These works appeared in the Rigg award at the National Gallery of Victoria
a few years ago. Im revisiting. It was a privilege to have been included.
I thought quite carefully about this grouping- it is difficult to compose
a coherent group of objects that have a strong 'solved' identity of their own.
Certain people (mainly Family: the toughest critics!) wondered about the
logic of the set; how did they relate?
I thought I might explain some of it now.
What strikes me immediately about this group is how disparate and various it is.
Similar subjects are treated quite differently from one piece to the next,
but I intended a balance and logic to this. There is a spectrum of realism/ abstraction,
which I built into a linear 'sentence'. (sadly, the display of my linear arrangement
was broken around the ridiculously obtuse corner of an ngv cabinet.
I was very dissapointed, because the logic of my set was confused and veiwers
literally had to walk around the back of someone else's display to see the rest of mine.)
The large black plant brooch is very realistic; simulacra.
It references Greek and Roman gold work. The ring with a tiny ploughman
atop and the red white and blue flower brooch have more stylised execution,
both in colour and form, not quite real.
The gold pendants have enscribed wheat motifs, so these are really drawings-
another step toward abstracted representation.
The gold horse brooch and the bone flower earrings are flattened,
cut-out graphic representations, becoming simpler and simpler.
( referencing metalwork from the Americas.)
Finally, the wooden hair comb is completely abstract, just made up of coloured strips.
(riffing on Pacific-culture combs, woven from plant material)
Im changing gears a lot here- some wouldnt like this- but Im inspired by
ancient artefacts- where such contrasts are often effortlessly combined.
Im following an instinct to mix it up, create tensions.
I said in the statement that mystery is an important ingredient for creating
preciousness- you've got to put in a pinch of wonder- a slight question;
what is it made of? how was that done? make it slightly unfamiliar,
without being alienating. Its a tricky but fun game.
the jeweller's raison d'etre is to make treasures, after all.