The RMIT Gallery

12 07 2011

With ‘Padua and its Jewellery‘ [“Gioielli d’Autore. Padova e la Scuola dell’oro – Italian Contemporary Jewellery. Padua and its Jewellery School“] currently showing, and the previous coup of hosting the ‘Schmuck 2009‘ exhibition, RMIT Gallery has shown some significant and important jewellery exhibitions in recent years (not to mention the other art forms).

However, I’ve been thinking that they may not be making the most of these wonderful opportunities.

My memory of ‘Schmuck 2009‘ was that it wasn’t well advertised very much ahead of time. My thoughts are that this magnificent exhibition would have taken at the very least months to organise, and of course months ahead of time. If there had been more publicity starting when the agreement had been made (especially within the tight jewellery community) then I am certain there would have been more visitors able to make plans – especially those interstate (as Melbourne was the only Australian show) and also those in New Zealand.

Further, my recollections of the most recent exhibition is that this too wasn’t very well publicised ahead of time either. Checking my calendar posts, it seems that I didn’t even know about it when I wrote the June 2011 sneak peek (though of course I’m not suggesting I’m so important I should know about these things, nor that I am well-read enough to know all that’s happening!).

There is a genuinely passionate community who will travel for important shows – the more notice they have to plan, the more visitors will come.

Alongside better forward-warning for jewellery-lovers [and it may not be my place to make such suggestions] I do have another important idea… I feel the RMIT Gallery website could certainly do with a redesign. Some points:

  • when I initially wrote the June 2011 sneak peek post, I had obtained the information from a subscriber email and there wasn’t anything on their website at the time; so the website should at the very least be up-to-date with the subscriber emails
  • on the gallery site is an image with the exhibition dates, as well as details of public program; however the only detailed exhibition information is in a ‘news’ item [link; to the right of the page] and not linked to the exhibition image

    Screen shot 2011-07-12 at 7.23.36 PM

  • the ‘exhibition’ link on the left-hand-margin takes you to a page that is out of date [link] and doesn’t therefore even mention the jewellery exhibition

    Screen shot 2011-07-12 at 7.25.20 PM

  • even more confusing – when you click on the Exhibition Program link on the About RMIT Gallery page, it sends you to a page that is from 2009 [link]!
  • the Public Program page is also out of date (up to 16th March 2011)
  • when this is the first and only ‘official’ page for the RMIT Gallery, my thoughts are that this just isn’t enough; the first four are from (with others), the second unique one is a static page, the third unique page is from Artabase(but going to this link shows it’s out of date too, with the most recent exhibition link from Sep10, and the ‘currently on’ ends up returning with a message that ‘no exhibitions match the criteria’) … mmm …

    Screen shot 2011-07-12 at 7.30.45 PM

I do understand that the RMIT Gallery is part of a university, and it is well-known that funding isn’t just lying around! And I believe many volunteers help out at the gallery, and as such there probably isn’t a lot of time nor funding nor expertise for a website / page overhaul… though I would think that the investment would be really worth it, especially if combined with a future-focussed targeted marketing to bring in more visitors.

I’m not singling out RMIT Gallery as a poor example, for there are many many sites that aren’t as good as they could be … however for the magnificent exhibitions the gallery is able to host, it would be of such great benefit if the website were optimised for web-savvy searchers and jewellery lovers.

Any other thoughts?

More on ‘Padua and its Jewellery’

5 07 2011

With sincere thanks to the RMIT Gallery, I have some more images to share of the exhibition “Gioielli d’Autore. Padova e la Scuola dell’oro – Italian Contemporary Jewellery. Padua and its Jewellery School“ [link].

I prefer to see ‘installation images’ instead of detailed or ‘studio’ photographs, as they give a sense of the exhibition itself as a whole.

Paulo Maurizio; image courtesy of the gallery, credit Mark Ashkanasy, RMIT Gallery, 2011

Exhibition media: “The exhibition follows the artistic paths of venerated jewellers Mario Pinton and Francesco Pavan, and their students, who have in turn become important names in the artistic world: Giorgio Cecchetto, Lucia Davanzo, Maria Rosa Franzin, Stefano Marchetti, Paolo Marcolongo, Paolo Maurizio, Barbara Paganin, Renzo Pasquale, Piergiuliano Reveane, Marco Rigovacca, Graziano Visintin, Alberta Vita, Annamaria Zanella and Alberto Zorzi.” [from here]

Alberta Vita; image courtesy of the gallery, credit Mark Ashkanasy, RMIT Gallery, 2011

Piergiuliano Reveane, image courtesy of the gallery, credit Mark Ashkanasy, RMIT Gallery, 2011

Hopefully another visit will happen soon!

‘Padua and its Jewellery School’ @ RMIT Gallery

1 07 2011

This amazing exhibition had it’s official opening last week, though I somehow accidentally found myself there the Friday before when the lecture was on. How does that happen accidentally you may ask? Well, I was at RMIT to see a different exhibition and wasn’t sure if this one was open yet …

Gioielli d’Autore. Padova e la Scuola dell’oro – Italian Contemporary Jewellery. Padua and its Jewellery School“ [link] is an amazing exhibition.

On my way there my friend said: “What do you think … will there be much gold?”. Tongue in cheek of course – for gold is something of an expectation of Italian jewellery, even ‘contemporary’ jewellery. And it is an obvious thread in this exhibition too; along with very clean lines, a favouring of geometry, and refined surfaces.

I do want to return to visit, when there are fewer people there, to linger and think more about it (and to take some installation photographs). So for now, I will share some images courtesy of, and with thanks to the RMIT Gallery. Hopefully I will write more shortly.

Graziano Visintinspilla, 2004, brooch

FRANCESCO PAVAN, Piani ortogonali ,1998, Necklace

ALBERTA VITA, Tracce,1999, Necklace

Padua and its Jewellery School‘ (abbv.) is at the RMIT Gallery until 14th August 2011.

‘Padua and its Jewellery’ opens tonight

22 06 2011

Tonight is the official opening of RMIT Gallery special exhibition “Gioielli d’Autore. Padova e la Scuola dell’oro – Italian Contemporary Jewellery. Padua and its Jewellery School“ [5-7pm; link].

I will write about my first visit shortly … but in the meantime, there was an article last week in The Age about it.

from The Age, 14th June 2011 ; click on image for original story on The Age (easier to read!)

This exhibiton runs until 14th August 2011.

‘Siemens-RMIT Fine Art Awards’ @ RMIT Gallery

5 01 2011

I’m not quite sure how it happened, but it seems this year’s ‘Siemens – RMIT Fine Art Award‘ exhibition completely slipped through my cunning net until just a few days before it closes. Strange, especially considering I enjoyed last year’s exhibition so much.

My favourite of the exhibition is the winner, a painting by Xiao Yu Bia, below:

installation shot of Xiao Yu Bai's painting; photograph taken with gallery permission

Exhibition media: “Now in its 10th year, the 2010 Siemens-RMIT Fine Art Scholarship Awards, one of the most exciting business-arts initiatives in Australia, will be announced at RMIT Gallery on Thursday 25 November. This year 46 students from RMIT School of Art will be in the running for $32,000 in prize money. Students from Melbourne and regional Victoria as well as WA and Hong Kong have entered a diverse range of work including ceramics, drawing, fine art, photography, gold and silver smithing, media arts, painting, printmaking and sculpture.

image courtesy of RMIT gallery; Claire McArdle, Wind-Wheel Ring

The RMIT Gold and Silversmithing department is again represented by three artists:

image courtesy of gallery; Timothy Smullen, Brooch No. 1

Another piece I very much liked was a large lithograph by Susanna Castleden, right in the image below:

image courtesy of gallery; Susanna Castleden, Perpetual Line Cruise

A special note on photography within the RMIT Gallery – there are signs that photography is not permitted; however if you ask the gallery staff, you are able to fill out a permission request to take images, with conditions on their use. Those images I have taken above, were taken under the gallery permission guidelines, without flash.

Other images above were generously provided by RMIT Gallery, with sincere thanks to Evelyn Tsitas.

Siemans – RMIT Fine Art Awards‘ is at RMIT Gallery until 8th January.

‘Contemporary Australian Drawings 1’ @ RMIT Gallery

21 04 2010

Another exhibition held as part of the Drawing Out festival is ‘Contemporary Australian Drawings 1‘ at RMIT Gallery (alongside the Constellation‘ exhibition I’ve already written about). This collection pushes the traditional expectations of what can be defined as ‘drawing’ – with neon and video works included.

photograph taken with gallery permission

I saw this exhibition after being stunned by the ‘Constellation’ exhibition, so perhaps I had a kind of visual overload by this point as I didn’t connect with many of the pieces here. However, the one below by Godwin Bradbeer hit me in the chest – it’s incredible! The lighting is extraordinary and gives it full justice (sorry the below image is a bit out of focus, the lighting was very low).

Godwin Bradbeer, Imago XIX (I hope I have the number right); photograph taken with gallery permission

It’s worth going along to this exhibition solely for the above piece – but I am sure many will find beauty here, and may I recommend seeing this before you go into ‘Constellation‘!

This exhibition has also been written about here, and I recognise the artist as one who had work in the Ballarat Art Gallery mid-last year (all I remember is that it was freezing when I went to visit!).

Contemporary Australian Drawings 1‘ is at RMIT Gallery until 26th June 2010.

‘Constellations: A Large number of Small drawings’ @ RMIT Gallery

16 04 2010

Curator Vanessa Gerrans has brought together a “large number of small drawings“, as the exhibition title indicates, at the RMIT Gallery – and I’m very happy she did! This is a great exhibition.

photograph taken with gallery permission

I’ve mentioned before that drawing is one my favourite two-dimensional art media, and this collective of works is interesting in its diversity and enjoyable in it quality (it must have taken a long time to sift and gather). I also like the title – Constellation is a pretty good description of the dizzying wealth of images peppering the walls of the gallery.

photograph taken with gallery permission

One of rooms focusses on architectural sketching and communication … it was fascinating and putting these ‘working’ drawings into a gallery spaces changes how they are seen and read.

Exhibition text states: “A major component of the RMIT University and University of Arts London conference Drawing Out, Constellations explores the role of drawing in a wide range of professions. Constellations brings together a large number of small Australian drawings from disciplines such as Music; Architecture; Art; Cartography; Design; Fashion and Textiles; Film; Photography and Science. This diverse selection of work by familiar and unfamiliar contemporary artists is linked by both intense curiosity and focused research.

Constellations: A Large number of Small drawings‘ is at RMIT Gallery until 26th June 2010 as part of the Drawing Festival “Drawing Out” – read more here about the original conference associated with the festival. I haven’t had much luck in finding a succinct listing of all of the thirty-something satellite drawing-focussed exhibitions – so I would love some help if anyone else can point me in the right direction!