Wednesday 15 August 2007

The best things about Melbourne

1. My friends who live there

2. Trams

3. The collection galleries at the NGV International

4. Two great contemporary jewellery galleries: Gallery Funaki (on Crossley Street, just by Pellegrinis) and Pieces of Eight, a relatively new space on Brunswick Street in North Fitzroy.

In a sweeping generalisation: New Zealand jewellery tends to be focused on narrative: it has to be about something (witness Jason Hall's current show at Craft Victoria). In comparison, Australian contemporary jewellers seem to be more interested in materials, and to be more playful. In Melbourne RMIT seems to have fostered a strong and productive community, as well as a number of spaces for work to be seen and sold.

Some of my favourites:

Blanche Tilden's industro-chic glass and silver bike chains:

Mari Funaki's work in mild steel (Funaki is the founder of Gallery Funaki, which shows local and international jewellers, including New Zealanders Kirsten Haydon and Warwick Freeman) :

Craig Spark's delicate, intricate but unfussy gold and silver necklaces:

Kiko Gionocca's long articulated porcelain chains, which you'll have to go to Gallery Funaki to see, as I can't find an image anywhere, but here's some pins by him to make do:

Manon van Kouswijk's porcelain necklaces, like this one, which look perilous to wear, and her paper sequin necklaces, which are funny and light:


Blanche Tilden, 'Everywhere', glass and silver, image from the Vetriglass website

Mari Funaki, 'Space between', mild steel, image from the NGV website

Craig Spark, neckpiece, image from the Pieces of Eight website

Kiko Gianocca, 'I’ve got butterflies' , oxidized silver, steel, epoxy, image from the NGV website

Manon van Kouswijk, necklace, image from the Klimt02 website

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