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Jewellery makers’ explore miscommunication

30 October 2007

Jewellery makers’ collective explores miscommunication

Toi Pōneke Gallery will soon be covered in a plethora of “communication theory by design” by local jewellery makers, Decoy Studios.

“We all met at Whitireia Polytechnic on a jewellery design course, and we decided to keep contact in the best way we knew how, by creating an artistic collective that mainly focused on jewellery making,” says Kathryn Yeats.

Decoy Studios make a lot of their work in a large workshop space at Toi Pōneke, Wellington Arts Centre where they are preparing for their forthcoming exhibition, Semaphore (a system of sending messages using flags).

Kathryn says that although they have quite a few members at the moment, just six of them will exhibit. They include Kathryn; Aidan Griffin; Vivien Atkinson; Nadine Smith; Kate Woodka and Jude Perry.

Vivien is currently exploring media and communication by charades, and will present a video of this as part of the installation.

In keeping with the spirit of semaphores and other less-used communication tools, Jude explores historical prototypes with brooches of experiments and contraptions, while nurse and jeweller Nadine works with a combination of surgical supplies, counterfeit body parts and seemingly organic material.

Aidan will display brooches and rings of cast sterling silver on a black strip along one of the gallery walls. Kathryn Yeats’ mostly pink brooches are silk-based, but also incorporate other materials, including rust, wood, steel, and hair.

Kate Woodka’s textile-based installation provides historical commentary on female domesticity. Fabric, thread, kitchen gloves, chux cloths, bras, pillowslips and panty-liners are dismembered and reconfigured in her work.

Rebecca says the installations cover a wide range of mixed media responses to communication and miscommunication.

“Visitors to the gallery will have their analytical strings pulled in all sorts of directions,” she says.

Semaphore opens at 5.30pm, Wednesday 7 November at Toi Pōneke Gallery, Wellington Arts Centre, 61 Abel Smith Street and runs until Wednesday 28 November.


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