‘Victorian Craft Award’ @ 45downstairs

2 08 2015

Following on from my visit to the Victorian Craft Award‘ at Craft, I popped into the continued exhibition at 45downstairs.

I’ve said a million times, I love this space for its brightness and that window.

exhibition at 45downstairs

exhibition at 45downstairs

More textile works are here than were at Craft … which I was glad to see, as I was beginning to wonder about their inclusion. The grouping in the first (smaller) room were beautifully curated; they look amazing together, being similar in their colourings.

exhibition at 45downstairs

exhibition at 45downstairs

I took a number of photographs, but I think in my haste I failed to get the focus right. Grrr.

My absolute run-away favourite of this group was the large pastel-coloured ceramic ‘Sometimes Yes‘ by Kate Jones (front and centre in the top image); and therefore I was exceptionally pleased she won the ceramic award.

A close second was the wall installation ‘Domestic Rail‘ by Mark Edgoose; and more work by Lindy McSwan’s ‘Take Me Back to Blue Rag Range‘.

Victorian Craft Award‘ is at Craft and other venues until 15th August 2015 … quick quick, that’s only two weeks!





‘Victorian Craft Award’ @ Craft

1 08 2015

The ‘Victorian Craft Award‘ exhibition is exceptional and important. Sounds pompous yes … I know, but I challenge you to tell me of better exposition of contemporary craft.

Today the award winners were announced:

  • Lynne Kosky Jewellery Award : Natalia Milosz-Piekarska
  • Jewellery Encouragement Award : Sun-Woong Bang
  • Excellence Award : Manon van Kouswijk
  • Decal Ceramic Award : Kate Jones
exhibition at Craft

exhibition at Craft

This post is about the work showing at Craft. The exhibition is so comprehensive they’ve had to share is across a number of sites, including 45downstairs (post coming), Sofitel and 1 Spring St.

The 116 artists to participate are listed on the Craft website [I really wanted to link to the Victorian Craft Award website, but I just couldn’t get the darn thing to load – while it wouldn’t be fabulous if that means my computron is being silly, I kind of hope that’s the case and everyone else can see the site easily].

Katherine Bowman, Vito Bila, and I'm sorry but I didn't note the ceramic artitsts names

(anticlockwise from bottom left) Katherine Bowman, Vito Bila, Lene Kuhl Jakobsen, Anna Forsyth

There are many beautiful objects here … something close to overwhelming actually.

Those I particularly responded to, from the group at Craft, include:

  • Elizabeth Kennedy’s ‘Stains and Memories‘; tender and evocative embroidery and jewellery works

    Elizabeth Kennedy

    Elizabeth Kennedy

  • John Dermer’s ‘Salt Glazed Porcelain‘; a gorgeous shape and beguiling glaze colours

    John Dermer

    John Dermer

  • Katie Jacobs’s ‘Wolf Head‘ has an impressive presence (in first image)
  • Michael Wong’s ‘Jelly Legs‘ brooch is assured

I’ll write about the work at 45downstairs next.

Victorian Craft Award‘ is at Craft and other venues until 15th August 2015 … quick quick, that’s only two weeks!





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.

surface01

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.





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:





Katherine Bowman ‘My Assemblages’ @ Milly Sleeping

6 05 2015

Katherine Bowman is showing a small collection of works ‘My Assemblages‘ at Milly Sleeping (a lovely little boutique in Carlton).

It’s a gorgeous group.

photograph taken with permission

photograph taken with permission

The above photograph doesn’t do it justice at all. The colours are wonderful, the display is beautifully balanced, and there’s a sense of delight that’s palpable.

I was especially taken with the pendant second-from-the-left … I even tried it on … I’m still thinking about taking it home. If you’re like me and regularly read Katherine’s blog, you’ll also have seen some images of these as I did; even so, when I saw them in person their scale surprised and pleased me.

I also tried on the rings, and they’re completely amazing (especially Ring #3).

Make sure you check out Katherine’s blog for much more beautiful photographs of these works, as well as the accompanying watercolours.

This is a perfectly compact and coherent collection, and offering this kind of showing space to a maker is pretty special. Most importantly because of the small-ish scale : my feeling is that it may permit a little more adventure, perhaps it would encourage a maker to take a little more risk to follow a new line of enquiry when the group is relatively intimate.

As a maker (though relapsed?!) I’d find this kind of presentation forum and scale much more approachable and achievable, as opposed to a blockbuster solo show (well at least that’s how I’d imagine it). And the fewer objects there are, the more each one can be seen in better focus and appreciated for its uniqueness.

Go along; be inspired.

Katherine Bowman’s ‘My Assemblages‘ is at Milly Sleeping until 24th May 2015.

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See also:

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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’.