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Winners of the Mari Funaki Award for Contemporary Jewellery 2016

Award giving  /  23 Aug 2016
Published: 03.09.2016
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© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.

Intro
The Mari Funaki Award features a large number of European makers. But shifts are happening, and if the breadth and range of entries submitted in 2016 is any indication, exciting practice is sprouting in some surprising places. Alongside entries from Europe, Australia and North America, we were thrilled to receive applications from Central and South America, South Africa, the Middle East and many regions of the Asia Pacific.

In total, 413 entries were received from 48 countries.
Gallery Funaki is pleased to announce the winners of the Mari Funaki Award for Contemporary Jewellery.

Switzerland’s David Bielander is the winner of the Mari Funaki Award for Contemporary Jewellery and Melbourne’s Sarah Johnston is the winner of the Emerging Award.

David has been awarded a cash prize of $8000.  This is an acquisitive prize and his work will enter the collection of the National Gallery of Victoria (subject to the approval of the Board of Trustees).
 
Sarah has been awarded a cash prize of $2000.
 
‘We’re rewarding skill and craftsmanship in the winning works, but in the company of potent ideas’, said the 2016 Award judges, Simone LeAmon, Catherine Truman and Kate Rhodes. 
 
‘The standard of the emerging work is exceptionally high’, they continue’, ‘it’s encouraging and thrilling.  Looking for the individual behind the work is paramount and there are some really strong personalities coming through in this work’, said the judging panel.

‘The idea is in the execution with David’s winning work – without that execution, the concept would not be delivered’ continue the judges.  ‘It’s an extraordinary example of contemporary making and practice, an example of making that expresses things unlike in any previous time.  There’s simplicity and reference to childhood play, but a sophisticated twist, that flips it from play to something very serious, and that’s a hallmark of his work. 
 
Sarah’s work is a surprising piece; the materiality is beautiful.  It’s like a tempest, a storm.  This piece is about so many things – the intimacy of putting something on and feeling yourself transformed, taken to another place’. 
 
‘I hope the Mari Funaki Award provides Melbourne audiences with a fascinating insight into the state of international practice in contemporary jewellery, as the 35 shortlisted artists from 16 nations show their work here at Gallery Funaki; just a small snapshot of the vast activity and talent currently in play all over the world.  I’d like to thank all the artists who entered; your hard work and talent is inspiring’, says Katie Scott, Director, Gallery Funaki.
 
Established in 2014 to mark the life and achievements of Japanese/Australian artist and gallery founder Mari Funaki, the Award showcases the best of international and local jewellery making. 
 
 
Mari Funaki Award for Contemporary Jewellery
Background
 
2016 marks the second iteration of the Mari Funaki Award for Contemporary Jewellery, following its inauguration in 2014 to mark the life and achievements of artist and gallery founder Mari Funaki. 
 
Mari travelled from Japan to Melbourne in 1979 to study art – first painting, then gold and silversmithing – at RMIT.  In this city, she discovered a community that fostered innovation, rigor, skill and optimism: all qualities that were central to her life and work. 
 
Her establishment of Gallery Funaki in 1995 was a seminal moment in the creative life of Melbourne, providing not only a physical space in which to experience the best international contemporary jewellery, but a philosophical framework that influenced how Australians engaged with this burgeoning creative practice.
 
Mari’s gallery was central to building Melbourne’s reputation as a vibrant hub for contemporary jewellery, and remains a driving force as that reputation grows.  A key belief underpinning Mari’s project was that in order to support a local scene marked by invigoration, challenge and originality, it’s essential to foster engagement with the best makers around the world.  This remains one of Gallery Funaki’s core principals, and a key aim of the Mari Funaki Award.
 
These great makers are coming from further and further afield.  Europe remains central to the contemporary jewellery movement, supported as it is by the most comprehensive education and exhibition opportunities, and it’s no surprise the Mari Funaki Award features a large number of European makers.  But shifts are happening, and if the breadth and range of entries submitted in 2016 is any indication, exciting practice is sprouting in some surprising places.  Alongside entries from Europe, Australia and North America, we were thrilled to receive applications from Central and South America, South Africa, the Middle East and many regions of the Asia Pacific. 
 
David Bielander. Bracelet: Cardboard, 2015. Patinated silver, white gold. 8 x 7 x 5 cm. Photo by: Dirk Eisel. Awarded at: Mari Funaki Award for Contemporary Jewellery 2016. Part of: National Gallery of Victoria. Winner, Established Section. David Bielander
Bracelet: Cardboard, 2015
Patinated silver, white gold
8 x 7 x 5 cm
Photo by: Dirk Eisel
Awarded at: Mari Funaki Award for Contemporary Jewellery 2016
Part of: National Gallery of Victoria
Winner, Established Section
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Sarah Johnston. Necklace: Collapsing Time, 2015. Onyx stone, rubber. 28 x 24 x 5 cm. Awarded at: Mari Funaki Award for Contemporary Jewellery 2016. Winner, Emerging Section. Sarah Johnston
Necklace: Collapsing Time, 2015
Onyx stone, rubber
28 x 24 x 5 cm
Awarded at: Mari Funaki Award for Contemporary Jewellery 2016
Winner, Emerging Section
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Ela Bauer. Necklace: NT, 2016. Resin, silicone. 40 x 13 x 8 cm. Awarded at: Mari Funaki Award for Contemporary Jewellery 2016. Highly Commended, Established Section. Ela Bauer
Necklace: NT, 2016
Resin, silicone
40 x 13 x 8 cm
Awarded at: Mari Funaki Award for Contemporary Jewellery 2016
Highly Commended, Established Section
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Genevieve Howard. Necklace: The Song of the Chanter, 2016. Laser cut Japanese linen paper, elastic. 5 x 20 x 20 cm. Awarded at: Mari Funaki Award for Contemporary Jewellery 2016. Highly Commended, Emerging Section. Genevieve Howard
Necklace: The Song of the Chanter, 2016
Laser cut Japanese linen paper, elastic
5 x 20 x 20 cm
Awarded at: Mari Funaki Award for Contemporary Jewellery 2016
Highly Commended, Emerging Section
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
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