Thursday, 28 June 2012

An Invitation to Local Colour

‘Local Colour’

A solo exhibition by jewellery artist Mel Miller

3rd – 14th July 2012

CELEBRATION DRINKS Saturday 7th July 2012 – 4-6pm

ARTIST TALK 3:30pm Saturday 7th July 2012

Most people travel at the same time and the same route to and from work everyday. If you’re like Melbourne based jeweller Mel Miller, you might start to notice how places along your journey, maybe a church, a house or a park, start to look different not only in the changing light of the day but also through the changing seasons.

Local Colour, Miller’s first solo show at Studio 20/17 in Sydney, and will showcase brooches, neckpieces, rings and objects depicting abstracted interpretations of streetscapes, parks, buildings and details of the urban landscape that she passes in her daily commute.

Miller says ‘…knowing these familiar places in different lights reveals their picturesque peculiarities.’

Monday, 25 June 2012

1 week until showtime!

Local Colour opens next Tuesday! My first solo exhibition in Sydney will be held at Studio 20/17 from 3-14 July 2012. I will be in Sydney for the opening on Saturday 7th July from 4-6pm and will be giving an artist talk at the gallery from 3:30 - 4pm the same day. Here's a sneak peak at the catalogue cover. If you're in Sydney, do come and check it out! And if you're stuck in rainy Melbourne or on the other side of the world, I'll post pictures of the exhibition here.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Showcase 500 Rings is here!

Look what came in the mail! Showcase 500 Rings: New Directions in Art Jewelry is the first in Lark Books' new "Showcase 500" series. Juried by Bruce Metcalf, the book is full of exciting new work. A few of my favourites are the Golden Fleece ring by Giovanni Corvaja, made of 104,272 fur-like strands of gold, Julie Usel's Potato Ring series composed of dried and dyed potatoes, Daniel Cook's Magnetic Wedding Set using iron filings and magnets, and Johanna Dahm's "Clay" rings, which are not made of clay at all, but use 22kt gold and rough yellow diamonds like clay.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Public Displays of Attention

Public Displays of Attention, a new exhibition by Melbourne jeweller Claire McArdle, is now on at Studio 20/17 in Sydney. Claire's new work is a series of large and playful attention-grabbers in a rainbow of colours. Such fun! If you can't make it to Sydney, there are photos of the exhibition display on the Studio 20/17 website.

I especially love the invitation, showing photographs of the work being worn (above). These are joyful pieces that break down the barriers between strangers and encourage connections between people.

The exhibition runs until 16 June.

images from exhibition media, Studio 20/17

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Unexpected Pleasures

I finally made my way down to the National Gallery of Victoria to see the much talked about contemporary jewellery exhibition Unexpected Pleasures, and was not disappointed. Curated by Dr Susan Cohn for the Design Museum, London, it is a comprehensive survey exhibition showcasing jewellery from the beginnings of the contemporary jewellery movement in the mid-20th century all the way up to works made this year. Tucked away in a corner of the ground floor of the NGV, almost hidden behind the bathrooms, the show might be hard to find but it's a gem once you get there. Round glass display cases highlight larger neckpieces on one side of the room, with similar flat glass-topped enclosures filled with smaller treasures set up on the other side.

The exhibition appears to be designed as an introduction to contemporary jewellery for those who may not be familiar with the discipline, and it successfully showcases a range of works from different countries, decades, methods of working and concepts. Works are grouped into themes that introduce the breadth of the field, such as materiality, memory, commemoration, new materials and techniques, narrative, and experimentation. A description of each themed group is displayed with each case, along with details of the work.

image of laminated rose neckpiece by Gijs Bakker (foreground)

A separate section focuses on the beginnings of the contemporary jewellery movement and definitions of contemporary jewellery, including a discussion of the notions of Art, Craft, Fashion and Design, with works dating to the early days of contemporary jewellery illustrating how these concepts are defined and intertwined.

image of neckpiece of coloured plastic legs by Lisa Walker

As an introductory look at contemporary jewellery for an audience who may be unfamiliar with the movement, its origins, themes, methods and development, Unexpected Pleasures offers a clear, comprehensive overview of the field, and it's always good to see contemporary jewellery attracting a wider audience. For those of us who are already familiar with this work, it's a good opportunity to see works we may have seen in books but never in person, as well as a chance to see new works by makers both familiar and unfamiliar to us.

image of Camilla Prasch, MEGA 2009, from exhibition media, National Gallery of Victoria

I was delighted by the bubbling seed-pearl necklace by Sam Tho Duong, maker of a similar neckpiece shown in Schmuck 2009, which was shown at RMIT Gallery. There is beautiful enamel work by Christine Graf and Jamie Bennett, embroidered silver narrative brooches by Esther Knobel, and tiny whimsical creatures by Andy Gut, to name a few of the dozens of impressive works in the show.

Unexpected Pleasures is a must-see if you're in Melbourne. The exhibition runs until 26 August, and entry is free. 
image of Sally Marsland, Flat Colour, from exhibition media, National Gallery of Victoria

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Love Local Fashion

One of my felt rings was featured Friday on Love Local Fashion, a blog about Australian makers and designers written by Aleisha MacCormack, TV presenter on Channel 10's The Circle. Aleisha's goal is to highlight Australian made fashion, jewellery, shoes and accessories on the air, and she writes about what she wears on the show on her blog. She has committed to only wearing Australian made fashion on air. I'll post an update when I know the air date of the show!

Friday, 1 June 2012

Refined VII: Inspiration Exhibition Photos

One of my landscape brooches was featured in Refined VII: Inspiration, the seventh biennial Refined exhibition held this February at the Cole Art Centre @ the Old Opera House in Nacogdoches, Texas. The organisers have been kind enough to send some photos of the exhibition and opening reception, for those of us who couldn't make it, due to being on the other side of the world...

There's my brooch in the centre.

And this year's winning piece, Inspirational Ashes by Becky McDonah, an alumni of my alma mater, Arizona State University, and now Assistant Professor of Metals at ASU. Becky has been creating intricate reliquary containers for seemingly mundane objects since her postgraduate work at ASU. This one contains coals and ashes from a personally significant fire, and the marshmallow on the top opens to reveal another treasure - a real marshmallow

All images courtesy of Refined VII: Inspiration