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February 2020
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The Poetics of Place curated by Melinda Young

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Contemporary jewellery practice frequently concerns itself with ideas of place – whether the position of a piece on the body or a reference to a geographic locale. The makers in this exhibition all engage with this idea. Their work imbues the notion of place with a poetry that comes from their lived experience in Australia.The Poetics of Place is a reflection on ideas posed by Gaston Bachelard in his text The Poetics of 

Space.In this he explores the notion of the architecture of home as an intimate space. For jewellers, the idea of home, of place, colours the essence of what we do. Through the narratives woven amongst the works by these eight Australian jewellers, stories of Australia’s history are told; its political and cultural climate is addressed.  In some pieces the interior places of the body are exposed as a site for question and in others, the way that the psyche can be transformed by the placement of adornment onto the body is examined. The body becomes a site for messages, warnings; it becomes implicit in viewing and imagining. Inotherwork the jewel’s place is not on the body at all – a brooch for a wall. A brooch that speaks more about bodies through their absence of place, the denial of permission to be worn is a powerful metaphor for political issues. Otherworks deal with the place of materiality in jewellery practice, its substance. The places that materials are found, along with the stories they tell and questions this may raise are negotiated. Material play is rife.

The work in this exhibition is by turns bold and brash, real and imagined, soft and gentle, humorous and sad. There is poetry in our place. Australia.


Melinda Young, curator


The Poetics of Place:  Contemporary Jewellery from Australia

Curated by Melinda Young

Participating artists:  Roseanne Bartley, Helena Bogucki, Jane Bowring, Zoe Brand, Anna Davern, Bridget Kennedy, Claire McArdle, Lauren Simeoni