Salon International 2008

Exhibition  /  23 Jul 2008  -  20 Aug 2008
Published: 22.07.2008
Monash University

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Highlighting the long standing connection between contemporary jewellers in Australia, Germany and The Netherlands, this exhibition captures the complex network of friendship, collaboration and stimulating between a group of International makers working in the field of gold and silversmithing.
There is a strong link between contemporary jewellers in Australia and Europe, more particularly between Melbourne, Amsterdam, Munich and Pforzheim. All of these cities have tertiary institutions with a strong jewellery department, and all have galleries that highlight jewellery, whether it is the Schmuckmuseum, Pforzheim or the State Museum of Applied Arts and Design, Munich each with dedicated historic and contemporary collections, or Galerie Ra, Amsterdam, Gallery Funaki, Melbourne, both recognised as leading international galleries specialising in contemporary jewellery.

Linked by study, friendships and respect, the artists in Salon International 2008 capture the complex network of friendship, collaboration and stimulating exchange between a group of international makers working from a background in gold and silversmithing. They first exhibited together at Rathausgalerie Munich in March 2004. Salon International 2008 brings these artists together in Melbourne - Peter Bauhuis and Doris Betz are from Munich, Andi Gut from Zürich, Manon van Kouswijk from Amsterdam, Sally Marsland and Mascha Moje from Melbourne. The Faculty of Art and Design will host Doris Betz, as Artist in residence in July/August.

Study, travel, exhibitions and friendship have forged connections between these makers, the exchange of ideas is sometimes intense and confronting, sometimes tenuous, but they share a mutual respect and willingness to extend dialogue and discourse through the objects they make and exhibit together. This is not a group of artists with written objectives or a manifesto but a more amorphous group, each highly respected and acknowledged in their own country and internationally for the contribution they make to craft, art and design. I find many exceptionsand contradictions in the associations between them and in the work they produce, however the most compelling aspects of this exhibition is the diversity of the makers and their work coupled with the visible shared references and connections.

Their approach to making is primarily from the jewellery tradition, with a careful choice of material and how it is manipulated, considering how the object will engage and interact with the viewer, concern for formal aspects with a strong conceptual base. Underpinning all the work, is the seduction of the viewer, we are invited to feast our eyes, tempted by the very human desire to hold, handle and to keep close to ourselves objects which resonate with a range of references across mass-production, preservation, recycling, surveillance, care, time - past, present and future...


Senior Lecturer, Studio Co-ordinator, Metals and Jewellery, Monash University