Friday, April 30, 2010

2nd year Metal Design Associates Peta Kruger and Hannah Carlyle talk about their recent trip to the JMGA (Jewellery and Metalsmith) Conference Resource in Perth

Can you tell us about the theme of the exhibition?
Peta: We each received a section of map from the Adelaide CBD, this could be interpreted into jewellery and/or objects in any way we wished. We made our own display cabinets that were designed to pack down to 'carry on' luggage specifications and each of us travelled over with one of them. The concept seemed to fit naturally the Metal Design Studio travelling together to Perth for a conference, each bringing something to share that describes ourselves and the place we have come from.

Hannah: We were each given a section of map of the Adelaide CBD to base our work on for the show. We could interpret the section however we wanted, no restrictions were given.

Could you describe your work form the show – the ideas behind the work you produced and your process of making ?
Peta: I was allocated an area that included Whitmore Square, the streets south of this, part of the South Terrace Parklands and Veale Gardens. I set myself a task of mapping the items that I found in a walk of the area, items that would normally be considered pointless to be placed on a street map because they were too small or considered to be throwaway, but items that might tell something of the character in the people living in the area and the place, at one moment in time.
I had anticipated on finding lots of interesting and uninteresting pieces of rubbish. On my walk of the area I didn't find any rubbish, maybe just a few scraps of paper. Instead I was slightly surprised to find a number of gardens created by individuals along council strips in the streets. At Veale Gardens I found blooming garden beds and luscious lawns but no rubbish, and in the parklands opposite - dead grass, dead and dying trees and some that had been cut down due to water restrictions from the drought.

Floral motifs are often used as a theme for decorative brooches and so through a series of brooches I displayed some of the blooming succulents, the pretty introduced species along the council strips and bare twigs from the parklands that summarised the character of the area on the day. The area owns a large population of individuals who are homeless, and from my walk I mostly noticed the progress and the efforts of people in the community, and the council, to make the streets and parks shared and communal spaces for all.

Hannah: I explored notions of line and shadow created by rooftops in an aerial view of Adelaide. Reflecting on the architectural elements of the buildings within my area and using the Adelaide Festival Centre as a point of reference, the use of pattern, texture and colour translate the aesthetics found when looking down on our city.

What were some of the highlights of the conference – particular key notes etc. and why?
Peta: Karl Fritsch gave a wonderful and illuminating, personal insight into his life and development as a jeweller. He presented his talk on a slide projector and it included holiday snaps, pictures of his aunties, the place he grew up, the places he worked, the first objects he made as a 6-year old and the pivotal moments in his career where he had made conscious decisions to introduce change to his practice. It was fascinating and rewarding to listen.

Hannah: I really enjoyed the Pin Swap Dinner. It gave me the opportunity to really interact with jewellers from interstate, but also get to know the other Adelaide jewellers that were attending that I had never really spoken to before.

Which exhibitions did you like and why?
Peta: The highlight for me was Makers Metier at Gallery East in North Fremantle. The artist's were Helen Britton, Cynthia Cousens, Karl Fritsch, Elizabeth Turrell and Lisa Walker each with their renown individual interpretations of jewellery and objects, resulting in a room full of exquisiteness.

Hannah: I particularly liked Return. The work was presented very well and I liked all of the jewellery and objects on display.

How was pin swap night, whose work did you get etc.?
Peta: I received a pin from Danielle Butters, a jeweller from Sydney who also teaches at Enmore. We had met each other the previous day at the conference, and had dinner together in Fremantle, so it was a lovely surprise and keepsake.

Hannah: I loved the Pin Swap Dinner; it was a really fun experience. I picked a piece by Perth jewellery Carolyn Gorman, but she was a key member in the conference, she introduced all the speakers at the conference, etc. The piece was made during a workshop with Julie Blyfield.