Australian Design Centre is a leading centre for
contemporary craft and design in Australia. Its role is
to build a significant design culture, one that values
and nurtures the work and cultural value of creative
thinkers and makers across the country.
From intimate pieces to large scale works, the contemporary jewellery in Made / Worn: Australian Contemporary Jewellery explores the act of making and how jewellery is worn on the body, telling stories that start with the artist and continue through the life of the object worn or experienced, creating new resonances with owners into the future.
Spanning a wide range of materials, techniques and meanings, the works on display are playful, intricate, conceptual, personal and political. The artists also engage with themes of place, sustainability in materials and identity.
The project includes performative or interactive elements, including workshops and public programs that give audiences the opportunity for creative participation. Jewellery is an act of art, craft and design that also lives and breathes on the bodies of those who wear it.
Celebrating diversity and inclusivity, the exhibition includes the work of 22 artists working in contemporary jewellery in Australia today. You may be surprised by some of the things in this exhibition – they do not all immediately occur as jewellery – but rest assured the definition of contemporary jewellery is broad and encompasses many things that evoke a sense of the personal and the memorable along with the melange of human emotions swirling within all of us.
In her essay for the project ‘Everything and nothing – jewellery beyond adornment’ Melinda Young writes,
As a maker, a wearer and a viewer of contemporary jewellery I am interested in jewellery beyond its life as adornment, as a significant, charged object to be worn. This extends to the processes that engender that object, the actions that describe making and the notion that to ‘wear’ or be adorned with jewellery does not necessarily mean that it is in a traditionally recognisable form.
Contemporary jewellery practice sits at the crossroads of craft, design, and art, it positions ‘the human body as a general working area’. Contemporary jewellery not only sees the making of recognisable forms of adornment using ‘known’ materials, it also has an ‘open attitude to methods and material’, questioning and pushing against ideas of what traditional jewellery can (or could) be. The materiality and value of jewellery is questioned; sites of adornment and the process of making interrogated. The scale and scope of adornment comes into play as does a (re)consideration of what we consider the jewel or precious object to be.
Alongside the tour, the Made/Worn project includes a suite of workshops and events that will engage people in the art and craft of contemporary jewellery to deepen an understanding of wearable art as a vehicle for personal expression, the technique and skill involved in the making and how these skills are used in contemporary practice.
We hope that this project inspires people to make and wear contemporary jewellery that speaks to who they are and what they believe in while, at the same time, bringing joy to all who experience the remarkable creativity of these Australian artists.
Liam Benson // Helena Bogucki // Julie Blyfield// Zoe Brand // Maree Clarke // Jess Dare // Anna Davern // Bin Dixon-Ward // Sian Edwards // Emma Fielden // Lola Greeno // Pennie Jagiello // Bridget Kennedy // Inari Kiuru // Grace Lillian Lee // Vicki Mason // Claire McArdle // Tiffany Parbs // Blanche Tilden // Catherine Truman // Manon van Kouswijk // Zoë Veness
Lisa Cahill, CEO and Artistic Director
National Tour Itinerary
Australian Design Centre, NSW 26 March - 27 May 2020
Glasshouse Regional Gallery, Port Macquarie, NSW 20 June - 16 August 2020
Artisan, QLD 28 August - 25 October 2020
Cairns Art Gallery, QLD 20 November 2020 - 17 January 2021
Maitland Regional Art Gallery, NSW 13 February - 16 May 2021
Wagga Wagga Art Gallery, NSW 26 June - 29 August 2021
JamFactory, SA 9 December 2021 - 13 February 2022
Bundoora Homestead Art Centre, VIC 28 February - 17 April 2022
Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, TAS 28 April - 3 July 2022
Made/Worn: Australian Contemporary Jewellery is curated by Australian Design Centre, designed by Garbett Design and supported by the Australia Council for the Arts.
Made/ Worn Film
The Made/Worn film was made to accompany the exhibition by Angus Lee Forbes. It features a number of artists in the exhibition and gives some deeper insights into what inspires these artists and what contemporary jewellery can be.
Image: Made/Worn: Australian Contemporary Jewellery graphics by Garbett design.