Exhibition  /  05 Oct 2016  -  29 Oct 2016
Published: 03.10.2016

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A diverse range of established, mid-career and emerging sculptors were asked to make work which could be worn or which stepped into the field of jewellery or body adornment. For many sculptors, this is their first foray into work for the body.

Artist list

Robert Barnstone, Bronwyn Berman, Will Coles, Marguerite Derricourt, Lynda Draper, Harrie Fasher, Jane Gillings, Christopher Hodges, Walter Jugadai Tjungurrayi, Stephen King, Anita Larkin, Lynette Lewis, Peter Lundberg, Fiona Meller, Tom Moore, Ingrid Morley, Virginia Ngalaia Napanangka, Yoshio Nitta, Jenny Pollak, Michael Purdy, Jimmy Rix, James Rogers, Margarita Sampson, Elyssa Sykes- Smith, Marcu Tatton, Marissa Thompson, Vince Vozzo, Michael le Grand
For some artists, making work for this show constituted a vast change in scale, from monumental pieces to something that could be held in your hand. For others, it afforded to opportunity to change materials, or to make something more playful than their usual practice.

Jenny Pollak began working from her collection of seaweed collected at Mackerel Beach to make temporary tattoos, creating hybrid human-ocean beings, while Tom Moore, best known for his glass mise-en-scenes (most recently in the Adelaide Biennale) featuring a menagerie of animals and potato-man-cars, began working for this show in cast sterling silver for the first time with glass inclusions.

The show packs a punch also: Will Coles’ ‘ Medal for a Drone Pilot (aka the Babykiller)’ comprises of a framed campaign ribbon suspending a golden mini gaming console and is an angry indictment of contemporary warfare. Anita Larkin’s Bullet People (Combatant & Civilian) can be fired from a slingshot which also functions as a necklace.

Anita Larkin says of the experience: It is an intimate association with the body that I find to be the most intriguing thing about jewellery. Sculpture is often set apart from the viewer in space, it is seen as another entity, another body. Most sculpture is also viewed as a collective experience. Working on a small scale in sculpture causes the viewers body to physically come closer to an artwork, to have a one-on-one conversation. Making a sculpture appear wearable, or actually making it wearable makes this ‘drawing in’ of the viewer even more palpable. We are immediately made more aware of our own physical body.

This exhibition also includes works by Walter Jugadai Tjungurrayi, Marissa Thompson, Lynette Lewis & Virginia Ngalaia Napanangka via the Indigenous Jewellery Project, run by Emily McCullough Childs, which links contemporary jewellers with Indigenous makers through workshops and Arts Centre visits.
Walter Jugadai Tjungurrayi’s work references the practice of wearing Ininti seeds as a male hair adornment, and Virginia Ngalaia Napanangka’s work journals her movement westward, invoking her and her husband’s totemic animals in colourful resin arm-bands cast from clay- the perentic, the honey-ant, the rainbow serpent and the witchetty grub. Lynette Lewis’s work has just been selected for the National Contemporary Jewellery Award.

The curator and artist, Margarita Sampson says I’m passionate about seeing more people wearing art jewellery or wearable artworks. They don’t have to be big. Art jewellery can be subtle, playful or be as bold as you want. I think the contemporary jewellery scene could be better supported in Australia and it’s vital that we look after our artists and our makers. I’d like this show to be a bit of conduit for people thinking about what makes an ‘artwork’. Wearing work is a wonderful and affordable way to build an art collection by your favourite artists, discover new ones and display your collection. I often wear 3,4, 5 pieces at a time so if you do that, you are immediately taking art to the streets, you are a walking pop-up exhibition!
Anita Larkin. Neckpiece: Extra Pockets, 2016. Felt wool, leather. 32 x 12 x 8 cm. Anita Larkin
Neckpiece: Extra Pockets, 2016
Felt wool, leather
32 x 12 x 8 cm
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Will Coles. Medal: Drone Pilots Medal aka The Babykiller, 2015. Brass, medal ribbon. 11 x 1 x 4 cm. Will Coles
Medal: Drone Pilots Medal aka The Babykiller, 2015
Brass, medal ribbon
11 x 1 x 4 cm
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Jane Gillings. Neckpiece: Untitled, 2016. Discarded syringe plungers, discarded plastic dampcourse, nylon screws. 40 x 40 x 12 cm. Photo by: Len Tesorio. Jane Gillings
Neckpiece: Untitled, 2016
Discarded syringe plungers, discarded plastic dampcourse, nylon screws
40 x 40 x 12 cm
Photo by: Len Tesorio
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Christopher Hodges. Brooch: The Mayflower, 2015. Pearl shell, sterling silver. ø 5 cm. Photo by: Utopia Art Sydney. Christopher Hodges
Brooch: The Mayflower, 2015
Pearl shell, sterling silver
ø 5 cm
Photo by: Utopia Art Sydney
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Virginia Ngalaia Napanangka. Arm piece: Totemic animals Tjupi Honey Ant, 2016. Resin. ø 12 x 1.5 cm. Virginia Ngalaia Napanangka
Arm piece: Totemic animals Tjupi Honey Ant, 2016
ø 12 x 1.5 cm
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Marcus Tatton. Brooch: Digital Lapels Man, 2016. Stainless Steel. 4 x 3 x 4 cm. Marcus Tatton
Brooch: Digital Lapels Man, 2016
Stainless Steel
4 x 3 x 4 cm
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