine thinks and makes, especially with this group.

exhibition media; click on image for original source

Exhibition media: “a found thing (the consolation of consolations) is made up of seven different bodies of work. Each body explores a slightly different aesthetic, creating the impression of having been collected at different times and from different places; colour, texture and form drawing them all together even as they stand apart.
For Katherine this work is the culmination of years of research and experience. It is about a deep love of making. This work is the work of a collector and a maker and it is about the relationship between these two elements of Katherine’s art.

exhibition media; click on image for original source

The e.g.etal website has images of all of the pieces in this exhibition.
On her blog, Katherine generously shares stories behind all of the seven bodies of work.
I’m so thankful to her, otherwise I would miss out altogether.

Honestly, Katherine’s work is beautiful, so beautiful. I wish I could have organised myself better to be able to see these many pieces together in exhibition.

Katherine Bowman’s ‘a found thing (consolation of consolations)‘ is at e.g.etal until 29th September 2012.


Update (28th September): I’ve been thinking more about this collection today, since writing the above.  Specifically, what I’ve been wondering, is how the ‘Interior‘ group (especially) would translate into small objects… I think they’d be outstanding as ‘sculptures’… just my thoughts …


‘Once you were mine’ @ e.g.etal

3 02 2012

Jewellery gallery e.g.etal have created an innovative event you need to know about: “Once You Were Mine“.

event media; click on image for original source

Event media: “We recently commissioned seven artists to each make a piece of jewellery. Their brief was simple: take an item once belonging to an e.g.etal staff member and recycle and re-imagine it. These items—forgotten pieces of jewellery or objects—came with their own story, were given a new one by each artist and now they wait for their new owners. We’ll be handing these pieces onto seven people via our Facebook page.

To be in with a chance, become a fan of e.g.etal on Facebook and like the Once You Were Mine photo gallery. On Friday 17 February we’ll randomly select seven people who will, one-by-one, choose which unique piece of jewellery they will own.

If you don’t have Facebook, we forgive you. Feel free to email info@egetal.com.au with the subject line ‘Once You Were Mine’ instead.

I’m speechless! Wow!

Participating artist are (by alphabetic order):

  • Caitlin Boyce
  • Julia Deville
  • Yuko Fujita
  • William Llewellyn Griffiths
  • Jennifer Martin
  • Romy Mittelman
  • Jessica Morrison

The e.g.etal post shares information on each original piece and on the reinvented work.

I just bursting with how much I love this concept!

News: e.g.etal online store

5 12 2011

In another exciting move for contemporary jewellery retail, e.g.etal has launched their online store. This is so exciting!

launch media

Launch media (from newsletter): “New online store…

13 years ago e.g.etal opened its doors to Melbourne. In this time we’ve passed on beautiful jewellery to people from this city and people from all over this country and the world. It’s with excitement that we reveal our new website and online store ; an extension of e.g.etal for those we’ve met, and for those we are yet to meet, in this city and beyond.

Pieces, from left to right: Sea neckpiece by Katheryn Leopoldseder ; Wooden earrings by Yuko Fujita ; Poppy ring by Janet Watts ; Earrings by Jill Hermans

Perhaps it is time I considered an online gallery segment for my links page…

The shift of our contemporary jewellery galleries to align with what seems to be the new retail paradigm is brilliant and can only be a sensational move for artists too.

Melbourne jewellery galleries and artists: part 2

27 10 2011

PART 1 yesterday———————————————————————

PART 2 ——————————————————————————–

It’s actually been two weeks since I wrote the first section of this post (part 1), and I’ve since received responses from many of the galleries I contacted.

The question I asked was pretty simple (as I know gallery staff have way more important and interesting things to do than spend time on my emails). And I offer them my sincere thanks for answering me.

Does ***gallery*** have a standard policy for their artist relationships?
(i) exclusive within Melbourne and/or Victoria; or
(ii) an exclusive range or collection, with the artist free to have other work at other galleries / online store / private commissions; or
(iii) no exclusive requirements; or
(iv) something else / combination / depends on the artist.

My summary of the responses is below (with general comments underneath):

  • Alice Euphemia – “rarely requests” exclusivity (as the “handmade nature of the work we have stocked usually limits the production and creates uniqueness and ‘exclusivity’ anyway“)
  • e.g.etal – do not ask their artists to be exclusive as one of their “founding principles was, and still is, to support artists to make a living from their work“; though they do recommend stocking different ranges / collections at different outlets; and they do requests of their artists that prices are consistent if sold through other galleries / outlets (Emma was very generous in her reply)
  • Gallery Funaki – traditionally an exclusive requirement within Victoria, and still to a large extent on a case-by-case basis (Katie sent me a wonderful reply too)
  • Lord Coconut – no exclusivity; though request for consistent pricing if the pieces are sold elsewhere
  • Pieces of Eight – the lovely ladies at Po8 are super-busy on their work in developing Edition X; an online shop for a selection of artists – which implicitly speaks volumes about their vision of the future of the contemporary jewellery space (will write about this soon! and I’ll update this post when I receive their response)
  • Small Space – if possible, a different range / collection from other outlets (though the majority of the work stocked here is Robyn’s); Robyn made an important point I totally understand and can agree with: “to ask a contemporary jeweller to stock exclusively to just one gallery in Melbourne is not a feasible option when making a living from the handmade and the contemporary can be so difficult.” (Robyn was also very generous with her reply to my email)

To add to the above, some of the main points made in the replies included:

  • Some of the galleries have commented that the inclusion of cast elements may impact the possibility of non-exclusivity (and therefore requests may change in the future).
  • Also, many galleries do ask for artists to be considerate and respectful when managing private commissions, with many requesting (one with a specific policy on the matter) a customer to be referred back to the gallery where that customer has used the gallery to effectively ‘shop for’ a jeweller and then approached the maker directly (a practice I wondered about in my previous post).
  • Further, there is consensus that the artist-run online retail-space (like bigcartel platform) is a bit blurry; its increased prevalence and popularity may introduce the need to review such agreements (or at least make explicit considerations of such) in the near future.
  • Finally, galleries are usually founded by people who make and/or support makers, so they are very respectful. Many do take a great deal of care in developing excellent relationships with their artists, through which any of these kinds of matters can generally be managed as they arise.

My sincere thanks to the gallery people who have been so generous in replying to my emails and sharing their practice with me.

I will watch in interest in the coming years as the online economy moves and changes the retail environment – and I hope that galleries can still survive, in fact thrive, in the new market.


Melbourne jewellery galleries and artists: part 1

26 10 2011

PART 1 ——————————————————————————–

I’ve been thinking about this for a little while … the relationships between the key Melbourne jewellery galleries / retail spaces and the artists they stock.

For each of the below galleries (in alphabetic order) I went looking for a page on their websites showing a full listing of the artists whose work they represent. Not as standard as I actually expected – a bit surprised really.

From seeing which artists are with which galleries, it looks on the surface that artist agreements with these galleries are not strictly exclusive.

Some examples are below. I haven’t chosen these artists for any other reason than I likely love their work and therefore remember them in each gallery (note though, these may not be the only galleries they have work in):

So it’s pretty clear we have a pretty amazing group of galleries in Melbourne that are okay with giving artists a greater chance of making a living by being stocked in a number of locations (and not locking them in exclusively).

The only possible exception to that is Gallery Funaki … I think … I thought their artists were exclusive, though the David Neale example has confused me.

Also, I vaguely remember being told that Alice Euphemia had ‘exclusive-range’ requirements of artists – though I’m not sure that’s the case for the above artists, so maybe the arrangement is artist-specific?

I also thought some of the other galleries prefer a separate or exclusive group of pieces / collection from the artist; so that it is unique to their retail space.

So to be sure I had the correct information, I wrote to each gallery to ask.

So all of the above text was written before contacting any of the galleries. I wanted to keep it unedited, as it shows the thought process of this post.

Also, while researching the above, I remembered the first post I wrote on this kind of topic earlier this year – it is still relevant and I’d like to expand on it a little further in this post too.

PART 2 coming tomorrow—————————————————————–

Kathryn Wardill ‘Adversity’ @ e.g.etal

25 09 2011

When I noticed that the ring in the image on the invitation included “recycled 18ct yellow gold wedding ring”, and the title was ‘Adversity‘, I felt Kathryn Wardill‘s exhibition at e.g.etal may be a very personal one. I wasn’t wrong.

exhibition media

Exhibition media:
Scars have the strange power to remind us that our past is real.” (Cormac McCarthy)
For Kathryn Wardill, poor concentration and skills, a creeping lack of judgement, inability to sustain work ethics and difficulty adhering to timelines were complications encountered in the making of some 40 rings. In fact, these difficulties have indelibly influenced the nature of her new series, Adversity. This collection of rings explores the emotional and physical consequences of adversity, exploring the ways in which difficult personal situations affect the making process from a conceptual and technical perspective.

With some of the rings in the collection titled ‘Split’, ‘Red Hot Tears’, ‘Whole Split in Half’ … I felt pain. I felt that I was trespassing into the artist’s private life. Even though I of course recognise that the artist has invited us there by showing the exhibition, I actually felt a little uncomfortable and that perhaps I now ‘knew too much’ in a strange way (I’m very private, so like to treat others the same way).

exhibition media; click on image for original source

The above group, called ‘Bouquet – Flowers Fall‘, on first glance reminded me of Nina Oikawa’s claw-set work. But of course on closer consideration it is completely different – the technique and materials totally different, and their intent totally different. I am sometimes plagued by these kind of ‘reminders’ on initial glance, but am very careful to work through it to clear it and to see the new work as the artist made it.

The e.g.etal blog has an interview with Kathryn about this group of work and the exhibition here.

Adversity‘ is at e.g.etal until 1st October 2011.