Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Once more with love

I have been invited by Simon Cottrell and Suse Scholem to participate in a fun yet challenging exhibition titled Once More with Love... A group of jewellers from around Australia are making work with reclaimed jewellery for the exhibition which will be shown in Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney.

The premise for the exhibition is wonderful - people were asked to donate their no longer loved jewellery in exchange for tokens (to be redeemed at the exhibition). The donated jewellery has been distributed amongst a group of jewellers who are set the task of using it to make new work (as sustainably as possible). I was sent a big bag of blue things, mostly beads. The funny thing about his project is that although I predominantly use reclaimed materials in my practice, being given them, rather than choosing them makes for tricky times!!! As I have found with previous projects with similar roots - such as Unnatural Acts, the exhibition Lauren Simeoni and I curated for Velvet da Vinci (soon to be seen at Craft Victoria!) and the Box Project curated by Jasmine Matus - the going is tough sometimes but the rewards are rich! The challenge, inspiration and new directions offered by working in this way are beyond amazing and have a resonance long beyond the time of the project!  

It has taken a lot of playing with the pieces and ruminating to break the seal and start making work for this show. Here are some images of piece number one in progress...

My work is usually quite organic and my collection of materials is so random, yet there is a perverse order at play in the colour selection I have been sent... I decided for the first piece to reflect on this idea and work against my natural grain, using square-ish beads from a (turquoise?) necklace to make a grid on a square - order from the randomness.
In keeping with the brief I am mounting them on a piece of mirrored perspex cut from a scrap I inherited a while ago, its surface has been emeryed back to create a subtle glowing surface. Initially the beads were mounted with fishing line...

...but I got half way and decided it wasn't working out - so I have started again, stitching and knotting each bead in place with silk thread. It is taking FOREVER... and working within a square to the square grid is doing my head in - although oddly I prefer to work in a gridded sketchbook (ignoring the grid usually!)
The finished piece will (eventually) become a pendant strung with fine tubular silver beads from another of the pieces in the bag.

The Once more with love website will launch soon and I can't wait to see what other poeple have been given and are making too!!!

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