Two Young Australian Jewellery Make Their Mark

Two Young Australian Jewellery Make Their Mark

Last week saw the opening of two exciting jewellery exhibitions simultaneously in Sydney and Adelaide. Two young Australian jewellers are feature in these exhibitions. Their work is very different, both visually and conceptually.

Jessamy pollock’s solo exhibition in Sydney, Building Jewellery, draws inspiration from Australian architecture and the built environment. She also uses aluminium and precious metals to create patterns found in nature.

Adelaide Lisa Furno, a jeweler from scrap and found objects, is the sole curator of a new jewellery exhibition featuring works by New Zealand artists. It’s call outburstsof unhinge imagination.

These two young jewellers represent a shift in generational art that is mark by increasing vernacularisation in Australian visual art, which includes jewellery.

Vernacularisation is a way to reject cliched Australianness, such as references to the bush or the beach. It also means more direct engagement in urban and suburban life: art and design that reflect our daily lives and domestic concerns.

Although the approaches and media choices of the young artists are very different, both artistic works reflect this common sensibility.

Wearable Jewellery Sculptures

Pollock’s wearable sculptures are a reflection of high levels planning, control, attention to detail, and careful attention to form. Pollock creates refined pieces that fit comfortably in the realm of fine art.

Lisa Furno, on the other hand, is bowerbird-like and uses trash and throwaway materials for tongue-in-cheek ironic work. She melts down plastics and incorporates other detritus. Furno transforms these seemingly unimportant raw materials into colorful and extravagant wearable collages, which seem to transcend the divide between fine art and popular culture.

Jessamy’s Pollock’s art, on the other hand, deliberately refers to naturally occurring patterns and repetitions such as the honeycomb as well as certain geometric designs in Australian architecture.

I first began to look at Federation Square as an aesthetic inspiration a few years ago. This led me to read essays on the design philosophy behind buildings.

She was inspire to do this by Donald Bates work on the Federation Square redesign. He has written the following about the underlying philosophy behind his LAB Architecture Studio practice.

Space’s Social Dimension Jewellery

As architects, we believe that space’s social dimension lies in its ability for materialization and conceptualisation through new and more speculative spatial arrangements.

Jessamy’s jewellery practice has been profoundly influence by the architectural philosophy of Bates et al. She explains the principles that underpin her practice in her own words. The first is this:

Everything must serve two purposes. In a wider sense, this could mean that the building serves two purposes. It must be wearable, but it also needs to be an object that is not attached to the body.

Pollock’s wearable sculptures are also a testimony to Australian urbanity and suburbanity, as well as to the interconnected world in our present lives.

Traditional jewellery images conjure up powerful and well-bejewelled people. This is in stark contrast to the Australian egalitarianism self-image.

Australians Are Averse To Power

Although the notion that Australians are averse to power, prestige, or status is ludicrous, we have overcome our collective cultural fear to see the value of the vernacular both in art and life. This is reflected in our growing tastes in visual arts, as well as bodily adornment.

Many of Pollock‚Äôs clever and captivating brooches, as well as other “wearable art”, are miniature models of Melbourne’s Federation Square’s unique, eccentric, and crazy-shaped architecture. Each brooch takes its own shape depending on the angle from which it is viewed.

This requires conceptual prowess, but Pollock’s entire body of work demonstrates a high degree of technical mastery. The design elements that underpin these wearable sculptures tap into a unique Australian social and architectural zeitgeist. John Macarthur, the architect, writes about Federation Square. It is important to think about the merits of Federation Square.

Intrigue, Lucky Charms And Painful Longing

Intrigue, Lucky Charms And Painful Longing

Helen Britton graciously Charms interrupts her busy schedule to speak about her art, as it is just a week before her Interstices exhibition at Perth’s Lawrence Wilson Gallery. The usual noise of installation heard all around us. Some works already attach to the walls, others are strategically place on the floors. The space is then fill with boxes, bubble wrap and ladders, as the installation crew continues their work.

Britton smoothens a piece of metal that could be use as an ornament for the body on the table before us. Britton carefully balances a combination of hand-wrought metallic forms by carefully arranging the ends. She takes another out of a box.

Quick, While Nobody Is Looking, Feel It

Most gallery visitors are denied the privilege of touching. Shivering, tinkling, tiny metal shapes glide between my fingers. These tiny metal shapes are like a lichen-covered European forest in the rain. You are transport by the gunmetal gangrene pine leaves, which dripping with leaf mould fungus. It’s beautiful.

What is it that holds us captive in our fascination with objects of the material world? You may have trinkets in your credenza’s bottom drawer, or proudly displayed on a living room cabinet. These items are part of material culture and can be imbued both with personal and social meanings.

Britton’s collection of personal icons, which she refers to as her creative inspiration, is a random gathering of objects that may seem like a random assortment of fancies.

Britton studied fine art at Edith Cowan University. She also completed a Masters in Creative Arts by Research at Curtin University. Britton is a renown international jeweller and maker exquisitely crafted items that are inspired from the diverse cultures around her.

Western Australia Charms

While her studio is now in Germany, she maintains close ties to Western Australia and visits often. The landforms, bush, and coastal environments of Western Australia provide her with solace and inspiration. Interstices is a celebration and tribute to her 25-years of practice.

Two darkly lit forms, either trained eels, or eevilish train, trundle Charms along the looping circuit in the gallery’s darkened hall. A set of boldly-painted drawings, captured in a flash of downlight glare on a nearby wall are reminiscent of sideshow posters, European folk art chapbooks and places savoring uncertain pleasures.

An adjacent wall is cover in large lucky charms. In front, there’s a display case with intrigue-fuelled jewellery items. A tiny, glowing horse is enclosed in a metal cage. Has it been racing too fast? Three little bluebirds are also nestled in the cage. While a devil-faced, ring laughs at itself, the two of them are encased in an uncomfortable metal bed.

The gallery buzzes with excitement , trepidation and thrill-seeking . Get on board the ghost train! Try your luck! Try your luck! Grab your show bags! Helen Britton will playfully tease you tonight with unheimlich.

Britton critiques traditional art practice’s institutional hierarchies in one space by combining the violence of decorative with it. Large-scale drawings and lusty ornaments made for personal white cube walls echo the rich details of body adornments that fill display cabinets.

Designing Into The Next Decade Design

Designing Into The Next Decade Design

Today’s designers eager for their Design work to be seen in a wider world. They test their skills in non-traditional areas like finance, conflict and health; they are becoming more confident in design’s ability to add cultural and human value to new domains.

This is the context for CUSP: Designing into The Next Decade, presented by Object Australia Design Centre (where i’m chair), an ambitious national touring exhibit that opened in Sydney last year at the Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre. It’s currently on display at the Jam Factory in Adelaide and will travel to five other galleries across Australia until August 2015.

Bruce Mau, a Canadian designer, was the one who introduced us to the big design movement in 2004. The Vancouver Art Gallery commissioned the exhibition Massive Change. Mau’s first page of the accompanying book is here.

Design Is Often Invisible To Most People Until It Fails

Mau saw that the world was changing fundamentally and that designers were not responsible for designing within that world. We began to see economies, medicine and electricity as the outcomes of highly complex, but still designed systems.

Mau outlined the shift in design cultures from creating manufacturing objects to designing integrated process, just four years before the global financial crises.

The moment of great change was upon us. From the industries of the 21st century to the fluid information environments and new age, design was ready to intervene. How can a world that Mau describes as a design one be so flawed? Maybe Mau was right. We are seeing design everywhere, because everything seems in dire need of repair. Design is the art of navigating work and daily life beyond the rare air of Alessi teapots.

Design For Maximum Impact Design

CUSP features 12 Australian designers whose skills range from architecture and jewelry to graphic information systems to fashion to sonic installations to interactive wallpaper, indigenous inspiration to steampunk humour

This show is a collection of diverse designers that has been carefully curated and executed well. Their common ambition to create enormous effects with small, thoughtful actions is what binds them together. Danielle Robson, curator: Each project is a reflection of concern for humanity’s progress and wellbeing.

Leah Heiss, a jewelry designer, believes that small can make a big impact. Her work is focus on the stigma associated with medical prostheses that indicate impairment. Instead, she offers jewelry that makes insulin injections for diabetics a private act behind fashion statements (a ring), giving the wearer the power to disclose and treat.

Interaction Designer

George Khut, an interaction designer, also deals with medicine. However, he focuses on children undergoing painful and serious medical procedures. The iPad interface uses the rhythms in the body to control the calm environment on the screen, giving the patient control and reducing anxiety before the procedure.

Stephen Mushin’s drawings as an ecological industrial designer are among the most impressive contributions to the exhibition. His unlikely bio-organic machines, while plausible fantasies, are well-researched and have led to prototypes of human-powered aquaponic systems that can be used for food production in developing countries.

Greg Moore, data visualisation expert, self-described data poetry. Mari Veloniki, artist, robot-inspiring responsive wall paper. While they are radically different, both take technology outside of our comfort zones and create platforms for information sharing. These prototypes for experiential information system might be best describe as prototypes.