HOARD at The Dowse

Hoard is a bookcase and library ladder salvaged from a used-book shop that closed its doors in 2015. The shelves are packed with gilded volumes, displayed with the gold edges facing outwards. It is a continuation of the series On Jewelleryness, which investigates the properties and power of jewellery. None of the works features physical jewellery forms; instead they…

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May ’17: Job satisfaction

One May Sunday, on my way home from a book sale in the Wairarapa, I called in at The Dowse. I wanted to quickly scope out the Blumhardt gallery, where our final Handshake 3 show – Reflect – will be staged in August: While I was photographing and measuring, one of the desk staff –…

Munich 1: Singing in a Dark Time

For It Will All Come Out In The Wash, the Handshake  3/Dialogue Collective collaboration  I teamed up with Wellington designer Greta Menzies. It’s March 2017 and we’ve 800 mm of precious Munich Jewellery Week air-space… What to send across the globe, in the face of all this crazy? Something hopeful; something for the artists. ‘In a…

When all else fails… look to books

Refugees Welcome, by VladyArt, September 2015 Kalamaria/Thessaloniki, Greece. A red carpet entry to Europe: plastic pipes, gold paint, red cloth, naval rope, wooden finials for curtain rods, paper plates. From mid-2016 we Handshakers worked with the London-based group Dialogue Collective to build a collaborative show for Munich Jewellery Week 2017. In a flurry of inter-hemispherical bonding we exchanged words and…

TOUCH and PAUSE at Platina

For July’s Handshake show at Platina  in Stockholm I collaborated with Kate Whitley, the photographer who shot the tabletop images for the Touch table. The show coincided with the Rio Olympics and Paralympics, and we wanted exhibition visitors to experience the elation and surge of well-being that occurs at That Podium Moment. We were inspired by a…

Meanwhile, in a parallel universe…

Besides making work for the programmed Handshake shows, we’re each tasked with developing our independent practice. 2016 was a busy year. Here’s a digest of the side projects that occupied me between March and December 2016. March – With Occupation: Artist – Golden Section Click here for details This lighthearted, ephemeral group project was pivotal…

On Jewelleryness: TOUCH at Objectspace

In the end, our collaborative piece came together just as planned, so here’s the description I wrote for Objectspace. On Jewelleryness: TOUCH We aim to demonstrate jewelleryness rather than explain it. Outside, we’ll gild the window frame: Inside by the window is a glossy black-topped table: At first look the table top is bare, but when warmed…

Show, don’t tell

Once we had settled on Touch to Reveal as the means by which we want gallery visitors to experience our work, the challenge was to dream up a form of engagement where the viewer’s action – of touch – renders something visible. We wanted to somehow conjure for our viewers the wonder of that childhood experience of…

Touch/Don’t Touch

For our Objectspace piece, Liesbeth and I are focussing on the sensory action of  touch, taking the opportunity to play with the taboo against touching that is usually enforced in a gallery setting. We both enjoy the signage employed to remind us of this and other restrictions on viewers. This from the British Museum: Liesbeth…

Closing in … from TIME to TOUCH

“Can you begin a process without knowing where it goes?” Iris Eichenberg 2011 At the start of our correspondence I warned Liesbeth about the not-a-straight-line nature of my process, and we wrote into our proposal for Objectspace: The work will develop through enquiry, experimentation and accident; space will be made for the unexpected; uncertainty and changes…

Tick tock

Liesbeth’s granny’s clock (“I’m fine with the fact that it has stopped working”) Well, I don’t know about great things. But: Plan – check! And Not quite enough time – …check… Also..Not quite enough money… Ticking all the boxes. Trifecta. Yay.  

Another exhibition I’ve never seen

Unseen shows are top of mind for me as Liesbeth and I confer on how our Objectspace work will look. In Current obsessions 2 I write about exhibitions that I haven’t seen but, through description by others, are fixed in my memory as if I experienced them first-hand. Here’s a gem that Liesbeth and I both recently…

Current obsessions 2

Quite apart from all the jewellery, Handshake has spawned some great T-shirts: (quick, head over to The Shop for yours). I’ve joked that I need one that says: and I should wear it all the time. At home, on my run, at work, at the studio, in meetings, on date nights, out and about, in…

It’s ok to be quiet

Liesbeth and I want our collaboration to have a reach outside the gallery, and for inspiration I’ve been looking at public art initiatives that challenge preconceptions about where art belongs and when and where it might take place. I’m a long time fan of UK-based curator and writer Claire Doherty, editor of the book Situation and a proponent of…

Process envy

Here’s a snippet of an article I came across yesterday in a cafe magazine: The artist is photographer Bruce Connew, the subject is his process for putting together his latest collection of images. Bruce’s process reads as gradual, logical, methodical – a measured progressive system: amass the many potential elements edit and refine sequence and…

My life in a week / a week in my life

In my teens I had a job delivering morning newspapers. Weekends were the heavy days; I can still feel the trough those lift-out supplements carved in my shoulder. One Sunday magazine carried a feature  called A Life in the Day of…, where a person of interest described their day, revealing through their habits, interactions, hobbies and a couple of…

On collaboration: background

For the July exhibition at Auckland’s Objectspace gallery I am lucky enough to be collaborating with Liesbeth den Besten.   Liesbeth is an independent art historian who works internationally as a writer, curator, advisor, jury member, exhibition maker, teacher and lecturer in the field of crafts and design, especially contemporary jewellery. She is chair of the…

Current obsessions

Here are some things that are occupying my headspace at the moment. They may or may not feed into future projects. Hilde de Decker’s sublime Mirror and Flycatcher pieces, which were shown at AVID for the duration of Jewelcamp (thanks Jude Carswell for the images): My ongoing collection of books with gilt-edged pages (this was the first…