I’ve begun to trial a new work – it follows on from the ‘working in the environment’ process I explored in Seeding the Cloud, the difference being rather than walk/work for the length of time it takes to fill a thread, i walk/work for the duration of a necklace. My necklace of choice is a charming – graduating (2.25 -5mm) length (320 mm) of pearls (man made). I can’t remember where i got it from, but there is evidence that it had a rich life (well worn) prior to my ownership, a quality I appreciate!
I begin, as i do with Seeding the Cloud, by going for a walk. I take with me a back pack of tools, collect fragments of plastic as i go and I pause, drill and tread the plastic with the pearlescent beads. The only difference is I carry the necklace with me, and transpose it, threading it bead by bead into the segments of found plastic. I had hoped that I could achieve this in one walk but it wasn’t as straightforward as I had planned. I’ve had a few set backs – i.e the holes of the smallest beads needed to reaming allow the threading needles through.
And one of the difficulties of working in the environment is the effects of weather. Being winter here in Melbourne it hasn’t been great, today a brisk Northerly wind made it impossible. I tried working on park benches, but found due to weeping eyes and nose that i had to abandon the more picturesque scene for the more sheltered surrounds of the smokers chairs in the alcove of the Senior Citizens Hall.
I worked here smoke free till it was time to pick up my son from Kindergarten (unfortunately family commitments also interrupt my attempts to perform this work, oh well thats life!) .
I hope to continue this piece tomorrow.
2006 Image Credits Terence Bogue
It was unexpected and a great source of pleasure to have this work ‘One on Every Corner’ selected for Unexpected Pleasures, an exhibition currently on at the NGV-International. Curated by Susan Cohn and commissioned by the Design Museum in the UK the exhibition explores some of the links and thematic concerns between contemporary jewellery and design. It’s a gutsy effort by Cohn, informed by her highly attuned makers eye, years of extensive research and preparedness to make a definitive statement in regard to the existence of the Contemporary Jewellery Movement.
The highlights for me were seeing some of the international works that i had only seen images of – in particular the Bernard Schobinger bracelet ‘Holiday in Cambodia’ along with the beautiful photographic prints of his work on the body.
You can find out more about his work here
and Unexpected Pleasures Here
I began the clean out and reordering of my studio last week. I am not generally inclined, preoccupied or obsessed with tidiness and order. (that gene occurs in my family but it by passed me) In fact i often find it difficult to work out systems to store things (creating categories for this blog might be tricky), I often begin by classifying and creating categories in terms of colour, size or material,only to find i get caught out with sub groupings that over lap or confounded by the undeterminable thingness of a thing. The things that i decided to discard were the by-product of stuff I collect when walking, a process of collection I call surface archeology.
Walking isn’t a simple process of getting from A to B, for me it involves observing and picking detritus as i go. I don’t know why I’m inclined to pick up stuff when I walk, it feels instinctual something I don’t think about too much I just do it, although there are times I wish I didn’t have such a compulsion.
I’ve thought it might be hereditary, I know my Nana did it and I now witness my children doing it. It’s not like I am driven by a moral impetus to pick up litter or that I lead an impoverished life, it’s more like a genetic quirk, perhaps a remnant link to a hunter gathering past.
Sometimes my collections are led by the materials i find (which can add a seasonality factor) at other times I might require a certain item/product for a piece I’m working on (this encourages an alternate form of local knowledge). I think Surface Archeology process is driven by a fascination with matter that marks something of presence and time. From a resource more generally viewed as disposable or of little cultural significance I find a potent materiality that retains something of the background noise of history and experience.
So as i cleaned out this ‘noise’ from my studio I started to create a list of some of the features of experience i had collected (in no particular order).
Aluminium ring pulls
Steel ring pulls
Fragments of tennis balls (pale blues, subtle greens, blacks/grey I loved collecting these in the years of drought)
Felt skins of tennis balls (these take the shape of a filled number eight. Loved them, hard to find in one piece though – dogs!!)
-Golf Balls (whole and fragments)
-Footballs (leather, synthetic, & inner tubes)
-Paint tin lids (I love, love, loved these. Covered in paint, run over and rusted)
-Tin lids (various shapes and sizes)
-Rusted tin lids (hard to find them just as i liked – distressed white paint coating, dented and slightly rusted.) i associate rusted tin lids with landscapes(?)
-Crushed tins (and rusted, beautiful. almost kept them)
-Number Plates (I have found these over the years down at the creek, I may have to discreetly dispose of them!)
-Truck Mud Flaps (Beautiful when they are perished and worn)
-Street Parking Signs (red and green, although i liked them when they had faded and battered)
-Synthetic Silk Flower fragments (we live near a cemetery, these are beautifully worn and i kept them)
-Thongs/Jandals (I had some great ones of these, perished/worn, great colours)
-Perished Rubber (mixed items)
-Car Panels(only two – one plastic, one steel)
-Ice Bloke sticks
-Bottle caps (crushed, rusted, or unharmed)
and numerous bits of plastic but i’ve kept most of these…
Viewing my collection as a list i am slightly concerned that i might be bit mad, but my concern is lessoned by ease in which I let it all go! Go where you might wonder? Well just in case you are concerned, i recycled what i could and the rest of it went it the bin, which is perhaps where it should have gone in the very first place!!