Australian Jewelry Topos

Exhibition: Mar. 10 – Apr. 2, 2011
Artist Reception: Sat. Mar. 12, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Christopher Earl Milbourne. Megasilo with overbearing management quarters. Brooch with stand, 2010, sterling silver, monel, enamel, stainless steel
Elfrun Lach. Anulus Parvus Ring, 2008, bamboo coral, polymer clay
Nicholas Bastin. Mint Packet # 1 (sans background), Brooch, 2009, 925 silver, copper, monel, polyurethane resin, epoxy resin
ucy Hearn. White Ring Green. Ring, 2007, copper, enamel, sterling silver, plastic
Renee Ugazio. De-Phile. Cuff, 2009, steel, citrine
Linda Hughes. Black & Red & White Sub. Neckpiece, 2010, laminate, acrylic, silver, silk
Dougal Haslem. The Elephant and the Umbrella. Ring, 2008, sterling silver, collected object

This exciting exhibition brings together eighteen young Australian artists, all graduates of the Gold and Silvermithing Department at RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia. The theme of topos, place, is explored through a diverse and fascinating group of jewelry objects. The group will be joined by Professor Elizabeth Grierson, Head of the School of Art, RMIT University, and Professor Robert Baines, PhD, Postgraduate Coordinator of the Gold and Silversmithing Department.

“Jewelry is a bearer of cultural and historical meaning and memory. In particular it is concerned with the relations of those meanings with the personal and urban settings, acting as a way of defining and interpreting ‘topos’ (meaning ‘of place’, Greek). The concern of this jewelry research is to recognise and explore the ways the jewelry artefact opens our engagement with, and understanding of, the personal and external places we inhabit. Jewelry conveys settings of human identity and presence as well as external settings such as urban spaces and ‘topos’ takes on a broader significance as place itself becomes an expanded notion. Jewelry Topos explores the ways jewelry engages with our understanding of the physical and metaphorical places we inhabit.”                                            Professor Robert Baines

Participating Artists:Katherine Brunacci, Robert Baines, Elfrun Lach, Anita Van Doorn, Dougal Haslem, Julie Mitchell, Karla Way, Dr. Kirsten Haydon, Lucy Hearn, Mel Miller, Natalia Milosz-Piekarska, Nicholas Bastin, Nina Oikawa, Penelope Pollard, Renee Ugazio, Linda Hughes, Christopher Earl Milbourne, Nicole Polentas.

Robert Baines, PhD has profoundly shaped Australian jewelry, object- making and international historical scholarship for more than three decades.  With wry humor, his works challenge our conception of the world as much as they delight with their technical brilliance.  A Professor at RMIT University, Melbourne, where he continues to teach Gold and Metalsmithing, Baines’s multi-faceted practice encompasses his work as an artist-goldsmith, scholarship in archeometallurgy, and ongoing criticism and commentary in the field of contemporary crafts.  His internationally recognized study of archaeological treasures in gold grounds his own craft practice, achieving a sense of continuity with his ancient colleagues and providing a platform to toy with the mythology of our own culture.  Baines is represented in prestigious international public collections and has won many international and national prizes.  In 2010, Robert Baines had the rare honor of being designated a Living Treasure: Master of Australian Craft.
Elizabeth Grierson, PhD is Professor of Art and Philosophy, and Head of the School of Art at RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia.  Leading the intervention through art research program at the Design Research Institute, she links research in art, object, place and space.  Grierson has authored several important publications including Creative Arts Research: Narratives of Methodologies and Practices and A Skilled Hand and Cultivated Mind: A Guide to the Architecture and Art of RMIT University.

Catalog to accompany the exhibition.  Available at Gallery Loupe.

Artist Reception: Saturday, March 12, 2011. 7PM

Lecture: Monday, March 14, 2011. 7PM. 92nd St. Y. New York City

Professor Elizabeth Grierson.
Professor Robert Baines
Mel Miller
Nicole Polentas

by exhibition