Monday, September 20, 2010

Maker-Wearer-Viewer-Erin Keys (Guest Blog)

Sadly, or perhaps, excitedly (I can’t tell which YET) my bench looks like this (See image of naked bench), in preparation for the fantastic jeweller/ vessel maker Jane Bowring. I have boxed everything and I am saying farewell *sniff
* to my friends and invaluable mentors at Gray Street Workshop, Adelaide and I am moving to Sydney. I have just finished a wedding ring for the talented glass artist Amanda Dziedzic. Two rings that fit together (but not as controlled as Nina Koppel for Georg Jensen’s Fusion Ring) were hand carved out of wax and cast in 9ct white gold. Five sparkling champagne diamonds and ten smoky quartz stones were pressure set asymmetrically all over … so pretty and I especially like the hidden underneath and at the side stones; something just for Amanda. She and I worked together on this through many discussions over coffee and wine, respectively, and equal amounts of viewing throughout the carving process. I think she was more scared than me, as the wedding band has an inherent value embedded that I wont ever fully understand, unless I get married. It is such a sacred object that can contain so much for the bride and groom to be. I love it. Nerves et al.

Currently, I am in the process of designing something big, something beautiful and something totally haute couture for an exhibition next year.

Perhaps like many jewellers, I don’t wear much jewellery. I own many pieces acquired throughout the years, either given by friends or bought. I have worn the same rings (11 rolled silver, gold and stainless steel rings) on my right hand finger since 2001. Given to me by a dear friend, Amy Jenkin, they are as much a part of me as my tattoos and the scars on my skin. Over the years they have modified my finger shape and carry with them various attachments, emotions and stories too. I love them very much. I have been wearing the same brooch practically everyday since April, it was given to me by jeweller Mark Vaarwerk. It is cast in Silver, initially shrunk from a foam disc (I think cut from a vegetable box) and, once cast, painted with red pencil. I love it and enjoy the compliments that come with owning it. A few months ago I lost my patience with my earrings always falling out of my ear lobes that were 12-14mm holes. Within a week, I could not get the plugs back in and a few weeks later they were smaller still, so, I let them shrink and allowed the excitement for “proper” ladies earrings to ensue. Recently I have been wearing black electric cable earrings given to me at my birthday by my vivacious friend and Melbourne based jeweller, Regina Middleton (who I met for the first time at the JMGA conference and have become great friends and Jedi jewellers). The earrings, while very modern because of the material used, have a 1950s aesthetic; which makes me feel totally flash

I am welcoming all other offerings of earrings now that I can wear them after 12 years of 2 big holes!

In general, I have been experiencing a general funk in my practice, and so have enjoyed sitting by the beach and nurturing my headspace, by the unbeatable coastlines within South Australia. Riding my bike and clearing the oft laden brain with cold air and long rides or perusing the SA Museum and looking at the indigenous jewellery and artefacts. My practice has led me to work at the computer a lot lately (whence funk
) because I have been entering exhibitions and applying for an arts residency. After all the writing and refining of my own language and ideas, I am trying to look further in to the content of my work, what it means, how it can evolve/ grow change remain open, and I am trying to strip it back or rather, hone it to nothing but honest and present making. By critically looking at what I do, and what I say/ write is actually very difficult. Further looking in to script, text, and language in general; in particular communication I feel like I am discovering new areas of investigating. Curiously, I feel like my discoveries are like the Möbius strip, with endless paths to explore.

I am in the process of having my website built (Coming Soon) by artist Richard Byers

Unrelated, in the direct sense, to jewellery, I am reading a book about Sun Ra, the unorthodox jazz musician, Space Is The Place: The Lives And Times Of Sun Ra.

Sun Ra developed a complex persona of "cosmic" philosophies and lyrical poetry that made him a pioneer of afrofuturism as he preached awareness and peace. In some ways I relate to the man that locates himself in outer space, beyond both the geographical limits of ones country and the ideological limits of one’s social/ political climate. The concept that SPACE IS THE PLACE is one worth embracing!

As I procrastinate, I feed steadily on the overflowing wealth of anomalies in the webosphere, I read blogs, some of worth, but most are radically rude and ridiculous time wasters to humour me. A few worth mentioning are: I wait eagerly for the next instalments by Briohny Doyle and I wish that I could write as well as her; she makes me whimper with linguistic envy. Another enviable blogger is Vasili Kaliman's Art Patrol images of the best contemporary art exhibitions in commercial galleries, a life looking at art (for real) that to me seems unreal. While I do not know him, I read David Neale’s blog mainly, because he has an equally met obsession with bicycles. However, I appreciate how he presents the world through his collection of images and brief, but often humorous narrative. I appreciate his, apparent, honesty in offering the reader artefacts from his experiences and day-to-day observations.

We have just come to the end of SALA in Adelaide where there were a lot of exhibitions to view. Some notable were Abstract Nature at Samstag, Guest curator Margot Osborne, presents work by twenty notable Australian artists. In her essay ‘The nature of things: thoughts on organic abstraction, beauty and immanence’, Osborne writes, “Many works are suffused with a discernable sense of place. They reflect the artists' deep responses not merely to the natural world in general but to those specific places in the Australian environment that are, for them, imbued with beauty, meaning and spiritual sustenance”. The work in this show is mature and with strongly executed visions that involve the manipulation of found natural materials and intuitive responses to the natural world. I saw Fiona Lowry and & Justine Varga’s exhibition at Hugo Michell Gallery I love Lowry’s titles as much as the work itself, they seem to be as much a part of the final piece as the colours she chooses to use. The delicate and seductive quality of the airbrushed landscape is inviting, yet the luring quality leaves me with a feeling of paranoia, as though I ought not trust what I see. Her imagery contains a dark and melancholy perspective. The canvas’ tease your perception and play with the idea of space, leaving a somewhat sensational feeling after seeing her work.

After months of not really making, I feel that a cyclonic metal dust storm is on its way. Something has to happen! With spring slowly showing signs of blowing a cold winter away, and the pollen, petals and scent of new beginnings replacing it. I am expecting a shift in the way I work and the usual tools I use in my approach to thinking and making. Exciting times ahead.


Thanks Erin for a totally rocking Blog post. Looking forward to having beers with you in old Sydney town.


Anonymous said...

Fantastic post, super eloquent. I don't know what to say that won't make me sound like a buffoon while i gush over Ms. Keys lovely words...wait i think it's too late.

michele aka the tiny said...

Fantastic post Erin! really loved your frankness and honesty when it came to talking about your thinking process and where you are at the moment...creatively quiet! I love Sun Ra too!! looking forward to seeing you back in ol'sydney town! xx

Unknown said...

This is very impressive post with every minute details mentioned and clearly expressed,great job.

Jewellers in Mohali

Post a Comment