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NZ artists, designers and craftspeople take Munich by storm

Image: Wunderruma exhibition (artwork displayed: Peter Madden).


Wunderbar! New Zealand artists, designers and craftspeople taking Munich by storm

From enamelled flies to typography to decorating the streets in lei, New Zealand’s most promising young designers and world-renowned jewellers will be making their mark in three major exhibitions in Germany.

This week New Zealand will boast its largest ever presence at the world’s leading international trade fair for contemporary jewellery, applied arts, design and technology.

Eleven New Zealanders have been selected to showcase their work over 12-18 March at Schmuck and Talente – two long-standing exhibitions that are part of the annual International Trade Fair for the Skilled Trades held at Gallery Handwerk in Munich. Schmuck and Talente attract the world’s top makers, curators, gallerists and collectors to see new work and to meet up-and-coming talents.

Creative New Zealand is supporting the 11 craft artists and designers to travel to the exhibitions and has enlisted Auckland-based contemporary jeweller Renee Bevan to act as mentor for the artists selected for Talente.

“We want our artists to able to make the most of this amazing opportunity by attending the exhibitions, taking advantage of networking opportunities, and to experience the work of other leading practitioners,” says Cath Cardiff, Creative New Zealand’s Senior Manager Arts Policy, Capability and International.

“Renee has first-hand experience with these events in Munich, having herself been selected for Talente in 2005 and Schmuck in 2008. We’re excited to have her on board.”

Schmuck is the oldest exhibition of contemporary jewellery in the world. This year, two New Zealand jewellers, Peter Deckers and Shelley Norton, have been invited to present their work. They join just 66 jewellers selected from the more than 550 who applied from 43 countries.

This opportunity places Peter and Shelley squarely in the international jewellery avant-garde and amongst some of the greatest names in the artform,” says Ms Cardiff.

Talente is one of Europe’s most prestigious showcases for emerging talent in design, technology and craft/object art. Now in its 33rd year, the international competition is a platform for young craft artists and designers to launch their careers to the wider European market. This year, nine young New Zealanders have been invited to present their work:

Jewellery: Jhana Millers (Wellington) and Moniek Schrijer (Wellington)

Typography: Daniel Devoy (Auckland), Liam Farrell (Napier), Grace Kim (Auckland) and Samantha Lewis (Wellington)

Textiles: Stacey Ellis (New Plymouth)

Technology: Alex Styants (Auckland) and Toby Vanderspeck (Napier)

“New Zealanders are almost 10 percent of the 98 designers selected from throughout the world, which highlights the quality of young Kiwis entering the creative industries,” says Renee Bevan, 2014 Talente mentor.

Munich is also hosting Wunderruma – the largest exhibition of New Zealand contemporary jewellery ever to travel to Europe. Curated by New Zealand jewellersWarwick Freeman and Karl Fritsch with the assistance of Fran Allison, the exhibition brings together over 200 pieces by more than 75 contemporary New Zealand jewellers and artists. As part of Wunderruma, Auckland-based artist Niki Hastings McFall will create a large site-specific work Polynisation to provide a Pacific welcome to the exhibition.

Creative New Zealand helped fund the Wunderruma exhibition, as well as the Polynisation work.


Further background information

International Trade Fair for the Skilled Trades

The 66th International Trade Fair for the Skilled Trades (Internationalen Handwerksmesse München) is taking place 12-18 March 2014 at the Gallery Handwerk in Munich, Germany. Schmuck and Talente are two of the exhibitions that are part of this annual event.


Schmuck is an international jewellery competition which has been staged in Munich for over fifty years and is considered the international jewellery sector´s premier exhibition.


Talente covers a range of disciplines including traditional applied arts such as ceramics and textiles, through to graphic design and typography, and even cutting-edge technological design. Exhibitors must be less than 33 years of age to apply, or less than 35 years of age for the technology section of the competition.


Wunderruma is a survey exhibition which showcases the breadth and depth of New Zealand contemporary jewellery making .

As part of Wunderruma, Auckland-based artist Niki Hastings McFall will create a large site-specific work, entitled ‘Polynisation’, at the public entrance to Schmuck. The work will comprise hundreds of plastic lei adorning a tree at the front of the venue. Throughout the Pacific the lei is a signifier of honour and welcome, and it is a widely recognised symbol of Polynesia. The work will signpost a Polynesian infiltration into the streets of Munich, and it will serve as a welcoming beacon for visitors to the Wunderruma exhibition.

Biographical information on the artists

Peter Deckers (Wellington)

Peter is an internationally recognised contemporary jeweller, curator, publisher and educator, and is the creator of innovative mentoring programme HANDSHAKE which had a presentation at Schmuck in 2013.

Shelley Norton (Auckland)

Shelley is internationally recognised for her jewellery practice and was previously selected for Schmuck in 2010.

Renee Bevan (Talente mentor)

Creative New Zealand has contracted the services of an experienced mentor and contemporary jeweller Renee Bevan to escort the young designers in Munich. Her role will be to help them to identify what they wish to gain from the experience, what they would like to see and whom they should meet, and, of course, assist them with the logistics. Renee has had first-hand experience with these events in Munich having herself been selected for Talente in 2005 and Schmuck in 2008. In 2013 Renee was part of the New Zealand delegation that travelled to Munich where she was able to fully grasp the scope of her responsibilities from outgoing mentor Fran Allison and initiate the connections she would need in her upcoming role, particularly with the organisers of the exhibitions. She is based in Auckland.

Creative New Zealand support for craft artists’ and designers’ exhibitions in Munich 2014

All 11 selected artists and designers for Schmuck and Talente are being supported by Creative New Zealand with international airfares to, and accommodation in, Munich. The Talente artists will also have the services of mentor Renee Bevan. This initiative is part of Creative New Zealand’s Capability Building programme.

The Wunderruma creative team received two grants from Creative New Zealand to help develop the exhibition and to produce a catalogue (one grant in 2012 and the other in 2013).

Niki Hastings-McFall received a Quick Response grant from Creative New Zealand in 2013 to allow her to create a large site-specific work Polynisation at the entrance of Gallery Handwerk as part of the Wunderruma exhibition.

Creative New Zealand will also host a reception in Munich for international guests to shine the light even brighter on the overwhelmingly strong New Zealand presence across these three exhibitions.

© Scoop Media

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