Emma Fielden ‘Iota’ @ Gallery Funaki

26 11 2015

It was such an absolute pleasure to finally see Emma Fielden‘s work in person in Iota‘ at Gallery Funaki.

Wow. Just wow.

photograph taken with gallery permission

photograph taken with gallery permission

“At the centre of my practice is the notion of infinity. The ideas that any line drawn is a mere portion of its infinite potential, and that a mark made is a part within a whole, are fundamental beginnings in my work, which I explore through drawing and objects, in various materials and techniques.” EF, 2015

I was exceptionally interested in seeing the handwritten ‘Infinite‘ drawings, that I’d responded to (incredibly strongly) via images from her Sydney exhibition earlier this year. Even more amazing than I expected.

For some reason I thought that the drawings were built up of little circles; but now realise that it is the number 3 repeated … in a secular meditation on the repeating decimal representation of 1/3 … and being in a triptych, together the three complete to a singular ‘one’.

Make sure you read Emma’s own explanation on her website – which of course, as per usual, I only read after writing the above(!): “The work references devotional religious acts and is itself a devotional act.

photograph taken with gallery permission

photograph taken with gallery permission

The brooches and vessels were a revelation. And smaller than I expected; in the good way, for I like smaller things.

If you visit, please make sure you ask for her technique to be explained. While the pieces are most definitely beautiful in their own right, I believe understanding their construction … the intense precision freedom involved … can only add to their appeal.

Initially I was a wondering if perhaps a perfectly circular (or other geometric) edge shape would align and reflect with the overall concept of infinity … for somehow I have a view, not unlike our ancient and medieval forefathers, that infinite must mean perfect. Perhaps also because I saw perfect geometry in her other Infinity pieces. However I let go of that requirement when I was told that Emma actually makes her own ingots and shapes then to make the plate for the brooches, in many/most cases permitting the edges to form as they choose … another practice I relate to.

I really did want to take some home, especially ‘The Jewel (after James Wright)‘ and the one that looks like an opened clam. Do have a look at the detailed photographs … you can see how the surface detail is formed by repeated engraving. They are a marvel.

photograph taken with gallery permission

photograph taken with gallery permission

And vessels! There should be more vessels in the world I tell you.

Axis Mundi is also an important component of the exhibition. I think perhaps my aversion to shiny-shiny interrupted my contemplation … the mirror is important, for it reflects the construction into an infinity … the vision is coherent, the installation takes hours and hours (nay, days!). Of course the mirror makes total sense … though I have a thing about mirrors … (this is usually where one says ‘it’s not you, it’s me’).

It’s pretty obvious I respond strongly to Emma’s work … the reflections on the infinite … the implicit and intuitive mathematical fundamentals … the devotion … the mediation, obsession, attention to detail, commitment … quiet determination … there is an exceptional clarity that I can only wish for.

Emma Fielden ‘Iota‘ is at Gallery Funaki until 5th December 2015.

Warwick Freeman ‘Prime’ @ Gallery Fuanki

10 09 2015

Warwick Freeman’s latest solo show at Gallery Funaki is ‘Prime … an exploration of the three primary colours through single materials : yellow – silcrete, blue – lapiz lazuli, red – jasper.

photograph with gallery permission

photograph with gallery permission

I wanted to like this show … sadly I felt I couldn’t connect with much of it; by no means is that anyone’s doing but mine of course. Perhaps the colours were too strong for me? Perhaps the near-figurative pieces triggered my figurative-aversion? Perhaps I have work to do to develop a more intuitive understanding of materiality?

[I nearly didn’t share the above paragraph … I fear readers may confuse ‘liking’ with ‘respecting’ … I totally respect the work and the artist; why wouldn’t you respect a person willing to share their art? Often when I feel unconnected I expect it’s entirely my problem that I must have missed the point.]

That said, I really did like the brooches made with dust from the stone materials – the colouring is painterly and the backs are beautifully sparely constructed. They reminded me of his previous show ‘Making Dust‘.

photograph with gallery permission

photograph with gallery permission

The line of carved faces on the wall (above) were interesting … naturally triggering my figurative ‘issues’, but I love collections displayed like this, as though in an anthropomorphic museum.

Prime‘ is part of Radiant Pavilion and is at Gallery Funaki until 12th September 2015.

Other posts:

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.


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.

Maureen Faye-Chauhan ‘Concurrence‘ @ Gallery Funaki

23 04 2015

Maureen Faye-Chauhan is showing her first solo exhibition at Gallery Funaki, ‘Concurrence‘.

I popped into the gallery on the crest of a ‘busy wave’ (five browsing customers); it created an interesting environment in which to consider such a quiet collection. If I’m honest, I’d say it was a little challenging (but I’m just one of those people who likes quiet spaces better; I’d never be a good shop owner!).

photograph with gallery permission

photograph with gallery permission

Exhibition media: “The complex pierced surfaces of Maureen’s jewellery allow light to play a vital role. As pieces move with the body, their steel surfaces ripple and change; interior volumes become apparent and then invisible as the viewer’s attentions shifts between the surfaces and the negative spaces within.

The photographs don’t do the work justice; the varying colours of the heat-treated mild steel are beautifully subtle. And of course you need to walk past and around them to see how the light and shadow plays.

The Gallery Funaki website has detailed photographs of the pieces – and you can see just how considered, precise and refined they are. There’s a sense of lightness, strength and delicacy.

photograph taken with gallery permission

photograph taken with gallery permission

I especially like the shell pieces. And the three pendants (in the middle of the above image) remind me of the building in London known as ‘The Gherkin’ … in the good way of definite design and clean lines.

That said, my favourites were the gold rings … if I hadn’t already heavily invested in jewellery recently, I may be more seriously considering taking one home.

Concurrence‘ is at Gallery Funaki until 2nd May 2015.

Other reading: AJF (Art Jewelry Forum) have just recently published an interview with Maureen about this exhibition that’s absolutely worth reading, for her eloquence as well as the content. I had a bit of an ‘ah ha’ moment when I read about her interest in the moiré effect in Op Art.

[As per my usual approach, I didn’t read it until after I’d had time to distill my own thoughts (above) first.]

I like how she’s phrased this: “hasty unconsidered shortcuts most often create more work” … it’s a more elegant manner of my regular statement that ‘the short cut is often the long way around’.

My jewellery collection #30

22 12 2014

Holy kniption Batman.

I have ticked off one of the longest-standing and most heartfelt items on my lust-list … I own a Helen Britton ring.

I know!! There has been much dancing and squealing on the inside today.

I feel I must apologise a little – these are all photographs taken at night. I couldn’t wait until the morning, and decent daylight, to share such immense news.

with the Gallery Funaki photograph - all mine!

with the Gallery Funaki photograph – all mine!

You cannot imagine how comfortable it feels on – it’s quite wide and thick, so it is almost a beautiful surprise to be so immensely comfortable. And the hollow construction means it cannot be resized, so lucky me it fit beautifully.

Of course its dimensions mean you really feel it on, and regular readers will know my penchant for jewellery I can feel.


beautiful top detail in red gold

I’m a little bit in love.


side detail, oxidised silver

This is a significant investment, and I feel I just may be on the verge of being able to call myself a genuine collector. Perhaps.

Sincere thanks to Katie at Gallery Funaki for being such a wonderful gallery owner, exceptionally knowledgeable and terribly patient with me as I wrestled with the purchase.

I am SO going to wear this like I MEAN IT.

Other stories about Helen Britton:

My jewellery collection #29

13 10 2014

I’ve finally had time to pop into Gallery Funaki (as evidenced by my recent post) and collect my Helen Britton Showtime bag



… and therefore I now have a new piece to add to my collection: a Helen Britton (obviously!) little sterling silver lucky tooth charm.

Helen Britton piece

Helen Britton piece

A genuinely significant piece of Helen’s is still on my lust-list … soon Karen, soon.

Svenja John ‘Assembly’ @ Gallery Funaki

11 10 2014

I do like the revamped Gallery Funaki website. You can see many of the pieces in this exhibition online if you aren’t in Melbourne; though it’s certainly worth personally seeing the current exhibition if you can, for Svenja John‘s ‘Assembly‘ is a riot of colour.

photograph taken with gallery permission

photograph taken with gallery permission

Exhibition media: “In the 20 years since I began working with the polycarbonate MakrofolTM I have developed, bit by bit, my own ‘Jewellery Construction Kit’. In the beginning there were only bone-shaped parts (which I called x-bones), linked together with rings of various sizes to form chains, earrings and bracelets. Eventually more than 10 different basic elements developed from which all the complex jewellery assemblies are plugged together“.

Svenja has a wonderful gift of putting colours together; and the mobiles are whimsical and I think I’d like one in my house.

photograph taken with gallery permission

photograph taken with gallery permission

To me the neckpieces are the stars of the exhibition. Strangely though I think I love the photographs of them more than the items themselves in person. It’s a strange thing indeed; I’m quite unsettled by the realisation. Perhaps the photographs are taken with some backlight, as the material somehow seems more translucent or even glowing.

Most attractive about these constructions are their allusions to medieval jewellery and Berlin iron work. My favourite is the piece in the middle; unfortunately there isn’t a detailed image of it on the exhibition site, but the colour combination is magnificent – magenta, purples, greys.

photograph taken with gallery permission

photograph taken with gallery permission

I did take some photographs of the right-hand side of the gallery, but I was a little distracted at the time and it was only when I arrived home that I realised they were all out of focus. Oopsies.

Svenja John ‘Assembly‘ is at Gallery Funaki until 25th October 2014.

Also see: Svenja John ‘X_BRANEN‘ @ Gallery Funaki, August 2009