Flora by Julie Blyfield

Exhibition  /  04 Oct 2018  -  30 Nov 2018
Published: 23.09.2018

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Julie Blyfield is one of Australia’s leading contemporary jewellery artist; her interest in metals started in 1976 when, during her study at Torrens College of Advanced Education in Adelaide, she attended a lecture on Jewellery. One of the major sources of her inspiration is the wider world of history, thanks to her experience in archaeological sites and in museum collections. Therefore, Julie’s knowledge of indigenous cultures, both intellectual and aesthetic, often influenced the jewellery she created during the years. Jewellery pieces that are inspired by the forceful structures, repetitions and the mesmerizing qualities and textures of plants. The artist uses silver as a medium to transfer these qualities into wearable pieces, a material that like the botanical spices, comes from the earth. One is hard and cold, the other is ephemeral, soft, and pliable. 

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Julie Blyfield
The surfaces of the pieces are treated with extreme elegance and delicacy. Chiseled, engraved, gold-plated and enameled they recreate the perfect harmony of the Australian nature. Julie likes to take photos and videos of the places that surround her, and she says: At different times of the year on my daily walks, I see changes in the environment where I live. Small things catch my eye – a leaf, a seed, seed pods piled in the street, piles of leaves, seasons, the colors, the changes. As I walk I collect and select pieces of ephemera – it can be a small insignificant leaf. The small vessels and jewellery reflect Julie’s responses to the South Australian landscape. Through these pieces, she focuses on the details that give the place its unique character - A landscape of works that’s how she describes her work, a landscape of jewellery and objects that reflect the diversity, the history and colors of her country.

Julie Blyfield was born in Melbourne in 1957. Her English-born parents had arrived in Adelaide in 1965, after migrating to Australia from England early in the 1950s. Blyfield began her career as an art teacher, graduating from Torrens College of Advanced Education with in 1978. For 13 years following her graduation, Blyfield taught primary and secondary school art through the Education Department of South Australia. 1984-87, she undertook an Associate Diploma of Jewellery Making and Silversmithing at the South Australian College of the Arts and Education, joining Gray Street Workshop as an access member in her final year of study. In the following years, she took part in exhibitions all around the world and in 2007 she was a recipient of the prestigious South Australian Living Artist Award which celebrated her achievements with a major monograph about her life and work. She was also the Overall Winner of the South Australian Museum Natural History Art Prize, as part of which her work was acquired by the South Australian Museum collection. More recently, a Creative Australia Award presented by Australia Council offered Blyfield the opportunity to create and exhibit Panorama, a significant body of new jewellery and objects for an international touring exhibition at Ruthin Craft Centre, North Wales, the Scottish Gallery in Edinburgh and Bilk Gallery in Canberra in 2017.

Blyfield’s jewellery and metalwork is held in Australian and international museum collections, including the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra, the Musée des Arts Decoratifs in Paris, and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Her work has been shown in international art and design fairs by Galerie Ra at Collect in London, UK and by Charon Kransen Arts at SOFA in Chicago, USA. Throughout her career, Blyfield has travelled, lectured and presented workshops in Australia, the United States of America, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. As part of her practice she regularly mentors emerging jewellers, sharing her knowledge, skills and professional experience.
Julie Blyfield. Brooch: Rock Face, 2015. Silver. Julie Blyfield
Brooch: Rock Face, 2015
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Julie Blyfield in her studio..
Julie Blyfield in her studio.

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Julie Blyfield. Brooch: Soft impression, 2018. Silver. Julie Blyfield
Brooch: Soft impression, 2018
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Julie Blyfield. Bracelet: Grass Seed, 2015. Sterling silver, oxidised sterling silver, wax.. Julie Blyfield
Bracelet: Grass Seed, 2015
Sterling silver, oxidised sterling silver, wax.
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© By the author. Read Copyright.