Old things

24 10 2015

I’m going through a minimising phase. I want to reduce what I own, and perhaps hand on things to new owners who will gain new knowledge or joy from them …

In doing so, I’ve rediscovered some notes I made when I was traveling in Spain a few years ago.

holiday gallery visiting

holiday gallery visiting

Ah memories.

It’s a joy to relive, though it doesn’t half slow down the tidying endeavour!

Gold of The Hochdorf Prince

11 10 2015

Documentaries … they’re just the best, right?

Recently I was indulging in my wont to watch documentaries on art and history, particularly a new BBC show ‘The Celts: Iron, Blood and Sacrifice … with Alice Roberts and Neil Oliver‘, and my eyes have been opened to the amazing Hochdorf Prince (from the Iron Age, about 550BCE).

Look at his shoes!

Not strictly shoes as we know it, but decoration on (what are assumed to have been) leather shoes. Too gorgeous.

screen shot of documentary

screen shot of documentary

screen shot of documentary

screen shot of documentary

Naturally I searched the internets for more information …

  • he’s famous for the many other artefacts (including a rather massive cauldron) he was buried with, many of which are shown in reproduction at a museum near here he was uncovered
  • of course, Wiki ; though it’s a bit light-on to be frank
  • most fabulously, another documentary covering similar territory – but this one is from the mid-80s and has dated poorly; the moustaches in the reenactments had me in giggle fits
from Wiki; click on image for original source

from Wiki; click on image for original source (image credit: Rosemania, see Wiki for more details)

There just isn’t enough gold shoe-decorations nowadays.
Or massive cauldrons.

New experiment: absolute oblivion

9 10 2015

More weaving.
I may have a new project in mind.

O:S 001 absolute oblivion

'absolute oblivion'

‘absolute oblivion’

I’m hesitant to share too much about this idea until I get into it a little more; therefore the code title ‘O:S’.

New fledgling projects need nurturing and protecting at the start… yet somehow I’m impelled to share.

[image in this post not to be reproduced without explicit author permission]

2015 Contemporary Australian Silver & Metalwork Award @ Castlemaine Art Gallery

7 10 2015

It was the most stunning Spring day when I took a drive into the countryside to Castlemaine, to see the latest episode of the important Buda prize: the ‘2015 Contemporary Australian Silver & Metalwork Award‘ at the Castlemaine Art Gallery.

photograph taken with gallery permission

photograph taken with gallery permission

Awards (see gallery page for beautiful photographs):

  • (professional) The Leviny Commemorative award: Daehoon Kang … this is an amazing vessel, with the most stunning counter-balancing design and gorgeous surface treatment
  • (professional) Arts Centre Melbourne Silver award: Janine Tanzer … the shape and decorative elements harking back to the height of the roaring 20s
  • (professional) The Australian Decorative and Fine Art Societies Emerging artist award: Maureen Faye-Chauhan … strongly geometric pieces (as per her recent exhibition)
  • (professional) The Australian Decorative and fine Art Society of Yarra Anniversary award: Joungmee Do … the most exceptional, outrageous, jubilant object (below image)
  • (student / recent graduates) e.g.etal Design & Development award: Yu Fang Chi … incredibly delicate, almost like fairy-floss
  • (student / recent graduates) A & E Metals award: Larah Nott … her smithing pieces won her this award, though I especially liked the precision of her neckpiece
  • (student / recent graduates) Gold & Silversmithing Guild of Australia award: Kimba Pham … proving that scale isn’t necessary to show exceptional design and handskills
Joungmee Do's piece ; photograph with gallery permission

Joungmee Do’s piece ; photograph with gallery permission

This gallery is a much more deserving place for this exhibition … the previous venue in Bendigo wasn’t quite right (though should have received many visitors), and Buda (though a lovely home) was almost not quite grand enough. It’s pleasing for these objects to be positioned in an art gallery, in a room adjacent to a colonial collection. Perhaps it’s the traditionalist in me, but I think this space elevates the pieces, and hopefully it does this for visitors (particularly those who’ve not come to the gallery especially to see this exhibition).

photograph with gallery permission

photograph with gallery permission

Of course I particularly like to see the larger scale smithing objects in this exhibition – for me the first vitrine was wonderful (first image above). There are not as many shows for this oeuvre as there is for jewellery, so it’s a joy to see them playing with each other. Most especially I was pleased to see less highly polished surfaces this year, and perhaps more diversity of materials.

2015 Contemporary Australian Silver & Metalwork Award‘ is at Castlemaine Art Gallery until 18th October 2015.

See also:

Check out the article in The Age too :  ‘Craft review: Contemporary Australian silver and metalwork dazzles‘ … the author makes an interesting point about six of the seven award winners being women.

More photographs below (not published above to save load times):

Read the rest of this entry »

Calendar: October 2015

30 09 2015

post last updated: 30th September

all month:

  • NGV Winter Masterpiece, ‘Masterpieces from the Hermitage: The Legacy of Catherine the Great‘ [link]; until 8th November

1st October: Courtesy of the Artist (Sydney), Jessamy Pollack ‘Building Jewellery‘ [link]; “For this body of work, Jessamy has interpreted the design concepts and philosophies of architects Daniel Libeskind, Peter Davidson and Donald Bates, whilst taking visual inspiration from pattern and repetition found in both natural environments and the built world“; until 31st October

exhibition media

exhibition media

1st October: last day for application to Schmuck and Talente 2016 [link]

3rd October: last day for Craft, ‘Electric‘ group exhibition [link]; see my review post

3rd October: last day for Lord Coconut ‘Art of the Cuff‘ [link]

5th October: Katherine Bowman ‘What I saw when I went away‘ [link]; “What I saw when I went away (5-24 Oct) draws on Katherine’s recent travels to New York City, comprising a selection of subjective, abstract ‘souvenirs’. Through these objects, Katherine explores the idea that when we travel to see things, what we really see is ourselves. The projection of self on to what you see, experience, and ultimately what we create is central to Katherine’s philosophy. This exhibition is a reflection on how travel and new experiences inform the creation of original work, and how the act of seeing becomes the instigator of the creative process. In these new works are traces of the experience of travel, interpreted in an entirely subjective way.“; until 24th October

exhibition media

exhibition media

7th October: Melbourne Polytechnic (previously NMIT) fundraiser ; The auction offers an opportunity to purchase original handmade pieces directly from the artists, as well as providing a glimpse into the skills and techniques learnt during the Advanced Diploma of Jewellery and Object Design. The funds raised on the night contribute to the students’ external graduate exhibition, taking place mid-2016.
The doors open at 5:30pm to view the work and begin bidding on the silent auction. The live auction will commence at 7pm and continue until approximately 10pm. Food and refreshments will be available for purchase at the Royal Melbourne Hotel. Please join us for a fun night out, a few drinks and the chance to walk away with an amazing piece.
Where: Royal Melbourne Hotel, Atrium, 629 Bourke St, Melbourne
When: Wednesday 7th of October 2015. Doors open at 5:30pm. Live Auction commences at 7:00pm.  Follow us on Instagram: @mpjewellery

event media

event media


9th October: Craft ‘Mayoral Chain‘ [link]; “Alexi Freeman and Tessa Blazey, Anna Davern, Anna Varendorff, Claire McArdle, Kate Rohde, Marcos Guzman, Maree Clarke, Pennie Jagiello and Roseanne Bartley. Inspired by the craftsmanship and legacy integral to the Mayoral Chain this exhibition unpacks traditional ways of making and traditional ceremonies within contemporary society.“; until 28th November

exhibition media

exhibition media

10th October: last day for Studio Ingot, Wayne Guest ‘A bunch of vases‘ [link]

exhibition media

exhibition media

11th October: last day for Holmes à Court Gallery at Vasse Felix Winery (Margaret River, WA), Helen Britton, ‘Helen Britton in context’ [link]

11th October: last day for Pieces of Eight, Kim Victoria Wearne ‘Orogeny‘ [link]; until 11th October; part of Radiant Pavillion

17th October: last day for Studio 20/17 (Sydney), Victoria Cleland ‘Luxie‘ [link]; “Victoria Cleland’s jewellery practice investigates notions of value and meaning in traditional and contemporary objects. A candidate for Honours at Sydney College of the Arts, ‘Luxie’ is an extension of her current research into the nature of ‘luxury’ in the 21st century.”

18th October: last day for Castlemaine Art Gallery, BUDA Contemporary Australian Silver & Metalwork Award [link]

20th October: Studio 20/17, Zoe Vaness ‘Autonomous Jewellery‘ [link]; “In the mid-twentieth century British psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott developed his theory of the transitional object to explore the significance of the child’s use of the blanket or teddy bear to sooth the anxiety of separating from the mother. Winnicott’s transitional object as well as qualities of his writing like playfulness, simplicity of language, and an emphasis on paradox and contradiction inspires my doctoral research of the sculptural dimension of jewellery. Through the paradox of autonomy this exhibition examines the idea of jewellery as simultaneously supplemental and self-sufficient, as forms that are both separated from and connected to the body.“; until 7th November

exhibition media

exhibition media

31st October: last day for Gallery Funaki ’20/20′, 20th Anniversary Exhibition [link]

please tell me of other exhibitions or events
also check out Melissa Cameron’s excellent informative blog (especially for competitions)

… last calendar post: Calendar: September 2015

‘Electric’ @ Craft

14 09 2015

It doesn’t happen often that I wander into an exhibition space not knowing what’s on there. Though it happened this weekend, when I was wandering Flinders Lane and thought to visit Craft, even though I couldn’t for the life of me remember what was showing.

Electric‘ is showing and it was something of a revelation.

installation photograph

installation photograph

Participating artists:

  • Alterfact (Ben Landau and Lucile Sciallano) [website]
  • Mark Edgoose [website]
  • Douglas McManus
  • Bin Dixon-Ward [website] with Jon Osbourne

Exhibition media: “Through a combination of artists, materials and ways of making Electric maps the collaboration of the handmade with digital technology. Crafted objects across metals, plastics, ceramics and textiles engage the body in participatory gallery experiences with installations referencing interaction, wearability and function.

installation photograph

installation photograph; Alterfact

The exhibition may look sparse, but each of the four exhibits are amazing.

My favourite were the pieces by Alterfact (image above), which were 3D printed from Southern Ice Porcelain. Absolutely gorgeous! I wanted to take some home, but the ones I really wanted were all already sold. I especially liked the group that had some wiggly lines and were slightly wonky … as though they’ve been made from yarn that’s been worked and used and reused over and over again … perhaps the machine has a small kniption; they’re beautiful in their imperfection.

installation photograph; Douglas McManus

installation photograph; Douglas McManus

Make sure you read the exhibition page on Craft’s site, as it has a lot of detail from each artist.

There’s a lot to think about with the combination of technologies and making … it’s something I’ve been wondering about for a little while now, even though I haven’t quite figured out how I feel about it and what it means for ‘hand made’…

Electric‘ is at Craft until 3rd October 2015.

‘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.