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Pocket Guide to New Zealand Jewelry

Exhibition  /  13 Jan 2010  -  28 Feb 2010
Published: 08.01.2010
Velvet da Vinci Gallery
Management:
Mike Holmes and Elizabeth Shypertt
Alan Preston. Pendant: Breastplate, 2006. Gold lip oyster shell, vau, gold. 14,5 cm breastplate, 7,5 cm pendant. Alan Preston
Pendant: Breastplate, 2006
Gold lip oyster shell, vau, gold
14,5 cm breastplate, 7,5 cm pendant
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.

Intro
Velvet da Vinci in San Francisco presents "Pocket Guide to New Zealand Jewellery", a project curated by Damian Skinner. A survey of 16 jewellers, the exhibition seeks to introduce contemporary jewellery from New Zealand to American audiences, creating a history and context for the practice as well as compiling the best work currently being produced in New Zealand.
During the Second World War, American soldiers in New Zealand were issued an informative and witty guide to familiarize themselves with the country in which they were stationed. Published by the War and Navy Departments in 1943, Pocket Guide to New Zealand was, as the name promised, a descriptive guide to the history, culture, peoples and language of New Zealand. "Deep in the heart of the south seas", the guide suggested, soldiers would discover a society both similar and different to America. Reassuring readers that New Zealanders were a pioneering society who had been "seeing our movies, listening to our radio, and reading our magazines", the Pocket Guide to New Zealand concluded that American soldiers would meet "a people with some of the British reserve, with many British methods and institutions, but with American outspokenness and directness "plus a working knowledge of American slang."

Five decades later, the Pocket Guide to New Zealand Jewelry continues this tradition of cultural exchange, introducing a new generation of Americans to contemporary jewelry made "deep in the heart of the south seas". Small enough to fit in your pocket, yet big enough to survey the best contemporary jewelers currently working in New Zealand, the Pocket Guide to New Zealand Jewelry is an indispensable introduction to the history and practice of adornment in a country that continues to transform cultural influences from England (and Europe) and America into jewelry that American audiences will find both familiar and strange.

Lisa Walker's jewelry is a practice of assemblage or bricolage, in which various materials are combined in objects, usually wearable, that ask hard questions about jewelry's traditional preoccupations such as preciousness, permanence and craft or skill. Her work is also often engaged with issues of identity (personal and national), and conducts a thorough exploration of the inherited expectations of New Zealand jewelry around materials and subjects.

At the heart of Warwick Freeman's practice is an investigation of representation, conducted through a sensitivity to the possibilities of signs, especially emblems. Freeman's jewelry deconstructs the values - notably around Pākehā (white settlers in New Zealand) identity, and the role of natural materials in producing a kind of tribal jewelry for urban New Zealanders - that his work had been so critical in establishing.

Alan Preston's jewelry explores the symbols of cross-cultural traffic in New Zealand and the Pacific, such as the motifs on Gothic churches, which are translated into shell and speak of the role of Christianity in the Pacific region as a force of colonization and an important aspect of contemporary Pacific life. Preston's work plays a subtle game in its balancing of "European" materials like silver, and "indigenous" or "local" materials like pāua shell, to create adornment that speaks strongly to the possibilities and problems of living in New Zealand, an island with a British, Māori and Pacific heritage deep in the heart of the South Pacific.

Peter Deckers's jewelry is deeply concerned with the operations of signs and symbols, and in this sense it is linked to the emblem and the cultural implications of signs that is a major strand of New Zealand contemporary jewelry. Deckers is notable for his regular use of installations in presenting his jewelry in the gallery space, creating layered displays that include sound and specially built exhibition furniture to engage the audience in a way that moves beyond the usual transaction between jewelry object and wearer/owner. 

Remarks

This exhibition opens January 13, with an artists' reception on Friday, January 15, from 6 to 8 p.m.

The show comes to San Francisco for its first venue on tour, continuing on to the Society of Arts and Crafts in Boston in 2010.

An exhibition catalog will be available: the 124-page color catalogue of Pocket Guide to New Zealand Jewelry is $19.95

Exhibition curated by Damien Skinner

Lisa Walker. Necklace: Untitled, 2006. New Zealand mussel shells, wool, plastic, glue, fabric. 55 cm. Lisa Walker
Necklace: Untitled, 2006
New Zealand mussel shells, wool, plastic, glue, fabric
55 cm
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Fran Allison. Necklace: Over Run, 2007. Found ceramic, sterling silver, native timber. 28 x 18 cm. Fran Allison
Necklace: Over Run, 2007
Found ceramic, sterling silver, native timber
28 x 18 cm
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Warwick Freeman. Brooch: Face Ache, 2007. Horse tooth, sterling silver. 2,5 x 2,5 x 2 cm. Warwick Freeman
Brooch: Face Ache, 2007
Horse tooth, sterling silver
2,5 x 2,5 x 2 cm
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Anna Wallis. Pendant: Large White Crystal Pendant, 2009. Sterling silver, powdercoat enamel. 7 x 4 x 4 cm. Anna Wallis
Pendant: Large White Crystal Pendant, 2009
Sterling silver, powdercoat enamel
7 x 4 x 4 cm
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Renne Bevan. Brooch: Blooming Big Rose, 2009. Fabric, felt, thread, cushioning, glue, shoelace, spray paint, silver, stainless steel wire. 32 x 28 x 7 cm. Renne Bevan
Brooch: Blooming Big Rose, 2009
Fabric, felt, thread, cushioning, glue, shoelace, spray paint, silver, stainless steel wire
32 x 28 x 7 cm
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Areta Wilkinson. Piece: Memento Mori, Roimata Toroa (Tears of the Albatross), 2009. 18k yellow gold, sterling silver, fine silver, acrylic optical lens, fiber-based silver bromide contact print. 8,6 x 6,7 x 1,9 cm. Photograph by Mark Adams. Areta Wilkinson
Piece: Memento Mori, Roimata Toroa (Tears of the Albatross), 2009
18k yellow gold, sterling silver, fine silver, acrylic optical lens, fiber-based silver bromide contact print
8,6 x 6,7 x 1,9 cm
Photograph by Mark Adams
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Peter McKay. Brooch: Barbaric, Classical, Solemn I, 2009. 22k gold, sterling silver. 3,8 x 4,1 x 0,8 cm. Peter McKay
Brooch: Barbaric, Classical, Solemn I, 2009
22k gold, sterling silver
3,8 x 4,1 x 0,8 cm
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Andrea Daly. Ring: Abject, 2001. Sticking plasters, blood, thread, gold leaf, plastic pearls, hair, resin. ? 2 cm. Andrea Daly
Ring: Abject, 2001
Sticking plasters, blood, thread, gold leaf, plastic pearls, hair, resin
? 2 cm
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Niki Hastings-McFall. Rosary: Nuclear, 2009. Luminous plastic, sterling silver, rosary beads. 180 x 4,5 cm. Niki Hastings-McFall
Rosary: Nuclear, 2009
Luminous plastic, sterling silver, rosary beads
180 x 4,5 cm
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Peter Deckers. Pendant: Souvenir for the Big OE and OV, 2005 / 2009. Plastic with rubbed-in Russian jade powder, Australian jade, German silver. 4,6 x 3 cm. Peter Deckers
Pendant: Souvenir for the Big OE and OV, 2005 / 2009
Plastic with rubbed-in Russian jade powder, Australian jade, German silver
4,6 x 3 cm
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Jason Hall. Pendant: Shotgun Heart, 2009. Shotgun barrel, linen cord. 3,5 x 1,5 cm. Jason Hall
Pendant: Shotgun Heart, 2009
Shotgun barrel, linen cord
3,5 x 1,5 cm
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Octavia Cook. Brooch: A Diplomatic Acquisition for the Ambassador of the Bi-Cultural Merger, 2008. Bakelite, acrylic, sterling silver. 10 x 8 x 0,8 cm. Octavia Cook
Brooch: A Diplomatic Acquisition for the Ambassador of the Bi-Cultural Merger, 2008
Bakelite, acrylic, sterling silver
10 x 8 x 0,8 cm
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Jane Dodd. Brooch: Ghost (Pouakai) Leuchterweibchen, 2007. Sterling silver, mother of pearl, pearl. 7,5 x 5,5 x 1,5 cm. Jane Dodd
Brooch: Ghost (Pouakai) Leuchterweibchen, 2007
Sterling silver, mother of pearl, pearl
7,5 x 5,5 x 1,5 cm
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Pauline Bern. Brooch: Collect, 2009. 9k gold, sterling silver, postage stamp paper, industrial plastic, stainless steel cable. 6 x 3,5 cm. Pauline Bern
Brooch: Collect, 2009
9k gold, sterling silver, postage stamp paper, industrial plastic, stainless steel cable
6 x 3,5 cm
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Lynn Kelly. Rosary: Rosehip, 2007. Gold-plated sterling silver, rosehips, thread. 51 x 4 cm. Lynn Kelly
Rosary: Rosehip, 2007
Gold-plated sterling silver, rosehips, thread
51 x 4 cm
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
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