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Jewellery as vessels of Small Stories

Areta Wilkinson
draws on her experience of illness and recovery in a work
called The Herbal Mixture
Areta Wilkinson - The Herbal Mixture

PRESS RELEASE: For Immediate Release, 10 August 2010

Jewellery as vessels of Small Stories

A selection of stunning jewellery from TheNewDowse collection will be showcased in a new exhibition that opens on the 28th of August. Small Stories presents works that are embedded with meaning beyond the decorative. New Zealand jewellers Jane Dodd, Blair Smith, Warwick Freeman, Areta Wilkinson, Lyn Kelly, Kirsten Haydon, Kim Brice, Pauline Bern, Jacqui Chan, Daniel Clasby and Octavia Cook infuse their works with narratives from a range of inspirations, each piece layered with memories and messages.

Jane Dodd's jewellery often reflects her fascination with memory, magic and fairy tales, as in her work titled, Rumplestiltskin. InVisible Panty Line, Blair Smith has created a light hearted play on the suburban washing line. Warrick Freeman asks questions about shared associations of Maori and Pakeha and interpretations of commonplace motifs while Areta Wilkinson draws on her experience of illness and recovery in a work called The Herbal Mixture.

Pauline Bern

Lynn Kelly builds on the historical tradition of wearing jewellery for protection. Her charms relate to superstitions or family sayings like, Throwing The Baby Out With The Water . Kirsten Haydon was so moved when her Grandfather was too ill to attend an Anzac Day service; she created jewellery and objects that pay tribute to his war time experience. Kim Brice’s work often refers to political and social issues, especially those concerned with sexual orientation, lust, love and longing.

Pauline Bern explores notions of domesticity, highlighting elements of beauty amongst the everyday like whisks and pot scrubs, while Daniel Clasby’s calls his jewellery sculptures “language images” and likes to build a story around a comment or conversation, as in Just Toying with the Idea. Jacqui Chan’s brooches are called Chinkeha, which means 'Chinky-Pakeha'. This is a word she made up to describe her culture/ethnic identity as an alternative to ‘Eurasian’. While as a Pakeha with a very British-sounding name, Octavia Cook explores tales of colonialism, identity and family stories through the use of cameos.

Small Stories
28 August – 21 November 2010
TheNewDowse | FREE ENTRY

Kirsten Haydon


Jane Dodd is a contemporary jeweller based in Dunedin and a graduate of 3D Design from Unitec Institute of Technology, Auckland. Dodd has exhibited widely in solo and group exhibitions in New Zealand and Australia.

Blair Smith is a Dunedin jeweller who has exhibited widely in New Zealand. Smith lectured at Otago Polytechnic School of Art 1988 – 1999. He founded Dunedin’s Assay Gallery and workshop in 1989, and the Shed Workshop with David McLeod, Sabin Perkins and Hamish Campbell in 2002.

Warwick Freeman is at the forefront of contemporary jewellery in New Zealand. He began making jewellery in 1972 and was a partner in Fingers, between 1977 and 2004. He has exhibited widely in New Zealand and internationally.

Areta Wilkinson was one of the founding members of the Workshop 6 jewellery collective. She studied and then became a lecturer at Unitec Institute of Technology, Auckland for many years. She is now based in Oxford in the South Island.

Lynn Kelly has been a jeweller since 1988. She was a partner in Fluxus Contemporary Jewellery in Dunedin, spent a year at the Filing Kabinett Workshop in Christchurch and now has her own workshop in Dunedin. She has exhibited throughout New Zealand and internationally, including the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Jewellery Biennials. She was the 2007 recipient of TheNewDowse Gold Award with her Gold and Tussock Necklace.

Kirsten Haydon is a New Zealand jeweller based in Melbourne. She studied in Auckland before relocating to Melbourne in 1996 and has been exhibiting internationally since 2000. Haydon recently completed a PhD in Gold and Silversmithing at RMIT University where she lectures in enamelling

Kim Brice was born in Nelson in 1963 and gained a Diploma in Craft Design from Nelson Polytechnic. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Brice exhibited both in New Zealand and internationally.

Pauline Bern began her career in the United States in the 1970s. On her return to New Zealand she exhibited work at Fingers. Bern has won many awards, including the 2003 Creative NZ Craft / Object Residency Grant. She is currently a senior lecturer at Unitec, Auckland and has taught many contemporary jewellers, including the Workshop 6 members Areta Wilkinson, Octavia Cook, Anna Wallis, Jane Dodd and Helen O’Connor.

An American art graduate now living in New Zealand, Daniel Clasby founded the Lapis Lazuli School of Silversmithing in November 1975. In 1976 he joined the Fingers art collective and has exhibited widely in New Zealand.

Jacqui Chan is a graduate of Unitec Institute of Technology, Auckland where she was also a lecturer. Chan is currently based in Melbourne This group of Chinkeha brooches won TheNewDowse Student Craft & Design Award in 2007 and were subsequently gifted to TheNewDowse by the Friends of TheNewDowse

Octavia Cook lives and works in Auckland. She graduated in 1999 with a Bachelor of 3D Design in Jewellery from Unitec Institute of Technology, Auckland. Cook has exhibited in both solo and group exhibitions in New Zealand and Australia, and is a current Workshop 6 member.


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