17 November 2009

Rigg Revisit

(click pic to embiggen)

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.


  1. Beautiful writing, beautiful objects, beautiful mysteries...

  2. i remember seeing these years ago & totally loved their difference & also their balance..a rare beasty!
    i actually can't recall their awkward placement, but i imagine that would have been frustrating.
    I think your work is just amazing.

  3. well put. intrigue plays a big part in all art i think. its what makes us look twice, slant our heads and then still be thinking about it the next day. and we all like to excavate meaning from the things we see.
    love this set, wish i saw it.

  4. your work in this exhibition took my breath away and the display case/corner etc,(even though it was disappointing from a display point of view) didn't take away from the work, but even made me more keen to see it from different angles. I loved the blue/purple of the flowers

  5. thanks K!
    - the blue is actually biro ink ( !) squeezed out of about 20 biros, mixed with artist's medium then covered in many layers of matte varnish. I couldnt get this colour any other way... a very deep deep indigo, with that purplish- metalllic cast...

  6. all gorgeous. lovely to find your blog!