Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Very Simple Proofs, The Trivial Ring.

Zoe Brand 2012
Sometimes there really is nothing to 'get' and the King is simply naked.
Fancy ring boxes and plastic price tags (actual)
18k gold, Diamonds, Sterling Silver, Emerald and 9k Rose gold (imagined)
$7350.00 (total)

From the exhibition Very Simple Proofs, The Trivial Ring  
at Studio 20/17 until the 2nd of June 2012

brandbrand is a go.

I believe this is what you call a 'soft launch'. If you see anything you like please feel free to purchase. All proceeds go towards feeding a starving emerging jeweller.


Friday, May 4, 2012

Day 4 - failing miserably.

Yep. Today I took down my christmas decorations. 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Day 3 - So, this is going well....

This was the view from my kitchen window this morning, when I had intended to post..... 

It looks a bit more like this now. 

Day 3 - So yeah, this is going well. whoops! 

Ok so where did I leave of yesterday?! Thats right nattering about places I visited in Melbourne on my Whirlwind Jewellery Safari (are you bored yet? - I think I might be... mmmm)

By the time I reached Pieces of Eight, I was feeling pretty tired. I had been up since about 4:30am and it was getting close to about 2pm without so much as a break for a sandwich or beer, sadly neither I could afford....

oh shit hang on... I'm totally getting a head of myself... rewind..... (Yes, I think blogging in the morning is a much better idea - and for those of you who think i've been drinking, and I know there will be a few, I haven't touched a drop, I may have stolen someones ice-cream out of the freezer, but not a drop of liquor has passed these here lips tonight.... although, this maybe way more on point, or at least much funnier if I had... come on now keep up..) 

After e.g.etal, I made a beeline for Craft VIC, where I was very very happy to have made it to see, in its final hours no less, Nicholas Bastin's exhibition The Sleepless Hero. (Melbourne Jeweller did a little review - link). This was an incredibly considered show, and those of you who are keeping score will know how I love a good exhibition design, it is a very very fine balance between supporting the work and overpowering it entirely. If you follow that link to Melbourne Jeweller's blog, you'll see what I mean. Take note kids, because that's how you do it! Bastin has very cleverly given the audience just enough information and has left the right amount of space for you to create your own stories about these faceless (70% grey?) forms and come to your own conclusions about how the work ended up on the walls of the gallery. So who is this 'sleepless hero'?  I'm taking bets it could Bastin!? Being creative can be (but not all ways) a pretty thankless and often sleepless pursuit right!?

yeah..... thats it. Time for bed. 

Don't worry, you're guaranteed more ramblings tomorrow! It's good thing you're not actually forced to read this, I feel it might be considered torture in some states or territories, poor Karin and BK are probably cringing at all my punctuation and grammatical errors. sorry.


- Z

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

day 2 - Good Morning Sunshine!

This is the view from my balcony at 8:30am on Wednesday 2nd May 2012  
What a delightful Sydney Autumn day. 

So I've been thinking, that perhaps I'm going to leave the rest of my 'Unexpected Pleasures' report until I have seen it again and once I have the catalogue. There are a few works in the show I would very much like to discuss, and would like to know a bit more about them before I delve into that again. 

To continue from yesterdays Melbourne Jewellery Whirlwind Safari.... 

Next Stop - Lord Coconut:

This little shop is starting to get its legs, this is the second time I have visited and was pleasantly surprised at the amount of work/jewellers it is amassing into its collection. I like that this shop/gallery is serious, but I have a feeling it also has its tongue set very firmly in its cheek, not only when it comes to the work they sell, but also the design of the store and the history of its namesake. I certainly have a bit of a soft spot for Lord Coconut, it teeters on the cross roads of the serious, the strange, the humorous and the downright miscellaneous. Always a pleasure visiting. 

Off up the road to Alice Euphemia:

This shop has just had a serious makeover. They now have a set of stairs that walk all the way to the ceiling. Cool huh?! Well I thought it was a lovely solution to space/storage/display! I digress, they do have a pretty decent armory of some pretty excellent jewellers, Peta Kruger, Nina Oikawa, Karla Way, Julia Deville and Claire McArdle just to name a few. This isn't a jewellery gallery, it is a fashion store and they have their finger firmly on the pulse of independent local designers, and I wouldn't be surprised if their stocked jewellers do very there, perhaps better than in a gallery context?! Something I should look into. 

Toot Toot - Next stop e.g.etal

Wow. This gallery looked a MILLION BUCKS (the irony of that is that it is probably worth a lot more, but you know what I mean)!!! I haven't seen this store look this good, for quite some time! They had 3 staff on hand, all serving customers when I was poking my nose about, that's surely a good sign. Their glass cabinets were full to the brim, lit well, the stock was shinny and it was almost as if every jeweled morsel was up on its own pedestal calling out 'pick me pick me'. Ok I might be getting a bit carried away here, but I was seriously impressed. Perhaps you might be able to class what e.g.etal do as 'high end contemporary jewellery', almost everything was made from metal, and lots of sparkly gems/diamonds, but interesting, well made and accessible to a general public. Go, be delighted and enticed. 

Oh bugger, I'm totally out of time today........ don't want to be late for work. 

More Melbourne tomorrow.. 

- Z

It's A Blog Bonanza!

Well Hiya! 

Sorry it's been a while, it may have totally slipped my mind that I have a blog. whoops! Anywho...

So this year is all about doing things/everything better, faster, slower and harder. I gave up my full time job to work on my practice, my writing, and I am determined to make a living out of what I live so much for, jewellery. I often joke that I live in a jewellery snow-dome. I live, work and socialize with, jewellers sometimes it's a little bit scary, other times it's damn pretty great. 

So in light of this I have set myself a challenge, I'm going to blog every day for the month of MAY (and hopefully the habit sticks and I keep going)! I need to desperately work on my writing, and getting over my ulcer inducing fear of putting words down on a page. People are often surprised when I tell them how much it terrifies me to write something, but this year I am determined to get over that, practice makes perfect, well, at least a bit easier, RIGHT?! 


1st of MAY 2012 - I think I should probably tell you a little bit about my Melbourne Whirlwind Jewellery Safari: 

A few weeks ago, I was kindly sponsored (thanks mum) a flight to Melbourne to hear a talk at the NGV that corresponded with the opening of  'UNEXPECTED PLEASURES', a survey show of contemporary jewellery and the collaborative project between Susan Cohn and The Design Museum in London. 

So very early on Friday morning I boarded a flight with nothing but $20 bucks in my pocket and a smile on my face! Once I had arrived I was very very very kindly picked up at the airport by the (totes) delightful Karen from the Melbourne Jeweller blog. It was great to catch up, and tour around the Melbourne suburbs (thanks Karen). She kindly dropped me off into the awaiting arms of NORTHCITY4 , the lovely Anna Davern and Romani Benjamin (who co-chair the board with 3 other fabulous ladies Ali Limb, Caz Guiney and Katherine Bowman) showed me around their new space and explained all about their exciting new venture. Please please check out their website, not only is it amazing, but it is full to the brim of all the exciting and wonderful things they are getting up to. 

Above Images: NORTHCITY4

Anna and I went around the corner, past a real life, steel clad bikie club house, and had a coffee (my shout next time promise). It was so lovely to catch up with Anna, I really dig what she does and who she is, an incredibly generous, talented, fun and no bullshit kind of lady!

Next stop: NGV (National Gallery of Victoria)

After a quick tour of the NGV and having to ask the front desk where the 'Unexpected Pleasures' exhibition was (behind the potted plant, down the hall, past the toilets, opposite the lecture theater...) I made it to the threshold of the room, only to be greeted by a guard,

'Are you a Member, miss?' 
'No', I stutter
'Sorry, Members only today'. My heart sinks. 
Words start to stumble out of my mouth as my fight or flight response kicks in 'What. No. I've come all the way from Sydney, I've paid to go to the talk this evening. But. But. But. (don't you know who I am) wink, wink ......' 
A quick nod of the head and a 'go on then', with a sigh relief I quickly scampered into the room before someone told me to get out. 

My heart was racing a million miles an hour, my palms were sweaty, THIS WAS IT! An unexpected wave of emotion sweept over me and I very nearly cry. Ok Ok, I can hear you saying 'seriously, that's a bit pathetic'. But there I was in a room full of pieces I had only ever seen in books, on posters hung on my wall, or distorted on the screen in front of me in. The geek in me does swoon pretty easily over a Gijs Bakker, Otto Kunzli, Benjamin Lignel, Caroline Broadhead or Peter Tully piece, so it was wonderful to see the scale, texture, colour, and detail, that you just don't get from the facsimile. 

There is an incredible sensitivity about the space given to each work, the exhibition design/furniture allow you to ponder each selection without the usual crowding of pieces in a vitrine. The exhibition is separated into what I believe to be clear and accessible categories and which I think will help to guide a general public through, what might be for most, their first encounter with contemporary jewellery. 

I must admit I didn't spend much time reading the display labels. But I have heard comments that the text may have come straight out of the book/catalogue, this isn't necessarily a problem, unless it is written as though it is speaking to the already converted, which of course I am, so perhaps this is why I didn't take much notice. But I guess if we intend to educate the general public and share with them our world, which we must admit can be pretty confrontational or totally uninteresting to the uninitiated, shouldn't give them the tools, clear and simple to help them understand? But as I said, I really didn't spend much time on the labels, but I will be going back to see the show again soon, so I will most certainly take note and let you know what I think. 

I think Cohn ticked almost all the boxes when it comes to exhibiting jewellery. It is often noted/criticized that jewellery displayed in gallery spaces is shown without its context, the body. Here, Cohn cleverly projects onto the gallery wall, a life size room full of people having a glass of wine, adorned with jewellery, animated in silent conversations. I must say these people, do look a little uncomfortable and rather awkward at times, they clearly know where this video will end up, but it still it is pretty mesmerizing to see how the jewellery they are wearing may dictate the way their body moves and reacts to its restrictions/freedoms. As Cohn has been known to argue, jewellery is not 'activated' until it is worn the body, so I think this is a beautiful and pretty genius solution of putting jewellery back into context. 

..... ok well it seems this post took me most of my day to write.... mmmm epic fail.... and since I haven't really finished it, I think I'll keep the rest for tomorrow...... 

Hope you'll stick with me and help me keep going, if I miss a day please feel free to drop me an e-mail written in CAPITAL LETTERS giving me a good kick up the ass. 

until tomorrow, 
- Z