Catherine Large

Published: 15.11.2023


She has a Research Masters from Queensland College of Art Griffith University, Brisbane and a Bachelor of Visual arts from Sydney College of the Arts, Sydney. She commenced her undergraduate studies at RMIT, Melbourne, before moving to Sydney. Catherine exhibits regularly and has been the recipient of grants, both individually and for group projects. She works with predominantly recycled and reused materials, both precious and non-precious including vitreous enamel.


I like to work with recycled metals and existing objects, some found or collected over many years. These may sit for some time before it becomes clear how to approach using them. Handling the material and tools to form the work provides connections with a long history of the handmade; the use of tools and materials available tell a story and enables the creative process involved in making a useful object or piece of adornment. Not all my work includes found objects, and I enjoy the fresh clean nature of making work from scratch, considering the new form and how adding colour might enhance it.

Re-imagine; reinterpret series.
2 years ago, I purchased a collection of enamel colour samples from Lawson Gems in Brisbane. These samples, most on a copper base, with a few on fine silver, came from an unnamed studio in southeast Queensland.
The range of lustrous colour caught my eye and the possibilities of giving them a new life in another form. Making samples is an integral part of the enameller’s studio and personal to your practice, so you rely on your own testing for colours. I liked the idea of getting these samples out of the studio where their purpose is as a reference tool, and onto the body.
I have tried to maintain the integrity of the pieces, using them as is, complete with flaws, uneven shapes, and not quite matching pairs - many of the 
colour tests are nearly the same colour…but not quite. I have chosen forms to showcase the colour and base-taille detail on the metal.
The sterling silver is recycled, and the 9ct gold was purchased from the estate of a member of my extended family and had been hidden in a box since the early 1990s.
This collection of reimagined and reinterpreted materials is transformed into a collection of unique pieces; that can never be replicated.

Traces Remain series 2
The happy circumstance of finding remnants of metal in the landscape remains enticing and intriguing, relics of man’s intervention: farming equipment, or car parts; some nearly rusted away, others maintaining their form. The Traces remain series are made by celebrating the objects mindful of their ultimate reassimilation into the earth.

Meshed: An homage to the fly-screen
There was a soundtrack to summer growing up in a lot of Australia in the 1960’s – the repetitive thwack of the wooden-framed fly-screen door as people moved in and out of the house.
I have developed these small works in an homage and a response to the ubiquity of the fly-screen and its ambiguous qualities of strength and fragility, transparency and opacity, light and darkness.
The mesh, or fly-screen is an extraordinarily effective barrier to insects: it keeps them out of spaces but also traps them inside spaces when the thwack of the closing door is a little slow, or there are the inevitable holes in the screen.
The dirt and dust that builds up on the screen through exposure to the elements is expressed in the partial and complete opacity of the screens in the individual brooches. This opacity speaks to the gloom that lies beyond the door, the dim internal spaces of a hot summer house. 
While the fly-screen is certainly not uniquely Australian, it has a resonance in the collective consciousness.


CV      View / hide description

Events      View / hide events

Exhibition  19 Aug 2023 - 16 Sep 2023  Something for the Ear.
Exhibition  19 Mar 2022 - 04 Jun 2022  Of Scale and Intrique.
Small Object Space, Bowen Hills, Australia.
Exhibition  03 Sep 2020 - 25 Sep 2020  Unintended Consequences by Catherine Large.
Exhibition  16 Nov 2019 - 22 Dec 2019  2019 ITAMI International Jewellery Exhibition.
Museum of Arts & Crafts ITAMI.
Exhibition  03 Oct 2019 - 13 Nov 2019  Profile 2019 Contemporary Jewellery and Object Award.
Exhibition  07 Sep 2019 - 27 Sep 2019  In The Drawer.
Exhibition  03 May 2019 - 24 May 2019  Re-imagine: reinterpret by Catherine Large.
Exhibition  19 Dec 2018 - 19 Dec 2018  USE Redland Art Gallery.
Exhibition  16 Sep 2017 - 23 Sep 2017  Why Jewellery? 2 in Hong Kong.
Exhibition  08 Jul 2017 - 05 Nov 2017  Mostyn Open 20.
Mostyn, Llandudno, Wales.
Exhibition  13 Jun 2017 - 01 Jul 2017  Why Jewellery? 2.
Exhibition  22 Nov 2016 - 03 Dec 2016  Trace.
JMGQ Exhibition, Brisbane.
Exhibition  06 Nov 2016 - 12 Jan 2017  Silver Triennial, 18th International Competition Exhibition.
Exhibition  01 Jul 2016 - 09 Apr 2016  Small Object Space (SOS) Artisan.
Award  07 Jan 2016 - 11 Jul 2016  Silver Triennial, 18th International Competition Award.

Publications      View / hide publications

Catalogue:  Contemporary Wearables. Toowoomba Regional Gallery:  2017
Catalogue:  Repetitious Rituals. Catherine LargeCatherine Large (Foreword), Queensland College of Art Jewellery and Small Objects Studio:  Brisbane,  2016
Catalogue:  Strange Objects. ArtisanQueensland College of Art, Griffith University:  2016
Article:  Artisan Blog feature. Artisan:  2016
Book:  Silver Triennial International. 18th Worldwide Competition. Arnoldsche Art Publishers:  Stuttgart,  2016
Article:  Catherine Large EM Student Member Interview. Ethical Metalsmiths:  2014
Book:  Tinker Tailor Soldier Sailor. Dorothy Erickson, Kirsten Fitzpatrick, Evie Franzidis, ArtisanArtisan:  Brisbane,  2011
Dorothy Erickson, Kirsten Fitzpatrick, Evie Franzidis, and Artisan: Brisbane, p26, 127 (reprint 2012).
Catalogue:  Revisiting the Australian Landscape. Elizabeth ShawQueensland College of Art:  Griffith University,  2010
Catalogue:  Contemporary Wearables ’09. Toowoomba Regional GalleryToowoomba Regional Gallery:  2009
Catalogue:  Ornamentomology.. Kirsten FitzpatrickJewellers & Metalsmiths Group Australia Queensland (Inc.):  Brisbane,  2008
Catalogue:  Contemporary Wearables ’05. Toowoomba Regional Gallery:  Toowoomba Regional Gallery,  2005
Catalogue:  Sites for Adornment (JMGA 10th Biennial Conference). 2000
Article:  Sterling use of enamels. Jeff ShawCourier Mail:  Brisbane,  1998
Article:  Fire in the Heart: Australian Enamel. Judith O’CallaghanObject Magazine:  1997