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The Box Project – Reflections
How one should trust in their materials and earn their respect.
I fondly recall my first meeting with Jasmine about this particular project. It happened on a rainy afternoon, whilst swigging a cider on the rooftop pub across the road from gaffa gallery. A casual affair that very quickly, to my delight, turned into a polished presentation about the origins of her curatorial idea with prepared handouts of exhibition schedules and the like. Impressed? I think so.
Being in the position such as I was last year, directing an exhibition program of 21 shows, I was constantly searching for interesting and innovative exhibition proposals, and here was one that was ticking *cough* all the boxes. The Box Project, was certainly one of the most enjoyable shows I had the pleasure of being a part of last year, not only in offering curatorial guidance, but also receiving an invitation to be a participating artist in the project.
Having initially discussed with Jasmine the types of materials she would put into the boxes and what her expected outcomes were, I was rather interested to see what my little brown box would contain. I was not to be disappointed; the content was an unusual fare of earplugs, plastic buckles, light blue plastic cable and some sort of electrical fuses. I sat with these materials for quite some time, occasionally tipping them out, fiddling with them a bit then putting them away again. This was to happen for quite a few weeks.
I don’t often mess with my materials all that much; I like my audience to silently nod in acknowledgement of the use of common materials in unfamiliar situations or perhaps common situations translated from uncommon materials. You see displayed here my final construction, made from earplugs, plastic buckles and a small addition of sterling silver it is called, I’m sorry, I wasn’t really listening.
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I am truly and absolutely blown away by last night, what a great show! I could not be any happier. There was a constant stream of punters through the gallery all night long, each so curious to see the becomings of the box materials. The work was spectacular, so creative, innovative and different. It and the makers received great praise and appreciation from the public. Many a sale were made many a suprise reaction had by all when they discovered the true nature of the materials.
Thank you so much to everyone who made the opening your efforts and support so warmly received. Thank you’s go out to Mel Young, Zara Collins, Sunggee Min, Jessica Page, Diane Appleby, Sondi and Carrie McDowell (who came the furtherest distance across from WA), it was great to see the familiar faces and to also meet those with whom I have been corresponding through-out the year. Those that couldn’t make it thank you for all of your consistent hard work and dedication to the project, It would not have been possible without you. You were there in spirit and i’ll be posting more pics for all to see really really soon.
The Box Project, I can’t believe it’s happening!
The lovely Carrie McDowell and the lovely Melissa Cameron.
Kylie Johnston and Jessica Page. Liana Kabel and Lauren Simeoni’s work installed behind.
Melinda Young and Jane Pollard. Zara Collins’ work installed behind.
David Cruikshanks and Felix Gill. Carrie McDowell and Bridie Lander’s work installed behind.
Melissa Cameron models The Box Project catalogue! Work it!
Melinda Young and the Brand sisters.
Jake and Penny discussing Sondi’s ‘Bang Bang’ neckpiece.
A Mi Kim and Andrea Iglesias admiring the works of Sunggee Min, Alice Potter and Kristin D’Agostino.
Suprise guest, Eric Holt!
One VERY happy curator with the lovely Diana.
Leslie and Matina inspecting Lauren Simeoni’s beautiful work.
Show us your box, boxy ladies! Arcade space, Gaffa.
The wonderful and inspiring Miss Zoe Brand. And thats about a wrap and a box.
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Thank you to my wonderful sister Dominique for taking the day off and helping with the install on Wednesday! Thank you also to Jessica Page for coming along after work and helping for the second half of the afternoon and into the night, I couldn’t have done it with out you! Thanks also to Poppy and Josie for dropping by and helping out.
Thank you’s also to Zoe, Kelly and Penny the Gaffa ladies extraordinaire for making the day run as smooth as possible.
Dominique tying the first box… you gotta start somewhere. Plan… Start from the middle and work from there.
Keeper Gallery. A perfect box sized space for a show built around boxes.
Four boxes down, fourteen to go.
All hands on deck. Dominique, me, Poppy and Josie making pins, hooks and hanging devices.
Getting some prespective.
Productivity at large.
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Zoe Brand and her famous blackboard brooches.
Zoe Brand currently holds the position of manager of Keeper Gallery and retail space at Gaffa Gallery an Artist Run Initiative in Sydney. She is also a maker of contemporary jewellery and objects and a freelance arts curator. Zoe studied the Advanced Diploma of Jewellery and Object Design at the Design Centre, Enmore and graduated in 2008.
”I’d like to tell you a bit about myself. I’m about average height, I wear glasses and like to drink beer. Now you may ask, what has this got to do with my work? I would have to admit that this is an excellent question to pose. With my arms flailing around in the air and in an excitable tone I would reply to you, “Everything!! It has everything to do with my work!” I would then calm down and sink into a deep discussion about why it is that I decided to make Jewellery out of books pertaining to Jewellery or why in fact that I’m drawn to the aesthetic of certain architecture. Words such as, humor, simplicity, structure would be bandied about and much laughter would ensue, I would suggest that perhaps we might go for a beer and continue our conversation. After ordering a round of Coopers we would begin an intense discussion about the state of the Contemporary Jewellery scene in Australia. Following a few more beers and perhaps a cider we would part ways with the adrenalin pumping through our bodies that only comes with amazing conversation. That would be rather pleasant don’t you think?”
- Zoe Brand
A huge thanks goes out to Zoe for pushing me to pursue The Box Project. You are one special lady!
Vessel and stopper, anodised aluminium. Hallmarks of Diane Appleby’s handmade jewellery are design, colour and craftsmanship. Rubies, diamonds, black pearls, tourmalines and iolites set in burnished silver and planished gold find unique form in Diane’s designs. Cabochon rings of topaz and citrine and bejewelled perfume bottle with silken tassels are some of the individually crafted objects that catch the eye in a collection of Diane’s work. Diane’s pieces are designed to not only catch the eye, but also to feel delightful to the wearer. ‘I love to play with form and texture. My jewellery, no matter the scale, has a focus on shape and surface texture that feels good to wear.’ A Sydney based jewellery designer and maker of some 20 years standing, Diane has exhibited nationally and internationally. While she supplies jewellery to some of Australia’s premier galleries and outlets, Diane’s preference is to work directly with clients to design and make individual pieces. ‘There is alchemy when I work directly with clients, involving them in the design process. It imbues the piece with a very special meaning.’ Diane completed her Master of Art in Gold and Silversmithing at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in 2003. As well as making jewellery for individual clients, shops and galleries, Diane has taught at the Jewellery and Object Design Department, Sydney Institute of Technology, Design Centre Enmore, and at the College of Fine Art, University of NSW.
Vessel and stopper, anodised aluminium.
Hallmarks of Diane Appleby’s handmade jewellery are design, colour and craftsmanship. Rubies, diamonds, black pearls, tourmalines and iolites set in burnished silver and planished gold find unique form in Diane’s designs. Cabochon rings of topaz and citrine and bejewelled perfume bottle with silken tassels are some of the individually crafted objects that catch the eye in a collection of Diane’s work.
Diane’s pieces are designed to not only catch the eye, but also to feel delightful to the wearer. ‘I love to play with form and texture. My jewellery, no matter the scale, has a focus on shape and surface texture that feels good to wear.’
A Sydney based jewellery designer and maker of some 20 years standing, Diane has exhibited nationally and internationally. While she supplies jewellery to some of Australia’s premier galleries and outlets, Diane’s preference is to work directly with clients to design and make individual pieces. ‘There is alchemy when I work directly with clients, involving them in the design process. It imbues the piece with a very special meaning.’
Diane completed her Master of Art in Gold and Silversmithing at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in 2003. As well as making jewellery for individual clients, shops and galleries, Diane has taught at the Jewellery and Object Design Department, Sydney Institute of Technology, Design Centre Enmore, and at the College of Fine Art, University of NSW.
15 gold blobs on 2 bits of black line
For many people, the word jewellery conjures up images of gold, diamonds and mass-produced bling. This adorned baggage has led Fitness to explore alternative visual and contextual communication surrounding wearable objects that do not fit the traditional jewellery mould. Fitness creates silicone jewels that encourage play and interaction between the wearer and observer. They offer new possibilities for adorning and viewing jewellery, creating temporal art experiences for random audiences.
Sharon Fitness is also one of the cogs behind the fabulous Broach of the Month club in New Zealand.
‘When contemporary jewellery meets book club in the form of a broach.’
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Sunday Afternoon,925 Silver, Corian, Hobby moss, Silk Thread
Min’s work relates to his earlier studies in Philosophy and Literature as well as to the different religions that he has tried to understand and question. His creative motivation began with an exploration of relationships in everyday life. Min likes to see the contrast, harmony and emotions through these relationships and the way that the results are not always what we expect.
" Taking photos, getting wild flowers from country, collecting old coins or stamps. Are these our nature to memorise or to have? There is no separate line between before and after because we are living in the world that moves continuously. We tend to memorise or capture the moment especially when we know it won’t last forever, either moments of scenery or objects.
As a jeweller, I capture my moment, which I found so special for me and then I create wearable pieces using my moment of memories or objects that I collected.”
Pollen Pendant Models
Lander’s work broadly encompasses an interest in science and technology and how this informs cultural paradigms. In past work the form of her jewellery pieces have been heavily derived from scientific instrumentation. A common thematic is the plump, a metaphor for balance, a possible physic balance, acquired by the wearer through the use of the talismanic qualities traditionally attributed to jewellery. The jewellery pieces are created to have an interaction with the wearer, an interaction as simple as tactility, kinetic or more recently the olfactory engagement of the senses.
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Royal Parade neckpiece, timber, turquoise, acrylic and glass beads, paint, 2010.
With an initial degree in Design/Visual Communication, Natalia Milosz-Piekarska went on to complete a BA (Honours) in Gold and Silversmithing at RMIT. Natalia now works from her Melbourne based studio as a contemporary jeweller and artist, making and participating in a diverse range of projects. Natalia’s primary focus lays in realm of amuletic and talismanic adornment. With much of her research delving into various aspects of superstition, folklore and ritual, her work explores our human inclination towards charmed objects and the power of belief. Natalia has an intuitive and playful approach to her materials and practice, employing a myriad of traditional and unorthodox elements in order to create pieces that emanate a sense of character and spirit.
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