Anna Davern ‘The Golden Land of the Sunny South’ @ e.g.etal

12 09 2015

What a delight! A completely enjoyable and engaging delight.

Anna Davern has outdone her amazing self in her latest exhibition, ‘The Golden Land of the Sunny South‘ at e.g.etal.

I’m sure regular readers have probably already visited, or witnessed the development of the work and the exhibition on various social media platforms …

photograph with gallery permission

photograph with gallery permission

I was just a little bummed that I couldn’t work the mechanisms myself (the gallery staff do that), but I can totally understand why that’s the case.

It’s entirely possible I squealed with delight … just a little bit. I remember someone writing somewhere (perhaps on Instagram?) that it was fantastic that ‘kittens are our evil overlords’ (that’s what my mind has put together anyway)… Elizabethan overlords at that! The ‘covert operators’, pretending to be evil kittens, were the funniest.

Almost all pieces were objects, with some sporting detachable jewellery pieces such as earrings and brooches.

What a feat. What an imagination.

Anna Davern ‘The Golden Land of the Sunny South‘ is part of Radiant Pavilion has been extended at e.g.etal until 19th September 2015.

See also:

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:

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 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.