Nicole Polentas / Psychomanteum

Exhibition: Nov. 10 – Dec. 1, 2012
Artist Reception: Sat. Nov. 17, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
In Splantzia away from the noise. Neckpiece, 2012, sterling silver, paint, veneer, resin, glass powder, image, 360 x 230 x 40 mm
Greek Madness and other stereotypes (MoU). Brooch, 2012, sterling silver, paint, veneer, image, stainless steel, 130 x 140 x 55 mm
Propaganda Politeia. Brooch, 2012, sterling silver, paint, epoxy, marble, veneer, image, stainless steel, 120 x 110 x 45.
Karagiozilikia Look where I am! Brooch, 2011, sterling silver, paint, photo/image, plastic, glass powder, stainless steel, 130 x 100 x 49 mm.

Nicole Polentas currently resides in Australia, but her connection to her family’s origins in Crete are an important influence on her jewelry. An accomplished gold and silversmith, she draws on her Greek heritage for inspiration and for the unique manner in which she exhibits her current body of work – in a setting meant to depict the psychomanteum – the naturally occurring rockpools of myth where ancient Greeks would go to consult the oracles.

Polentas has created her personal psychomanteum using plinths to display her jewelry. The installation includes water in order to re-create the aquatic area where one could commune with the gods. The jewelry pieces themselves are fascinating and intricate constructions of metal wire and steel sheets, sterling silver, plastic and paint, ornamented with personal photographs and bits of traditional music from Crete known as riztitka. For the artist, the song fragments are a bridge to her sense of belonging to a place she is rooted but no longer lives – her past and present become connected in her very personal jewelry. 

Nicole Polentas will speak at Brooklyn Metal Works on Friday evening, Nov. 16, 2012 at 7pm.


A former student of the well-known Australian educator and artist, Robert Baines, Polentas is a Ph.D candidate in philosophy at RMIT University (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology), from which she also received her bachelor and masters’ degrees in fine arts. Polentas awards include the Australian Postgraduate Award, the Contemporary Wearables Biennial Jewellery Award, and the Diana Morgan Gold and Silversmithing First Prize. Her work is in the permanent collection of RMIT University, Melbourne; the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney; and Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery, Queensland.

Exhibition: Nov. 10 – Dec. 1, 2012

Artist Reception: Sat. Nov. 17, 2012 7-9pm.

by exhibition