Melissa Cameron ‘Object Evolution’ @ Bini Gallery

24 04 2015

What a few days I’ve had of jewellery viewing and gallery visiting – it’s been quite lovely and a timely reminder of how enjoyable I find it.

Melissa Cameron, once Melbourne-based and now in Seattle, is showing a mini-retrospective (if I may!) at Bini Gallery: ‘Object Evolution: Jewellery from objects 2009-2015‘.

photograph with gallery permission

photograph with gallery permission

Exhibition media: “The rebirthed jewels on show in her upcoming solo exhibition at Bini Gallery span the last six years of her artistic output. Included in the display will be the original half-cigarette-tin pair of brooches that launched her investigation, alongside new pieces finished this year. This is the first time that Melissa has had a solo show of just her object works, which begs the question, what has taken so long? “These pieces come out of my studio kind of sporadically, they are often made for specific exhibitions, so it’s only recently that I have managed to get a bunch of them back together to put a good-sized group of them on display.” Melissa adds, “It seemed like a good opportunity to bring them home while I still had all of them together.

photograph taken with gallery permission

photograph taken with gallery permission

It’s funny, just last week I published a ‘Other April’ post that included a link to my post of Melissa’s first exhibition (well, her Honours exhibition at Monash), with the image of my favourite piece from that show. Well, it’s been altered from an object to a neckpiece (above) and is in this show.

Still a favourite of mine. And how beautiful are the shadows it casts…

photograph with gallery permission

photograph with gallery permission

It was interesting speaking with the gallery owner, who mentioned her initial attraction to Melissa’s work was to the geometry … she mentioned she was a maths teacher, so we had a little mathematician bonding moment, bless.

Absolutely worth a visit!

Object Evolution: Jewellery from objects 2009-2015‘ is at Bini Gallery (Collingwood) until 30th April 2015.

photograph taken with gallery permission

photograph taken with gallery permission





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’.





Laura Potter ‘Craft Samples’ @ Personal Space Project

21 04 2015

Once again I’m totally enamored with an exhibition in Zoe Brand’s ‘Personal Space Project’ : Laura Potter‘s ‘Craft Samples‘.

This collection is titled ‘Redacted Brooches‘.

exhibition media; image used with explicit permission

exhibition media; image used with explicit permission

Without being able to see these in person, I can only get a feel for them via Zoe’s images. But what’s not to love about this group I ask you? The muted colours of the denuded transfer-printed fabric, the little ephemeral wisps of brightly-coloured embroidery thread saved into little plastic bags … like the outcome from an archeological dig or scientific investigation.

Exhibition media: “I had no idea so much of the handicraft I saw as a child came in kit-form, allowing impressive household items to be fashioned by women who had very little skill or feel for materials. My mother subscribed to a monthly magazine full of projects to sew, weave, cast and carve. It was like a craft recipe book with a list of materials and tools, step-by-step instructions, tutorial images and patterns to cut out and use. It was craft-by-numbers. I thought what my [relatives were] doing was accomplished and difficult. I am now not so sure that it was.

exhibition media; used with explicit permission

exhibition media; used with explicit permission

I admit to getting a bit lost in revery about this collection.

I wondered if Laura’s quasi-destruction of these pieces is an expression of her disappointment that these aren’t the unique and special objects she was led to believe. She is excavating the evidence that they’re not personally designed nor very special at all.

Perhaps she wants revenge for being tricked by exposing them for what they are? Though I dare say that if there was genuine anger then these handcrafted brooches (in their original frames) wouldn’t be so carefully disassembled for us to see their components.

At times I can see a kind of sadness here too … a quiet sorrow for things not being as once thought.

This is a such a brilliant meditation on the subject…

exhibition media

exhibition media; used with explicit permission

I completely love the display – the large group makes the investigation seem compulsive and perhaps even unfinished, both sentiments I can relate to.

As a child I did a lot of similar ’embroider by numbers’ – textile kits, with pre-printed and cut and finished fabric, and all the thread you need. I have a soft nostalgia for these objects, maybe a kinder recollection. Interestingly, I don’t ever remember seeing embroidered brooches like these, and perhaps that’s explained by Laura being a UK native – maybe these just weren’t done in Australia, but more a British object.

Be sure to read Zoe’s text about the work for her perspective too – I like reading how others’ see things; and also for more images.

Laura Potter ‘Craft Samples‘ is online at Personal Space Project (personal visits by appointment) until 30th April 2015.





‘Fresh! 2015′ @ Craft

20 04 2015

Finally I’ve made it to Craft to see an exhibition; though I’m still sad I didn’t manage to see the previous show ‘White Goods‘ (boo).

So it’s Fresh! time again.

exhibition

exhibition

I’m still getting my thoughts in some kind of order … but in reading the works list I noticed that all but two artists are RMIT graduates [there are ten artists; whereas previous years had 12]. I hope that doesn’t mean the Melbourne graduate craft scene is becoming RMIT-centric. Where are the other universities’ students? Are the courses just not there any more? Are the courses not of an equivalent standard (that’s a terrible question, but you can understand why it’s asked)? Are the selections simply reflections of this year’s judges preferences? Lots of questions.

exhibition

exhibition

Selected/awarded artists are:

  • Emma Blackmore (RMIT) – fashion (textile)
  • Katie Collins (RMIT; website) – gold & silversmithing
  • Leana Kim (RMIT; website) – ceramics
  • Christopher Massey (RMIT) – gold & silversmithing
  • Henry Madin (RMIT) – wood sculpture / furniture
  • Scarlett Mellows (RMIT; website) – print image practice
  • Jess Milne (VCA) – ceramic / furniture
  • Thomas O’Hara (RMIT) – gold & silversmithing
  • Tricia Page (RMIT; website) – trampoline!
  • Kate Sylvester (VCA; website) – painting (textile)

For me the most outstanding are the jewellery pieces by Katie Collins (below).

exhibition

exhibition

Mmmm … what did you think when you visited?

Fresh! 2015‘ is at Craft until 24th May 2015.

Other posts:

  • Fresh! 2014‘ (May14)
  • 2013 : this year the exhibition wasn’t at the end of the year but transferred to early in the new year; the year-naming changed over at this point
  • 2012 : oh, I must have missed this exhibition
  • Fresh! 2011‘ (Dec11)
  • Fresh! 2010‘ (Dec10)
  • Fresh! 2009‘ (Dec09)





Nicole Polentas ‘Reinventing a Sense of Place. Crete and the Jewellery Object’ @ RMIT School of Art Gallery

17 04 2015

Regular readers will know of my bold parochial support of the beautiful souls I studied my RMIT degree with … and it’s with immense pleasure I visited one of our number’s PhD exhibition today.

Nicole Polentas has studied with passion and intense commitment for just over ten years now, and it is beyond incredible to see selected pieces from over the years in one place: ‘Reinventing a Sense of Place. Crete and the Jewellery Object‘.

exhibition installation

exhibition installation

It was unexpected, but I confess I was a little emotional walking through the exhibition. I remembered the first time Nicole experimented with her now-signature text ribbons; there are only a few moments when you can say you were there to witness the start of something beautiful.

The pieces are without question extraordinary; the exhibition design gorgeous and perfect.

exhibition installation

exhibition installation

I completely adore the constructs that underpin the front-facing elements … clean lines and beautifully executed. And her exploration of more colouring in her work is promising and brings an extra dimension; I especially like the pinks and greens. The materials listing is interesting in that it includes ‘Greek coffee’ and I wondered where it was used, perhaps in the resin components?

exhibition installation

exhibition installation

The work is personal; the stories close to the surface; her sharing generous and genuine; her intent clear.

I must admit to perhaps being too close to Nicole and her work to give an objective reading of the exhibition [though in reality, I rarely give objective do I(!)]. I think that knowing the artist means I see more layers in the work than a new observer may (maybe) and am too connected to be able to offer anything other than superlatives.

exhibition installation

exhibition installation

I do hope that in time her exegesis will be available for public reading.

I offer Nicole my warmest heartfelt congratulations and look forward to seeing her continued explorations and shows!

Reinventing a Sense of Place. Crete and the Jewellery Object‘ was a one-night-and-day only (examination) exhibition.

Please also see:

Please click below to read more of the media release (from her Events page):

Read the rest of this entry »





Stonehenge gold

2 04 2015

Regular readers will know of my love of archaeology and especially stone circles (like my Avebury pieces).

Today I watched a documentary (‘Operation Stonehenge: What Lies Beneath‘) about a new survey of the landscape around Stonehenge and was floored by a gold lozenge found in the area. Honest jaw-dropping moment.

Below are screenshots from the documentary …. it’s from a burial in what is named the ‘Bush Barrow’, is thought to be made in ~1900BC, and likely to have been worn on the chest pinned to cloth or as a pendant (it’s approx 15-18cm).

screen shot from documentary, part 2

screen shot from documentary, part 2

The accuracy of the incised decoration is astonishing.

screen shot from documentary, part 2

screen shot from documentary, part 2

You know … I saw this and immediately thought of David Neale’s work … I think because of the demonstration of a genuine and innate connection with the material … or something!

[ I did a little more online research and found an entry in the Wiltshire Museum for the whole Bush Barrow burial – fascinating objects, especially the miniscule gold studs; and there’s more detail about the lozenge. And of course, Wiki.
And this is the project page on the Birmingham University. ]





Emma Fielden ‘Infinity’ @ Courtesy of the Artist Studio

9 03 2015

Following her National Contemporary Jewellery award, Emma Fielden is showing Infinity‘ at Courtesy of the Artist Studio (Surrey Hills, Sydney). Sadly I’m not able to get to the exhibition in person, but feel such a strong connection to the work that I’m compelled to write about it.

I’m impossibly in love with the below image.

image from COTA FB page; used here with explicit gallery permission; click on image for original source

image from Courtesy of the Artist FB page; used here with explicit gallery permission; click on image for original source

When I have an incredibly strong response to another person’s art work like this, I feel like I almost want to disappear into it … I wish I could have thought of it and made it … I want to possess it, not just the object but the ideas that built it … it’s a strange ache, an unnamed emotion … and exceptionally difficult to describe (without sounding just a little psycho!).

I believe the above is a close-up of the below drawing. It’s amazing to my eyes … little changes in the tilt of her hand, ink and energy flow and such, show up in subtle unintended yet beautiful rhythms in the pattern.

image from COTA FB page; used here with explicit gallery permission; click on image for original source

image from Courtesy of the Artist FB page; used here with explicit gallery permission; click on image for original source

Exhibition media: “For this exhibition Emma presents a series of work on the theme infinity – a series of drawings, engraved brooches, and for the first time a print.
The notion of infinity has been emerging in Emma’s work for some time. Her earlier works involving line, mark making and drawing evolved into an exploration of the grid, and in her last body of work (2013) she came to take the grid as a symbol of infinity. Now Emma Fielden has entered into a deeper and more thematic exploration of infinity, both as a mathematic and metaphysical concept.

It was only after falling for the above drawings that I also read what Emma has written about her work: “They are pictures of the night sky. They are star gazing. They are a decimal expression of infinity. They are a trinity. They reject religion and suppose its origin. They are devotional. They are an abyss. They are wonder at the infinite and our place in it.” 

Oh my … this speaks to so many things I love … numbers and the stars. Not to mention my adoration of work that involves precision, extreme patience and attention; and I think I may also love repetition, but repetition that permits small variations.

The exhibition includes brooches too; though I think they’re trickier to get a feel for without seeing them in person.

I remember seeing the series that secured her award at Courtesy of the Artist last year and felt strangely uncertain though intrigued by them. I think their flatness, their almost two-dimensionality, felt close to unsubstantial … somehow less satisfying than if they had a little more weight or physical depth … though in retrospect this choice is no doubt entirely intentional and required for the expression of the intent.

image from COTA FB page; used here with explicit gallery permission; click on image for original source

image from Courtesy of the Artist FB page; used here with explicit gallery permission; click on image for original source

The Courtesy of the Artist facebook page has a interesting statement attached to one of the photographs: “The lines of the grids extend to the edge of the surface and, by virtue of the imagination, to infinity. Each element is part of the larger grid, which is itself a portion of an even larger one and so on.
Akin to Cantor’s Dust, the work points to the scale of infinity – the infinitely large and the infinitesimally small. It draws on set theory and it’s infinite infinities. And by breaking down the grid and placing it upon the body, it seeks to make the infinite intimate.

I’m sorry I cannot see the whole body of work in person; here’s hoping that perhaps in time Melbourne shall host an exhibition.

Emma Fielden ‘Infinity‘ is at Courtesy of the Artist Studio until 28th March 2015.

—-

ps. make sure you check out Emma’s website, and follow her if you’re on Instagram if you don’t already (the photograph of her drawing with magnifying lenses on is my favourite).