‘Go, said the bird’ @ fortyfive downstairs

13 09 2015

Exhibition-visiting Saturday continued with a visit to fortyfive downstairs for two exhibitions. The first is ‘Go, said the bird‘.

Participating artists: Marcos Guzman, Courtney Jackson [instagram], Inari Kiuru [site], Shaun Tan [website].

photograph taken with artist permission

photograph taken with artist permission

Exhibition media:
Go, said the bird, for the leaves were full of children,
Hidden excitedly, containing laughter.
Go, go, go, said the bird: human kind
Cannot bear very much reality.
Time past and time future
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.”
T. S. Eliot, 1935
An extract from Burnt Norton (Quartet One), Four Quartets

Go, said the bird borrows its title from a poem by T.S. Eliot. The exhibition presents the work of four artists who examine the ambiguous nature of time through images, objects and jewellery.

photograph with artist permission

photograph with artist permission

As expected, I was completely enamored with Inari’s work … in fact, this was a grouping of objects, jewellery, and photographs from the last eight years. Her large objects are stunning; her fine-line work is precise and almost afraid; the moth pieces are my favourites … but new favourites are the black brooches ‘Clay and rock turning into steel‘ (2015).

photograph with artist permission

photograph with artist permission

Shaun’s large-scale paintings and Marcos’s playful jewellery provide colourful counterpoints to Inari and Courtney’s pieces; Inari’s are dark and broody; Courtney’s intricate, delicate, and fragile.

[There were quite a few visitors at the time I was there, so it wasn’t easy to get photographs of all the work; I’m not keen on publishing images with people in them … in case they should be somewhere else. Worse still though, my little camera phone was being temperamental with light, so many turned out overexposed and blurred. A random-though-related thought: I wonder if perhaps Courtney’s work could have benefited from a coloured background, even if only slightly tinted, to help it stand out (I’m no expert curator mind! just an idea)?]

photograph taken with permission

photograph taken with permission

Check out the exhibition facebook page for more photographs.

Sorry, I was only able to visit this on its last day … ‘Go, said the bird‘ was part of Radiant Pavilion and was at fortyfive downstairs until 12th September 2015.

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:

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:

Kim Victoria Wearne ‘Orogeny’ @ Pieces of Eight

8 09 2015

Kim Victoria Wearne continues her love affair with opals, and carving textures, in ‘Orogeny‘ at Pieces of Eight.

photograph with gallery permission

photograph with gallery permission

Exhibition media: “Orogeny – the geological term for the structural deformation of the earth resulting in mountains – is a collection inspired by the wondrous natural environments Kim has experienced over her past year of travel. From the arid plains of Coober Pedy to the mountain peaks of Patagonia, imaginary fantastical landscapes merge to form a collection of roughly hewn, delicately embellished jewellery. Employing her signature carved forms, intricate engravings and opulent gemstone colour palette, ‘Orogeny’ merges the geological wonders observed on this journey with her internal emotional landscapes.

There is an opal ring in this collection that is truly stunning – however I haven’t yet been able to find an online photograph of it … will keep an eye out.

photograph taken with gallery permission

photograph taken with gallery permission

Orogeny‘ is part of Radiant Pavilion and is at Pieces of Eight until 11th October 2015.

Other posts:

‘Occupy Crossley St’ & ‘Theatre of Detail’

6 09 2015

First …

The windows of many of the businesses on Crossley Street were taken over by contemporary jewellery as part of ‘Occupy Crossley St‘ during Radiant Pavilion.

I hope it started conversations and interest among those who wouldn’t ordinarily choose to see jewellery in a gallery setting.


Participating artists: Vivien Atkinson, Becky Bliss, Peter Deckers, Kelly McDonald, Amelia Pascoe, Sarah Read, Jane Ritchie, Nadine Smith, Caroline Thomas.



Reading the excellent website of the Wellington-based jewellers, it’s clear I missed a few. N’aw man.

Occupy Crossly St‘ is part of Radiant Pavilion and can be viewed 24hrs until 6th September 2015.

Next …

While I was wandering along Crossley Street, of course I popped into Gallery Funaki (which I’ll write about shortly). Even more importantly (given its short showing) I visited ‘Theatre of DetailGray Street Workshop celebrates 30yrs‘.

Participating artists: Jess Dare, Sue Lorraine, Catherine Truman.

It turns out I was far too busy talking with some very excellent people (including being introduced to Catherine Truman, how lucky am I!), to take any photographs. Plus though, it was so busy in the little space that I felt taking my camera out would have changed the amazing feeling in the room among the visitors.

The videos of Catherine’s made my skin creep and I couldn’t bear to watch them for too long at all … I mean that with all respect, they were so effective.

Make sure you check out the various (and varied and many) photographs on various media platforms.

Theatre of Detail‘ is part of Radiant Pavilion and is on until 6th September 2015.


‘Figurative Impressions’ @ RMIT School of Art Gallery

5 09 2015

This is wonderful! I am SO excited to see that some pieces from the fabled RMIT W.E.McMillan Collection are on show. Bravo.

Figurative Impressions‘ is an exhibition at RMIT School of Art Gallery, of selected pieces from the A.D Hope acquisitive figurative award (in memory of his daughter Emily Hope); one of the awards that makes up the multi-award collection.

[Update 15Sep15 : I have been contacted by RMIT and asked to remove my images, as they do not want images of the exhibition on the internet.
I am extremely disappointed by this. I was careful to ask permission to take photographs, and was told I could and given no restrictions on use of those images. I made sure I took general and not detailed photographs, and reasonably low-resolution so they would be barely useful for others to reuse.
Given the above, and my understanding of applicable law, I am within my rights to use these images … but have removed them as requested.
It’s shame – a post without pictures is pretty boring.

There was an image here of work by David Neale, Jessica Morrison and Stephen Robb]

I remember seeing quite a number of these in creation while I was studying (2004-06) and of course since then at various exhibitions. The real treat were the pieces from earlier years. THIS is why so much more needs to be done with this collection (I’ve written about it a number of times before)!

[Update 15Sep15 : There was an image here of work by Elfrun Lach and Claire O’Halloran]

I remember Claire O’Halloran making the pieces (bottom in the above image) – so beautiful, and it is such a joy to see them again … they are even more beautiful than I recall them being.

Works from the collection on show:

  • 1983 : Viliama Grakalic
  • 1985 : J. Carter
  • 1987 : Miyuki Nakahara
  • 1988 : Stacey McCall
  • 1989 : Sandra Marasco
  • 1990 : Sarah L Ross
  • 1995 : Rei Shimada
  • 1997 : Timothy Quantrell
  • 1999 : Anna Davern
  • 2001 : Katherine Bowman
  • 2002 : Katherine Tiffany Fuller
  • 2003 : David Neale
  • 2004 : Jessica Morrison
  • 2005 : Elfrun Lach
  • 2006 : Claire O’Halloran
  • 2007 : Penelope Pollard , David Scully
  • 2009 : Catherine Da Costa , Fiona Simmons
  • 2011 : Claire McArdle
  • 2012 : Stephen Robb
  • 2013 : Inari Kiuru (very probably my favourite piece(s) of the last decade)
  • 2014 : Christopher Massey

[Update 15Sep15 : There was an image here of work including a piece of Anna Davern’s]

Sorry, I was only able to visit this on its last day … ‘Figurative Impressions‘ was part of Radiant Pavilion and was at the RMIT School of Art Gallery until 4th September 2015.

‘Wondernamel 2015’ @ First Site Gallery

4 09 2015

I do love visiting the annual ‘Wondernamel‘ exhibition at RMIT First Site Gallery… RMIT students show their amazing pieces that include enamel.

In fact, I would go so far as to say that a characteristic of this show is the more experimental use of enamels compared to my time (ten years ago, ahem) and particularly its application to three-dimensional smithing pieces. I’d also venture to say there are fewer ‘traditional’ items, I don’t recall seeing cloisonné or champleve?


photograph with permission

My favourites include:

  • Katie Collins’s ‘And there it was, under the dust’ neckpiece is extraordinary (foreground in first image above)
  • the assured use of enamel on Sue Buchanan’s ‘Flower‘ pieces (second image below)
  • Naoko Inuzuka’s ‘Element‘ pieces
  • Katherine Hubble ‘Lillian‘ and ‘Ida‘ pieces (second from the foreground in the third image)
Sue Buchanan, Flower, black #6, #7

Sue Buchanan, Flower, black #6, #7

Participating artists:

  • Natasha Avila [website] , Sue Buchanan , Rossi Childs [website]
  • Katie Collins [website] ,  Annie Gobel [website] , Katherine Hubble [blog]
  • Naoko Inuzuka [website] , Cara Johnson , Wendy Korol
  • Lindy McSwan [website] , Elizabeth Rich , Michaela Pegum
  • Kate Wischusen [website] , Aurelia Yeomans [FBpage]
photograph with permission

photograph with permission

Check out the First Site facebook page for more photographs.

Sorry, I was only able to visit this on its last day … ‘Wondernamel‘ was part of Radiant Pavilion and was at The First Site Gallery until 4th September 2015 (today).

Other posts: