RADICAL LOCALISM IS A TOURING EXHIBITION OF JEWELLERY & OBJECTS BY ELIZABETH SHAW CURATED BY CASSANDRA LEHMAN (ARTISAN QUEENSLAND).
Lehman has drawn jewellery and objects from decades of my studio practice. Her installation mixes works from various periods and in doing so draws attention to constant and related interests that have permeated my studio thinking.
The Opening event is 6pm Friday 4 February 2022.
Floor talk and morning tea 10am Sunday 6 February.
Further details are available here
I was happy to have two of my bracelets selected for inclusion in Nicolas Estrada's new book New Bracelets. This is the fourth book in the series, it was preceded by New Brooches, New Rings and New Necklaces.
My works included are Nail head Bracelet, found nails, steel wire, reused sterling silver and Links Bracelet (bone), found metal (assorted washers and bits with holes), reused and recycled sterling silver. Thank you to Michelle Bowden @visuall for taking the print quality photos.
The book is now available in Australia from Australian distributors Booktopia and at quality bookshops.
Michelle Obama’s necklace and the power of political jewellery — from suffragettes to a secretary of state
The necklace worn by Michelle Obama while addressing the Democratic National Convention — a fine gold chain spelling out the word VOTE in spaced, sans serif letters — has gone viral.
Made by a small company owned by Chari Cuthbert, the necklace was designed“for powerhouse women who let their voices be heard, especially at the polls”.
Using jewellery to communicate a message is neither new or unusual. Archaeologists have described finding body adornments as “the closest thing to finding prehistoric thought.” Most jewellery, whether a ring or a medal or a badge, is visible to others and thus an expression of the wearer and their status.
But Obama’s is the latest in a long line of celebrated examples of jewellery as a political device: from suffragettes’ medals to Madeleine Albright’s pins. Even brooches worn by Queen Elizabeth have been read by some as political statements.
This is from an article I wrote for The Conversation. It was published August 25, 2020 6.05am AEST you can read the rest of the article here
The exhibition Inhabiting Space featured works from three contemporary jewellers, Rebecca Ward (Maleny, QLD), Clare Poppi (Marburg, QLD) and Helen Wyatt (Sydney, NSW) whose small precious works capture the imagination through their material and aesthetic choice. I curated the exhibition for the Glasshouse, Port Macquarie where it was on show from 13 October to 2 December 2018. https://www.glasshouse.org.au/Whats-On/Inhabiting-Space-Oct-2018
In 2010 I curated an exhibition for Redlands Gallery called Revisiting the Australian Landscape - interpreting the landscape on an intimate scale. The exhibition looked at how contemporary Queensland jewellers and metalsmiths were using the Australian landscape as the vehicle to express ideas of political and cultural location at a time of reassessment and reevaluation. It occurred to me after installing Inhabiting Space that there was a clear relationship with the ideas I had explored in the 2010 exhibition. Rebecca Ward exhibited in both exhibitions.
The wall text and my catalogue essay for Inhabiting Space are below.
The gallery wall text
This exhibition looks at how contemporary jewellers are thinking about the environment and how this is reflected in what they make. The works convey a narrative of nature and how it intersects with the built environment and humans. The exhibition asked what we hold as precious, and considers the relationships between these.
Inhabiting Space features works from three contemporary jewellers, Rebecca Ward (Maleny, QLD), Clare Poppi (Marburg, QLD) and Helen Wyatt (Sydney, NSW) whose small precious works capture the imagination through their material and aesthetic choice.
This is a curatorial collaboration project developed with Dr Elizabeth Shaw, from the Queensland College of Art, at Griffith University.
Helen is completing a Masters of Visual Arts by Research at Queensland College of Art. She is Sydney based but has spent recent years commuting between Sydney, Brisbane and Newcastle – finding in these places ideas to explore through her work. She has had a long involvement in the visual arts but has more recently focused her practice on jewellery and small objects. Helen is also exhibiting and writing about contemporary jewellery and small objects.
Clare Poppi is an artist living and working in Brisbane, Australia. After achieving first class honours in her Fine Art degree she received an ArtStart grant from the Australia Council for the Arts and has continued to make art, establishing a studio space with three other jewellers from which to create her work. Her primary practice is in jewellery & metal-smithing, focusing on sustainable design and wearable art.
Rebecca Ward is a contemporary jeweller and artist based on the Sunshine Coast Hinterland where she lives off-grid on Stoney Edge Nature Refuge. Her work is ‘material focused’ and she uses a variety of natural materials and repurposed found objects to create and theme her jewellery. It is exhibited nationally, internationally and is housed in the collection of the Art Gallery of South Australia. She also works collaboratively on large-scale public art sculpture projects with her artist partner, Russell Anderson. Rebecca is mother to two young girls, enjoys devising and delivering art workshops for adults and children and is also involved with the regeneration of koala habitat on her nature refuge property.
A contemporary jewellery exhibition curated by Dr Elizabeth Shaw
these are occasional posts about the things that are inspiring me, or that are happening around.