Tuesday, May 1, 2012

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


Katrina Freene said...

Thanks Zoe. I read all of it! I suffer the same bloggers block, if you keep at it then so will I! The show sounds pretty damned amazing maybe i will have a little weekend jaunt to check it out also. You have inspired me to write - see me write? Still writing... Any hoo thanks for the blog. xkat

Zoe Brand said...

Hey Katrina, glad you liked it (Lordy there are a million and one mistakes in that post though... yikes)) !! Yeah you will have to go to Melbs, it truly is a great show!! Good luck with your writing, we'll keep each other company!!
Cheers - Z

Olenka FJ said...

good one Zoe! I enjoyed your post :) I also had a long overdue blog sesh yesterday and decided to keep on keeping on, and have fun with it... even if its in the form of procrastablogging from study...thats totally ok right!? so I'm on board with you two ladies. And definitely have to get down to Melbs that is on the top of the travel list. xox
ps pop over to Collect/Object for a visit anytime free coffee included ;)

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