Why Jewellery? 2 is the second in a series of exchange exhibitions between Queensland College of Art Griffith University and Hong Kong Baptist University. The exhibition features works from staff and selected current third year students and recent graduates who responded to the question "Why Jewellery?". The idea for the exhibition developed following conversations I had with Dr Ching Sze Yin, Cicy the head of the Jewellery studio when I was visiting HKBU. We held the first exhibition in the series in 2015, the Why-Jewellery? website has images and information from both exhibitions.
I see Why Jewellery? as an important prompt for our students and graduates to interrogate their ideas about jewellery through their own work and through viewing that of their peers. It is a great opportunity to exhibit their works in an international exhibition and to develop a understanding of other artists' motivations.
The exhibition opened in the Project Gallery at QCA on 14 June, and despite heavy rain, and the university break, the exhibition attracted a good crowd.
When I was 5 I wrote and illustrated a story called "The Praty" sic. I am pretty sure that praty was my 5 year old way of spelling party. Or at least the way the story progresses that is what I understand.
There is something about this small element of my past that has inspired several works over the years. In 1996 for an exhibition of artists books curated by Frank McBride at the Brisbane City Gallery (now Museum of Brisbane) I reproduced the illustrated story in a copper book.
Sometime also in the late 1990's I worked with reproducing some of the characters from the story in silver. I didn't resolve what I was going to do with them. They still linger around my work bench waiting to be resolved.
Around 2005 I printed the characters in black on unbleached linen tea towels. I gave these to members of my family. Around 2000 I made a series of reusable black shopping bags with the a character printed in white, these were again given to my family.
Now in 2017 the characters have appeared in Creature Earrings and on oven mitts. The Creature earrings were included in JMGQs two April Pop Up Shops at Papermoon and an Oven Mitt – featuring a creature from my childhood was exhibited in BusyBrick's embroidery exhibition Prick also in April.
This is a pre Christmas exhibition with a difference. All of the works exhibited have been made from materials retreived from donated jewellery as a part of the Radical Jewellery Makeover.
The Radical Jewellery Makeover is an educational initiative of Ethical Metalsmiths and involves a call to the public to donate their unwanted jewellery. The donations are sorted and categorised to be deconstructed and become the raw materials to be reworked by a team of jewellers. The resulting works are heavily influenced by the donated materials, though the donors may no longer be able to recognise any elements of what they contributed. The jewellers get to work with materials they don't usually use and this proves an inspiration and challenge to develop new works that add value to the materials.
My contact with the Ethical Metalsmiths started in late 2006 when I emailed Christina Miller. I was in the process of making changes to the Jewellery Program at QCA and I was keen to talk to academics and researchers with shared interests. Christina was the first I found and we began conversing by email and mail. The conversations led to Christina and her collaborator Susie Ganch visiting QCA to host a Radical Jewellery Makeover in 2010. This was to be the first international RJM and the 4th in the ongoing series of the travelling community mining and recycling project that draws public attention to the creativity and skills of local jewellery designers, reveals the stories behind our personal collections and encourages re-consideration of our habits of consumption. I joined Susie and Christina to deliver an RJM in New Mexico in 2011. The 2016 Brisbane RJM is the second to be hosted in Australia and I have led it with the assistance of Clare Poppi a QCA Masters candidate.
The jewellers who are exhibiting RJM works in the current exhibition are: Alicia Lane, Alison Bruce, Catherine Large, Chloe Healy. Elizabeth Shaw, Juliana Platt, Katie Stormonth, Kierra-Jay Power, Lynda Shale, Melissa Stannard, Mia Wells, Nellie Peoples, Robyn Pell, Vivien Bedwell and Xiaohui Yang. Many more have been involved in the project. A big thank you to Lisa Brown from Faun Photography for documenting a lot of the jewellery made.
these are occasional posts about the things that are inspiring me, or that are happening around.