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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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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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The Box Project invites jewellers to create work specifically for an exhibition that will be held at Keeper Gallery, gaffa in November from the 18th - 30th, 2010.
Each artist will receive a box in the mail containing some materials, with the contents of the boxes, the artists are asked to make between 1 and 3 works which will be returned complete for the exhibition in November.
All the boxes will contain different materials however some may be very similar. I am very interested to see the different makers interpretations of the materials into tangible wearables.
Inspiration for the exhibition
Growing up as a child, there existed a room in my house that we labeled the ‘craft room’. This treasure trove contained the exciting wonders of my mother’s creative passions.
Sewing equipment, doll making needs, chocolate moulds and cake decorating wares, an over-locker, paints, pastels, crayons and a tin box of 72 coloured derwent pencils lined the shelves. A never ending supply of textured papers; all shades under the sky, wools, fake furs, an array of glues and special scissors that were off limits to our shaky young hands.
My strongest memory of this room was the ‘busy box’. A magical box created for my sister and I by my craft-loving mother. The busy box was brimming with crafty materials with which we would build, make and create inventions of sorts. Hours would pass unnoticed as we were enthralled by cutting, sticking, drawing and making masterpieces that would end up proudly displayed atop the television or on the fridge’s smooth surface.
This room was almost forever messy. However chaotic, you could always find what you were after and more. Searches uncovered long buried strands of sequins, bags of sparkling glitter, googly eyes, pompoms and fuzzy pipe cleaners. It was overwhelming and the possibilities were endless. In retrospect I realize that my passion for making and working with my hands as my primary tool for creation began at a young age.
This jewellery project, 20 years on from my childhood aims to recreate the idea of the ‘busy box’. Approached in a sophisticated manner using more complex materials and involving professional emerging and established jewellers and makers who’s technical skill and knowledge of contemporary jewellery far exceeds the good old days of Clag glue, Crayola and safety scissors, the out-come being a real exhibition rather than a fridge display!