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PROJECT: Jewellery for T-shirts by Helen Britton and Justine McKnight

Exhibition  /  01 Feb 2014  -  08 Feb 2014
Published: 23.01.2014
Gallery Funaki
Management:
Katie Scott
Helen Britton. Brooch: Untitled, 2013. Silver, plastic, paint. T-shirt: Justine McKnight, 2013, silk jersey, fibre reactive dye, artliner
. Photo credit: Justine McKnight. Helen Britton
Brooch: Untitled, 2013
Silver, plastic, paint
T-shirt: Justine McKnight, 2013, silk jersey, fibre reactive dye, artliner
Photo credit: Justine McKnight
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.

Intro
This year we’re introducing the first two of a series of occasional, short project shows alongside our full length exhibition program. These projects show work that explore collaborations, new areas and multidisciplinary approaches, connecting with artists from outside the jewellery field who are nonetheless engaging with the body as a platform for their practice. These shows are listed as PROJECT.

Artist list

Helen Britton, Justine McKnight
The t-shirt is a primary piece of clothing and also an Australian one; hanging faded on the Hills Hoist, crunchy with salt after a day at the beach, sticky with melted raspberry icy pole, smeared with grease after fixing the Holden or the Ford (depending on your inclination), torn and bloody after a Friday night brawl at the pub. With our shared bogan cultural heritage, we both had favorite t-shirts that would be worn until they fell apart.

Justine and I started discussing the t-shirt work in 2009. We considered its relevance to our experience of garments, how it is worn and how it wears, the traces of life that a well-loved t-shirt carries embedded in its fibres. We produced the first body of work later that year and this was our first “stepping in” to working together after years of knowing each other, enjoying one another’s work and discussing the possibilities of collaboration. We were keen to explore the potential of responding to each other’s practice and in challenging one another to new extensions of our individual work. Justine’s understanding of process, in relation to stains and marks left in garments, was played out on t-shirts in the initial series, and these t-shirts resonated with the flat, graphic, light shapes I was developing for brooches and necklaces. We then continued on to produce Awkward Beauty with Michelle Taylor, which was a whole other ball game.

We have now worked closely together for 4 years and have reached a new stage in our collaborative process. The t-shirt evolves but we remain committed to this simple, iconic garment as the parameter for our research. A light, flexible, generic form, its edges shift to accommodate the ideas that interest us. This is darker work, more slippery: the contained forms vibrate with the marks and traces of the chaos of events. The processes are at times industrial, demanding and harsh.

We’re intrigued by the interplay between clothing and jewellery. The physicality of one influences the other as we work with the weight of cloth or metal, the size and shape of elements, the texture of a surface or an edge. Then there’s the content: deconstruction, process, mark, gesture, structure and materiality. Transience.

The forms react to one other, not only through the making process, but finally on the body as well: arranging, rearranging, each movement suggesting new possibilities.

Helen Britton and Justine McKnight 2013

Remarks

Opening: Saturday, February 1st, 2-4pm


PROJECT: Jewellery for T-shirts is the first of a series of occasional, short project shows which will run alongside our full length exhibition program. These projects explore collaborations, new areas and multidisciplinary approaches. They seek to broaden the conversation around jewellery and establish connections with artists from outside the field who nonetheless engage with the body as a platform for their practice.

Munich based Australian jeweller Helen Britton and Perth based garment designer Justine McKnight present the latest work in their ongoing collaboration. Long fascinated by the ordinariness and potential for the common t-shirt, and in particular its place in the Australian vernacular, Britton and McKnight explore the interaction between jewellery forms and garments, through mark making processes, stains, movement, line, weight and colour.
Helen Britton. Necklace: Untitled, 2013. Silver, plastic, paint. T-shirt: Justine McKnight, 2013, silk jersey, fibre reactive dye, artliner, sequins
. Photo credit: Justine McKnight. Helen Britton
Necklace: Untitled, 2013
Silver, plastic, paint
T-shirt: Justine McKnight, 2013, silk jersey, fibre reactive dye, artliner, sequins
Photo credit: Justine McKnight
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
Helen Britton. Brooch: Untitled, 2013. Silver, plastic, paint. T-shirt: Justine McKnight, 2013, silk jersey, fibre reactive dye, artliner
. Photo credit: Justine McKnight. Helen Britton
Brooch: Untitled, 2013
Silver, plastic, paint
T-shirt: Justine McKnight, 2013, silk jersey, fibre reactive dye, artliner
Photo credit: Justine McKnight
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
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