Australian Design Centre (ADC) has been awarded an Australia Council grant to research and develop a new contemporary jewellery survey exhibition for a future national tour.

This project will focus on the idea of ‘place’ both in terms of geography, the land and the built environment, and the more personal ‘places’ of the body and the home. Contemporary jewellery offers a way to negotiate relationships between settler and Indigenous cultures, to find beauty in humble materials and to appreciate the natural environment. 

Australian artists are creating something radically distinct from the kind of contemporary jewellery produced elsewhere while at the same time creating work that is close to the heart of the artistic field shared with contemporary jewellery scenes in other countries. This project will aim to give audiences an appreciation of new practice, new materials and turns the idea of what creates value on its head. 

ADC has a long history of exhibiting contemporary jewellery. Marion Hosking: Jewellery and Lola Greeno: Cultural Jewels are part of the Living Treasures: Masters of Australian Craft series that have toured extensively across Australia as did Art on a String: Aboriginal Threaded Objects from the Central Desert and Arnhem Land. In 2017 ADC presented Bulay(i): Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Artists with Indigenous Jewellery Project featuring 40 Yolgu jewellers and the current touring current exhibition Obsessed: Compelled to make features the work of two prominent contemporary jewellers. In other exhibitions, and through our retail activities, we have endeavoured to chart the development of a particularly Australian aesthetic in this art form to show the exceptional craft practice, innovative use of materials, sense of place and sources of inspiration for Australian artists.

A curatorial advisory group including Dr Kevin Murray, author of Place and Adornment: A history of contemporary jewellery in Australia and New Zealand, Margaret Hancock Davis, senior curator from Adelaide’s JamFactory, Lola Greeno and, academic and contemporary jeweller, Melinda Young will work with ADC over the next few months to help to define the theme and scope and suggest artists for consideration for the final exhibition proposal.

ADC CEO and Artistic Director Lisa Cahill said, ‘This is such an incredible opportunity for us to research contemporary jewellery to seek to understand: the unique practices and perspectives of our artists; how place is important to practice; and the way in which we bedazzle and express ourselves through adornment’.

About Australian Design Centre

Established in 1964, Australian Design Centre (ADC) is one of Australia’s most innovative arts organisations. ADC is a not-for-profit organisation that creates opportunities for people to engage with design, craft and creativity through dynamic and high-quality touring exhibitions, publishing, digital and educational activities.

ADC’s mission is to ignite creativity through:

  • Exhibitions – Showcasing the best making and design by Australian creators.
  • Touring – Bringing the power of making and design to new audiences across Australia.
  • Learning – Inspiring Australians to use design to transform their future.

ADC On Tour

Touring has been central to our work since 1965, enabling ADC to bring cutting edge creative work and ideas to venues and audiences throughout Australia. In particular, we have been at the forefront of bringing our inspirational content to regional Australia, with more than 50% of touring venues since 2006 regionally based. 

Explore the ADC On Tour website here

Support ADC

Project funding seeds the innovative projects that we produce. To ensure ADC has the core ability to deliver these projects we need your support. You can help by making a donation to our 2018 Annual Fundraising Campaign. 

Image: Bulay(i): Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Artists with Indigenous Jewellery Project, opening night 2017. Photo: Simon Cardwell.

End of article.