19 July - 13th august, 2017
claire mcardle | up north
Claire McArdle is a recognised jeweller and maker, and alumni of the Ballarat Arts Foundation. Her work is tactile and expressive, and she has exhibited widely across Australia.
Claire's latest exhibition is Up North. This is a diary through objects of the time Claire McArdle spent as a resident textile artist for a month in Blonduos, Iceland in early 2017.
Claire took no materials, no tools and no preconceptions to her isolated location. She sought to be influenced by what surrounded her, and set herself the challenge of creating artwork from what she discovered around her. She noted the significant importance of textiles, wool and plant dyes, and the impact humans have had upon the barren landscape.
Her research investigated existence in a climactically harsh environment. Claire's work explores how we keep mementos of a place, and how human demand and location shape our objects. The result is a quiet and melancholy collection of the lightness of step we have upon the planet through wall jewellery and sculptural installation.
Whether intended or not, Claire's freshness in approaching her residency with open eyes and heart have resulted in the creation of items that clearly reveal a connection to the culture of Iceland. The colour palette, her textile techniques and the use of sheep imagery lean towards the traditional folk craft of the region. The confident use of space in her collection Rapid Growth suggest the broad expanse of rugged beauty she was surrounded by.
bridget kennedy | engage & exchange
Bridget Kennedy is a leading jeweller and activist. Her practice focuses strongly on the relationship between consumption and consequence, having examined over time the death of bees, environmental crises and recycling and reuse amongst other pressing issues.
Bridget is showing two significant pieces in Engage & Exchange at The Lost Ones Contemporary Art Gallery, both requesting interaction with visitors.
Just help yourself why don’tcha is an installation work of 10,000 rings. Throughout the duration of the exhibition the audience is invited to select and remove a ring from the installation in exchange for a nominal amount of money. This transaction takes the form of an honesty box situated at the periphery of the artwork. Using the process of casting, the rings are made from beeswax combined with a number of impurities such as lead, zinc, coal, and silver. The circular arrangement visually graduates from neutral tones towards a darkened centre, in which lies, almost hidden, a singular 18kt gold ring. These history-laden materials are often at the cause of many a political, environmental, and sometimes personal debate.