Young Australian Jewellery Make Their Mark Tale Of Two Cities

Young Australian Jewellery Make Their Mark Tale Of Two Cities

Last week saw the opening of two exciting jewellery exhibitions simultaneously in Sydney and Adelaide. Two young Australian jewellers 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 jeweller from scrap and found objects, is the sole curator of a new jewellery exhibition featuring works by New Zealand artists. It called out bursts of unhinge imagination. These two young jewellers represent a shift in generational art that is mark by increasing verna cularization of Australian visual arts, including jewellery.

Verna cularization is a way to reject cliched Australian, 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 Sculpture Jewellery

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 unprepossessing 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 Lies Jewellery

As architects, we believe that space’s social dimension lies in its ability for materialization and conceptualization 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 sub urbanity, 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 egalitarian self-image.

Notion That Australians

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 life and art. This is reflected in our growing tastes in visual arts, as well as bodily adornment.

Many of Pollock’s 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 poker pelangi.

John Macarthur, The Architect Jewellery

It is important to think about the merits of Federation Square. Jessamy pollock is also involved in the game of culture. She designs and makes exquisite maquette brooches featuring Federation Square and earrings. She created a whole suite of wearable art in her Sydney exhibition Building Jewellery. This is a way to see Australian culture from a different perspective. Each work is legible as bodily ornamentation.

Lisa Furno’s mode of operation is completely different but not less relevant to the place and time in which we live. Furno’s genius lies in her ability to turn plastic, mostly plastic, into wearable items. Kenneth Slessor, an Australian poet, said it in a different context, You find these ugly, but I find them beautiful.

Helen Britton Lucky Charms And Painful Longing

Helen Britton Lucky Charms And Painful Longing

Helen Britton graciously 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 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, Feel This Britton, Even If No One Is Looking

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-filled European forest in the rain. You 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 casual hobby for many. 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 craft items that inspire from the diverse cultures around her.

Western Australia Britton

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 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 covered 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, which are iridescent, 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.

Trepidation And Thrill-Seeking

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

Another area is where industrial chic meets dystopian universes. A floor sculpture may be a mad architect’s model for an industrialized construction zone. Or, it could be an upscaled version of one of her works. The body becomes the plinth to an array of jewellery forms that resonates with the clamours of modern mechanised life.

Necklaces Suspended From The Structure’s Rigging Britton

Many rings, bracelets, and necklaces suspended from the structure’s rigging, or placed on its raised platforms. They are made of various perforated or incised small drummers, Minature sprockets-like shapes, and a variety of metal forms that have been forged together like they were whirling on an endless conveyor belt. It’s brilliant, thought-provoking stuff which shocks us into a baroque swirl in meaning making.

It is here that public and private iconographies meet. Numerous threaded collections consisting of shells, fish bones and seashore finds are found on a plain wooden trestle table. These records document Helen Britton’s travels between the physical worlds in Western Australia and Germany, as well as personal memories.

These portals of nostalgia reverie allow for the interplay between the self and the other, space and time. No, nostalgia does not refer to the sweet endearments of a past that indelibly fixed in time. However, such sentimentality may be one aspect of Helen Britton’s collection of meanings that can be playful consider.

Instead, I’m thinking about Nadia Serematakis, a social historian who describes a painful longing imbued with sensual and sensate forms material culture. A longing that envisions other futures.

These objects are embed in everyday life’s materiality, and in the present moment of seeing, and touch us with their familiarity. They also transport us to other places through their associative meanings. These are the interstices in Helen Britton’s art that transfix me. Interstices will be showing at the Perth International Arts Festival from Sat 15 April 2017 to Sat 15 April 2017.

Designing into the Next Decade Design

Designing into the Next Decade Design

Today’s designers are 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 modern-day industries to the new information environment, 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

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 is cohesive and well executed. It is their shared ambition to create enormous effects with small, thoughtful actions. Danielle Robson, curator. Each project is a reflection of concern for humanity’s progress and wellbeing.

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

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 body’s rhythms to control the calm environment, giving the patient control and reducing anxiety before the procedure.

Ecological Industrial Designer

Stephen Mushin’s drawings as an ecological industrial designer are among the most impressive contributions to the exhibition. His unlikely bio-organic machines, while not only a plausible fantasy, have been well-researched and are able to be built into working prototypes of human-powered aquaponic systems that can grow food 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 described as prototypes.

CUSP is a way to express the optimism and potential of designing with change in mind, rather than for products. The most striking thing about the exhibition is its playful curiosity and thoughtful lightness. It avoids the heavy-handed moralizing that is often expected from such heavy rhetoric.

Game Designer

The exhibition will feature everything from Floyd Mueller, a game designer whose work requires play, to Super Critical Mass, sonic art collective that creates participatory soundscapes. The curators and exhibitors know that in order to bring us all into the next decade, we must enjoy their work.

The vision of Object is to promote and showcase the outstanding design skills of Australian designers. CUSP does this well, highlighting the talents of Australian design hidden somewhere between servers farms, fashion studios, and greenhouses. This is a case of altruism; it’s critical and focused with purpose. It’s eager to surpass boundaries and learn from new partners in science, medicine and finance.