Sunday, December 14, 2008
'Peacock' box, 2008. Fine Silver, 22ct Gold Leaf and Glass Enamel.
'Tiger' box, 2008. Fine Silver, 22ct Gold Leaf, Brass and Glass Enamel.
If you scroll further through this blog you will find two excellent essays written by Anna Davern and Pene Durston. They responded to 'Beast', the exhibition i had earlier this year. I have only included these images and this event again as i have just done a Jessica Morrison history purge. And it just would not have been complete without re-sighting the beasts as they were the last major event. Since having this blog i have been meaning to record my journey and well today it is done (only 7 months late).
'...very Emily Dickinson' is the piece i made for the 2006 Cicely & Collin RIGG Contemporary Design Award. Sally Marsland won that year and it was well deserved with her beautiful body of work 'Jewellery made with holes'.
(my artist statment for '...very Emily Dickinson')
In the past the Field Trip series has been about the exploration of vitality and energy in nature. Field Trip ‘…very Emily Dickinson…’ follows this emotional response, but it is now the beginning of decay and the impermanence of nature that is depicted. By contrasting the perishable delicacy of the subject and the rigidity and strength of silver in which it is captured, the piece attempts to ‘snapshot’ a moment in time; the ephemeral becomes permanent, glazed in a brittle layer of enamel.
Field Trip 'Rock Pool' Yellow, blue and white, 2005. Fine Silver and Glass Enamel.
I am not entirely convinced about these pieces but i thought i should document them for me to refer back to. I must admit i do look at them and think look at all that metal in there i can reuse. Ah, i had to try it next time bigger and better.
(my artist statement for this body of work)
My work is initially inspired by an instinctive emotional response to my natural surroundings. This delight is tempered by a closer observation of both the structure and randomness in its form and colour.
By working with easily malleable materials, such as wax and plasticine, I can quickly and intuitively create objects inspired by, but not mimicking, natural forms. Once cast, silver becomes a neutral canvas for the play of colour and surface via the use of enamel. The fluidity, fragility and unpredictability of enamel creates a controlled randomness in the finished object. This makes the piece snapshot-like in its capturing of an organic construct.
... and yes i did grow up next to the beach.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Come one, come all, we are having our 1st ever studio sale and yes i know i have left it late to advertise but better now than never.
The doors are open today Friday the 12th 12pm - 6pm and tomorrow Saturday the 13th 10am - 2pm. Level 8, 289 Flinders Lane, Melbourne.
Please give our beasts a good home this Christmas, adopt 2 today!
To see our little friends visit www.princesscladyjandtheuppercrust.blogspot.com
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Assorted Medium Brooches $35
Assorted Large Brooches $45
Princess C, Lady J and the upper crust
When an explorer first enters on the investigation of so remote a place as bestia demens, they find themself as it were in a new world. They can scarcely meet with any fixed points from whence to draw their analogies.
Nevertheless, Princess C and Lady J, who went out this day with their everriculum, had the good fortune to belay one of the animals which had been so much the subject of their speculation; an idea of it will best be conceived by the attached representation, without which, the most accurate verbal description would answer very little purpose, as it has not similitude enough to any animal already known, to admit of illustration by reference.
(with apologies to Darwin and Hawkesworth)
The past few weeks has seen Coconut Lu and myself creating some madness in resin in the form of brooches.
You will be able to find them in Melbourne at the following fabulous and clever retailers:
Glitzern- 1a Crossley St Melbourne.
Craft Victoria -31 Flinders Lane, Melbourne.
Fat 4 -
272 Chapel St Prahran.
209 Brunswick St Fitzroy.
GPO Shop G03 250 Bourke St.
Chadstone Shopping Centre Shop.
Douglas and Hope-
Shop 14 Block Arcade 282 Collins St,
181 Brunswick St, Fitzroy.
In Sydney at:
Pablo Fanque- 1 Oxford St, Paddington.
and in Queensland at:
Artisan- 381 Brunswick St, Fortitude Valley.
You can also check us out at http://princesscladyjandtheuppercrust.blogspot.com/
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Current Exhibition EXTENDED to Sat 13th Sept !!
BAKED NOT FRIED: Now until Sat 13th Sept
Viva las fire!
Pieces of Eight Gallery’s current exhibition Baked Not Fried has been extended for one week only- a great opportunity to catch the exhibition if you have yet to view it!
Baked Not Fried showcases the work of several contemporary artists and jewellers who employ the technique of enamelling in inventive and fantastical ways.
From the delicate and shimmering to the humorous and poetic, Baked Not Fried reveals the diversity of enamel work being explored in both contemorary jewellery and object form. Each artist delivers exceptional work characterised by the expressive freedom found in their use of enamel. The exhibition debuts German jeweller, Tabea Reulecke and Austrian jeweller, Steffi Kalina showing their work for the first time in Australia, exhibiting alongside local enamellists Jane Millard, Jess Morrison, Katrina Tyler, Bridie Lunney, and Katherine Brunacci. Baked Not Fried exposes the shift in the way enamel is being used today - in its application as a surface and more importantly in its materiality. Look closely at the edges of the pieces and you will see the poetic subtleties of this delicate process - and what can only be planned by not planning.
A more detailed description of the exhibition, specific artist statements and bios are available on request or click here. I look forward to seeing you at the gallery to view our first exhibition dedicated to new directions in enamelling.
Melanie Katsalidis, Director.
Pieces of Eight Gallery 635 Brunswick Street North Fitzroy. Open Tuesday-Friday 11-6pm, Saturday 11-5pm. For more information telephone (03) 9497 8121, email firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.piecesofeight.com.au
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Here are the two talented and lovely ladies that say it best!....
I’m sitting with Jessica Morrison in her sunny Melbourne studio and we’re having a conversation about her Beasts. She’s describing her work as referencing the everyday and earthiness and explaining that they are tools for living. I’m confused because these Beasts, who are witness to our conversation, appear to have been borne of an absinthe fuelled liaison between Faberge and Merric Boyd. The sculptural animal forms of the hand-built vessels do have an earthiness to them but the ornate embellishments, the gilt surfaces, the precious stones, the gold leaf and enamel have me looking for the Imperial Eggs from which they must have just hatched.
Just as Morrison successfully combines the rustic and the decorative, so too her creatures are at once wild animals and yet again the tamed members of a fantastical menagerie. The vessels simultaneously reference the sacred reliquary and the domestic caddy. And her rings and neckpieces are evocative of tribal ceremonial practices as well as the cheap thrills found in a gumball machine.
It would be easy to simply describe this work as whimsy, but these beast-vessels are serious in their roles as protectors of their contents. A bejewelled kangaroo king sits proudly astride his wombat steed, protecting his cargo from marauders. The King of the Jungle stares heavenward in contemplation of the secrets contained within his belly. And the Peacock, the symbol of pride and vanity hides his tail in respect of his responsibility as guardian.
I’m still slightly confused but equally enamoured of these Beasts. Although they would not be out of place in a vitrine of archaeological artefacts, I think I would prefer to see them on my kitchen bench guarding my precious store of Camellia sinensis.
We all love a monster. Pieced together, never quite ‘right’, brought to life by a sick and twisted mind, a little bit Dr Frankenstein, a little bit Dr Moreau, single minded, focused upon the creation of a unique creature.
So when a chimera is created, melding those lynchpins of Australiana, a kangaroo and a wombat, how do we react?
If you know Jess Morrison’s work you feel like laughing. Laughing with the sheer joy and humour of the macabre world she imagines. At first you see her kangaroo, decked in bling, scratching his tummy as he ‘rides’ his wombat bodyguard but you soon realise that all is not quite, well, normal. As if they had been in a freakish accident, say through the matter transporter in the movie ‘The Fly’, they have become a new species, the hybrid Kangambat, still recognisable in the sum of their parts but happily moving on as strange ‘conjoined twins’.
Decorative boxes, reliquaries, keepsake and trinket boxes, are a tradition of the gold and silversmithing arts. But rarely will you see three boxes that seem, so full of personality, to enjoy their role so much. The tiger may bite or roll kittenishly on his back to have his tummy rubbed. The peacock, by being both 2 and 3 dimensional, depicted in both a traditional and cartoonish puddle-duck-like way, will raise his head when you lift the lid.
Jess is one of those rare people whose work, even when pushing technical and artistic boundaries (and occasionally the boundaries of taste!) will always bring a smile to one’s face. Her work, though gestural and immediate, is backed by thoughtful planning and modelling. The subject matter is always close to her heart, or in the case of the teeth, grounded in dental genetics. (If you get her at a free moment ask her to recount “Adventures in South American Dentistry”- you will soon understand her obsession with teeth.) What could be grotesque is instead happy, joyous and endearing, without being saccharine and cloying. Her tigers still have claws, her teeth still have bite, her golden dog might just be about to squat for a pooh on the green enamel grass of a silver ring. Her work is always trembling with life, on the verge of laughing, blooming or running away, and is certainly never staid or dull. A bit like Jess really.
Thank you Anna and Pene for your thoughtful responses to 'beast'.
Woohoo the beasts and i have made it through to the other side and now they reside happily at Craft Victoria for the next month before traveling to Pablo Fanque in Sydney late June. Many thanks to everyone that came to help me celebrate the opening of my first solo show and of course many, many, many million billion thanks to those that helped me make it all happen!