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Dichotomies in Objects

Exhibition  /  01 Jul 2010  -  31 Jul 2010
Published: 23.06.2010
Dichotomies in Objects.
Velvet da Vinci
Management:
Mike Holmes and Elizabeth Shypertt
Carine Terre-blanche. Brooch: Herinneringe II (Remembrance II), 2008. Wood, gold leaf, silver and steel pin. Carine Terre-blanche
Brooch: Herinneringe II (Remembrance II), 2008
Wood, gold leaf, silver and steel pin
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.

Intro
Velvet da Vinci presents twenty artists, selected  to represent a diverse cross section that reflects a broad range of highly conceptual practices, from tongue-in-cheek kitsch to more poetic material investigations of form.
Dichotomies in Objects: Contemporary South African Studio Jewelry from the Stellenbosch Area.
The exhibition, curated by Lauren Kalman and Carine Terreblanche, will highlight over 150 pieces by 20 South African artists.

Stellenbosch University is one of the only schools in South Africa teaching conceptual approaches to jewelry making. Twenty artists affiliated with the University have been selected by U.S. curator Lauren Kalman and South African curator Carine Terreblanche to represent a diverse cross section that reflects a broad range of highly conceptual practices, from tongue-in-cheek kitsch to more poetic material investigations of form. The jewelers in Stellenbosch are trained with a high technical proficiency and a strong conceptual understanding, with investigative approaches to jewelry including the use of contemporary media, such as digital video.
The curators have chosen provocative, experimental and formally engaging work to showcase.

Dichotomies in Objects will tour from San Francisco and then travel to The Ohio Craft Museum in Columbus, OH and will continue on to The National Ornamental Metal Museum in Memphis, TN.


Statement by curator Lauren Kalman:

Independent studio jewelers work within a complex political, social, and economic context. At the bottom of Africa, jewelers often express a feeling of isolation from the global metalsmithing community. Though many South African studio jewelers look toward European aesthetics and methodologies there is a connection to South Africa that seems to permeate their forms. European traditions become hybridized with the heritage of indigenous African adornment, regional landscape, and the commercial jewelry industry. The platinum and diamonds that are mined locally are a major part of the jewelry design vocabulary and are integrated with influences like colonial
Dutch architecture, makeshift township settlements, and West African goldsmithing.

Many South African studio jewelers are looking to traditional African jewelry such as gold leaf, beadwork, carved wood, and basket weaving. Nanette Nel, a recent master's student at the University of Stellenbosch, works with disgustingly pink, exotic floral forms made out of silicone
rubber. Her handbags, brooches, and rings combine the intensely pigmented synthetic material with hidden black diamonds, carved wood, and gold leaf. She simultaneously nods to the experimental materials used in contemporary jewelry practices, Ashanti gold-leafed talisman, and the commercialized diamond industry.

Precious materials are often juxtaposed with found debris. Considering the breathtaking and diverse landscape of South Africa, indigenous organic objects are naturally a major influence and material in the work. In much of the local work, finely-crafted settings cradle coal, indigenous woods, and other non-precious materials.

Some jewelers are also looking at pop culture and street crafts. These include trendy designs as well as handmade kitsch. In the jewelry, the found object is often used to produce a parody of the commercial jewelry industry.

Makeshift construction using materials like rubber, plastic and recycled metal can be seen on a daily basis from township buildings to handmade crafts designed for the tourist market. Some jewelers adopt this bricoleur mentality.

The most engaging South African studio jewelers continue to push boundaries in making their work. This gives them the opportunity to influence the commercial industry and challenge narrow views of what jewelry is and who makes it.

-Lauren Kalman

Publications

Exhibition catalog $15 To order it please contact Velvet da Vinci

Remarks

Artists' reception: Friday, July 2, 2010 from 6 to 8 p.m.

Open hours:

Tuesday through Saturday from 12 pm - 6 pm
Sunday from 12 pm - 4 pm
The Gallery is closed on Monday

Admission: Free

With support from:
Society of North American Goldsmiths, Stellenbosch University, National Research Foundation, Anglo Platinum.

Venues:

Velvet da Vinci, San Francisco, CA, July 1- July 31, 2010

The Ohio Craft Museum, Columbus, OH, September 12 - October 31, 2010

The National Ornamental Metal Museum, Memphis, TN, Dates to be announced.
Ackeem Ngwenya. Neckpiece: The Little Prince: Balance, 2009. New silver, nylon. Ackeem Ngwenya
Neckpiece: The Little Prince: Balance, 2009
New silver, nylon
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Gussie van der Merwe. Brooch: Maagspeld, rugspeld, borsspeld and boudspeld (series), 2008. Silver, steel, upholstery, stockings, thread. Gussie van der Merwe
Brooch: Maagspeld, rugspeld, borsspeld and boudspeld (series), 2008
Silver, steel, upholstery, stockings, thread
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Nini van der Merwe. Medal: Button for my buttons 1, 2009. Silver, ribbon, cotton thread, found objects, buttons. Nini van der Merwe
Medal: Button for my buttons 1, 2009
Silver, ribbon, cotton thread, found objects, buttons
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Bea Bernard. Brooch: Etched identity, 2008. Warthog tusk, reindeer horn, silver, garnet. Bea Bernard
Brooch: Etched identity, 2008
Warthog tusk, reindeer horn, silver, garnet
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Anthi Voyatjes. Pin: Untitled #1, #2, #3, 2009. Sterling silver, cubic  zirconia, smoky quartz, pearls, animal skull. Anthi Voyatjes
Pin: Untitled #1, #2, #3, 2009
Sterling silver, cubic zirconia, smoky quartz, pearls, animal skull
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Nanette Nel. Neckpiece: Verkeerd-om Protea, 2007. Silicone, silver. Nanette Nel
Neckpiece: Verkeerd-om Protea, 2007
Silicone, silver
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
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