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Exploring Material Worth And Beauty

Exploring Material Worth And Beauty Contemporary Jewellery Comes to Ashburton



Image credits: Elfi Spiewack, Portrait of a Young Man by Agnolo Bronzino 2017, deer bone, antler, pearl, silver on print.


The Ashburton Art Gallery is delighted to present an exciting exhibition by Lyttelton-based contemporary jeweller Elfi Spiewack In Splendour Moot, Adornment Re-framed opening on Sunday 19th November 2017 for its first showing in New Zealand. This striking exhibition explores jewellery as a marker of self-expression and invites viewers to reconsider preconceived ideas around the value of jewellery and objects of adornment. Spiewack states “Nature has always been a big inspiration, working with ordinary materials and elevating them, putting them into a different context is what interests me. I want to open people’s minds as to what jewellery can be, to challenge the traditional definitions of what jewellery is.”

In this exhibition Spiewack reconstructs the traditional jewellery pieces worn by those of high social rank and importance in portrait paintings from the Renaissance, Baroque and Victorian era. She has taken reproductions of these paintings and edited out the original jewellery and re-created new responses with jewellery pieces which are presented 3-dimentionally on the flat surface of the paintings. These new creations have been made using materials such as silver, gold and pearls which have been juxtaposed with materials of low monetary value like animal bones, antlers and synthetic hair in an attempt to question notions of beauty. This is further emphasized through an interactive mirror installation which gives visitiors the opportunity to see themselves ‘wearing’ Spiewacks’ creations.

In Splendour Moot will open to the public on Sunday 19 November at 2:00pm. As part of the opening formalities Spiewack will speak about her practice and concepts behind the works with an artist talk. The exhibition will run until Sunday 21 January 2018.

Spiewack completed a Bachelor of Arts in Jewellery and Object Design from the University College for Art, Design, Technology and Economy, Pforzheim, Germany. She is represented in galleries throughout New Zealand and has shown in numerous group and solo shows in New Zealand, Australia, Germany, The Netherland and USA since 1993.

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