The exhibition Sense of Place was exhibited at Grafton Regional Gallery 23 May - 14 July in 2019. It featured works from three contemporary jewellers, Maddison Bygrave, Kristina Gittins and Mia Wells.
I curated the exhibition around the idea of how jewellery frequently takes on the role of representing something or someone we hold dear. In the case of Bygrave, Gittins and Wells their jewellery is representative of a place without specificity, but it is a place we all know, the coastline of Australia. While the artists approach their works in quite different ways, there is a common thread between their motivations. They share a respect and concern for the ocean and coastal environments and their works emphasise the preciousness of this place that is part of the greater Australian Identity. They share a concern about the responsible use of materials and this is manifested in their choice to prioritise the use of recycled sterling silver, and the reuse and repurposing of materials.
Thank you to Niomi Sands the Grafton Regional Gallery Director.
I have attached the catalogue at the bottom of this post.
Sense of Place follows two previous exhibitions I have curated that have considered how environmental concerns are are being explored by contemporary jewellers.
In 2018 I curated Inhabiting Sense of Place for Glasshouse, Port Macquarie where it was on show from 13 October to 2 December. The exhibition featured works from Rebecca Ward (Maleny), Clare Poppi (Marburg) and Helen Wyatt (Sydney) whose jewellery through material and aesthetic choices evoke a sense of place.
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.
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
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.
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.
In 2009 Nick Ashby and I collaborated for an exhibition The Miniature Museum which we showed first at Blindside Melbourne and then at Metro Arts Gallery Brisbane. It was the first time we had publicly shown our collaborative works.
In 2016 The S.O.A.P collective made contact. They were curating an exhibition "Using a 'call and response' method of curation." We were two of many artists contacted who had exhibited at Blindside between 2004 and 2009. "The ‘call and response’ method addresses the challenges of working artists in Australia: the networks formed inside and outside the internet, the scarcity of cheap gallery space and the sparse public and private funds to remunerate artists." (2016 S.O.A.P Blindside Room Sheet).
For us, Ashby and Shaw, it was an interesting invitation to recieve. The Miniature Museum exhibition was so long ago, yet we had recently returned to some of the ideas the exhibition had explored.
The works we are exhibiting in Curtain Call represent our continued interest in collaboration, exploring new ways of working together. The three miniature portraits represent writers who have explored ideas about politics, sculpture and painting. Using images sourced online and transformed through interpretation and framing the three individuals are located in a personal domain, detached from their more familiar personas.
The full list of exhibiting ARTISTS - it was interesting to see the final list and great to be exhibiting with them.
Aly Aitken, David Akenson, Santina Amato, Rachel Ang, Jessie Angwin, Beth Arnold, Nick Ashby, Eleanor Avery, James Avery, Jill Barker, Selina Braine, Merric Brettle, Kiera Brew Kurec, Michele Burder, Ben Byrne, Kate Cotching, Bridget Currie, Anna Daly, Jared Davis, Julia Davis, Clare Humphries, Zoe De Luca, Rehgan De Mather, Kim Demuth, Hazel Dooney, Daniel Dorall, Craig Easton, Kel Glaister, Katya Grokhovsky, Michelle Hamer, Jim Hart, PJ Hickman, Stephanie Hicks, Joyce Huang, Amanda Johnson, Lisa Jones, Dena Kahan, Helen Kelly, Anusha Kenny, Susan Lincoln, Michael Lindeman, Natalya Maller, Amy Marjoram, Jessica McElhinney, Pamela See, Julie-Anne Milinski, David Mutch, Kirsten Perry, Debra Porch, Clare Rae, Steven Rendall, Mandy Ridley, Dunja Rmandic, Susan Robb, Giles Ryder, Elizabeth Shaw, Tai Snaith, Lisa Stewart, Andrew Tetzlaff, Jade Venus, Paul White, Jordan Wood, Sary Zananiri
OPENING DRINKS: Thursday 8 December 2016
THURSDAY 8 DEC 2016
6pm – 8pm
Level 7, Room 14, Nicholas Building
37 Swanston Street, Melbourne 3000
Tuesday to Saturday, 12pm–6pm
Closed on public holidays
(+61 3) 9650 0093
My long term friend and colleague Catherine Large and I have recently sent works to the USA to contribute to The Alchemy of Sustainability at Terra Firma Gallery, Berkeley.
The Alchemy of Sustainability is a fundraiser for Ethical Metalsmiths whose mission is to Lead jewelers and consumers in becoming informed activists for responsible mining, sustainable economic development and verified, ethical sources of materials used in making jewelry. I am on the international advisory council for Ethical Metalsmiths.
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 2011. 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.
You can read about the RJM in Brisbane here and here
Catherine and I drew on some of the left over materials from the Brisbane RJM to create pieces for the The Alchemy of Sustainability. We also drew on some materials from our own studios. My bracelets are made completely from my own old works in my studio.
Christina Miller cofounded Ethical Metalsmiths, and when I first contacted her she was Executive Director of the organisation. She is now a consultant inspiring and mentoring bold social and environmental leadership in jewelry, education and the arts.
I am conscious of the mixed use of spelling of jewellery and jewelry in this post, jewelry is used for any text that is American.
Garland Magazine was launched late last year as an online magazine "to encourage a dialogue across the Asia Pacific about the objects that give our lives meaning." Kevin Murray, Olivia Pintos-Lopez and Damien Wright are the editorial team members. The first issue published articles from 30 writers covering a wide range of perspectives in relation to thinking about craft.
I recommend having a read and I also suggest you consider subscribing - it isn't essential to access Garland, but it will support this important initiative.
Annual subscriptions, are affordable at $AUD 40, and enable special access to the quarterly essays. Subscriptions go towards commissioning future essays and supporting cultural dialogue around what we make.
You'll find Garland Magazine here
In association with the launch of Garland Magazine, the inaugural online exhibition Intimate Imensities was launched. Above is the picture of my work included in the exhibition.
The exhibition was curated by Olivia Pintos-Lopez, and brings together works from 23 artists from the Asia Pacific in the virtual online gallery. The artists are: Susan Robey | Ian Mowbray | Rosa Hawker | Varuni Kanagasundaram | Damien Wright | Anna Gray | Andrew Stinear | Nalda Searles | Amelina Trainor | Andrew Baldwin | Andrea Mina | Caroline Baum | Clare McCracken | Vicki Mason | Julie Blyfield | Elizabeth Shaw | Paola Moreno | WALKA | this.means.that studio | Melissa Cameron | Trudy Golley | Inup Park | Juree Kim
Here is the callout for the next exhibition:
Calling Second Home - exhibition for Garland #2
While home is something many of us take for granted, it is fact of life, if not history, that we will change our primary shelter. Human, animal and plant life is littered with discarded shells. Techniques can evolve to re-purpose these, such as the shell money from the Solomon Islands, that is arranged in beautiful necklaces. To explore the creative uses of real and metaphoric shells, Garland is calling for works to its next online exhibition, Second Home. See here for more details.
These are my works in the exhibition:
The list of installed artists is big, it is a big exhibition:
Albert Tse, Alicia Lane, Alison Stone, Amelina Trainor, Andy Lowrie, Ann Chadwick, Beth Hodges, Catherine Large, Clare Poppi, Chris Hardwick, Dan Cox, Elizabeth Shaw, Emma Clippingdale, Esther Shelley, Helen Moriarty, Helen Wyatt, Jandy Pannell, Jen Eales, Jesika Hanford, Joan Teo, Karah Sinden, Kathleen Hunt, Katie Stormonth , Keith Swan, Kristina Gittins, Lucille Atkins, Lynda Shale, Maree Heard, Megan MacKenzie, Milly Bell, Pat Holcombe, Pierina Curties, Rachel Boland, Renata Fojtikova, Robyn Pell, Sarah Smith, Stephanie Owens, M. Veronica Silva & Vivien Bedwell.
You are cordially invited to the Opening Reception of ACJ's 2015
exhibition Sleight of Hand, at Plymouth College of Art Gallery.
Wednesday 18th November 5.00 to 7.00 pm
There are two Artist Talks during the show.
Wednesday 25th November, Dauvit Alexander
Wednesday 2nd December, Viktoria Munzker
both 5.30 - 6.30 pm at the Studio Theatre next to the Gallery, free entry.
Sleight of Hand will be on show until Saturday12 December
for how to get there, see
these are occasional posts about the things that are inspiring me, or that are happening around.