5 October–22 November 2023

Deep Material Energy II is a collaborative project developed with four artists from Australia and four artists from Aotearoa, curated by Heather Galbraith, Professor of Fine Arts, College of Creative Arts Toi Rauwhārangi. Within this geographic and cultural context, the artists contemplate their art practices in relation to their respective countries.

Collectively, the artists explore the possibilities of deep and holistic engagement with materiality, while considering the nature of contemporary jewellery, body adornment and objects.

Across a range of diverse practices, the artists interrogate the physical, historical, political, cultural and intangible resonances of the materials through the processes of slow and considered hand-crafted making, shaping and transforming.

A prominent thread connecting the visually diverse works is a shared fascination with found and recycled materials (including those from city streets, the beach, op shops, scrap metal merchants, and the rural landscape).

Aotearoa artists: Kelly McDonald l Victoria McIntosh l Neke Moa l Rowan Panther
Australian artists: Cara Johnson
l Inari Kiuru l Claire McArdle l Lisa Waup

In the later part of the 20th century there was a strong shift away from thinking about ‘jewellery’ in terms of precious materials (gold, silver, platinum, jewels etc.), towards explorations of concept, context and how non-precious materials could be utilised and transformed in relation to the body.

Within contemporary jewellery practice and writing, there are many discussions about whether the pieces produced need to be wearable/utilitarian, or whether it is more important that they relate to and reference the body in some way.

Additionally, artists today draw on different knowledge systems and lineages of object-based making, and not all elect to use the term ‘jewellery’. This is particularly relevant for Indigenous makers, who seek to orient their creative forms in relation to Indigenous practices and knowledge systems, and who do not necessarily identify with more Eurocentric traditions of ‘craft’.

Springing from an online conversation in September 2021, this project has evolved into ongoing conversations, exchanges, conference presentations and exhibitions, alongside the website www.deepmaterialenergy.com, and now this new iteration at Australian Design Centre.

Deep Material Energy II is presented by Australian Design Centre with exhibition partners Creative New Zealand and Toi Rauwhārangi College of Creative Arts, Massey University, Aotearoa, New Zealand and Signwave Newtown.


Deep Material Energy II: Maker-Focused Conversation  

If you are a maker and want to hear more about contemporary jewellery practices and processes, join us for this special conversation event with the exhibition artists. Moderated by Deep Material Energy II curator and Professor of Fine Arts, College of Creative Arts Toi Rauwhārangi, Heather Galbraith with Inari Kiuru, Claire McArdle and Rowan Panther.   
Where: Australian Design Centre  
When: Friday 6 October, 10:00am–11:00am 
Bookings: Free event. Book here.

Deep Material Energy II: Artists’ Talk

Join us for this artists’ talk with four visiting Aotearoa makers Kelly McDonald, Victoria McIntosh, Neke Moa and Rowan Panther as they share insights into their artworks in the exhibition Deep Material Energy II. Facilitated by curator Professor of Fine Arts, College of Creative Arts Toi Rauwhārangi, Heather Galbraith.  
Where: Australian Design Centre  
When: Saturday 7 October, 11:30am–12:30pm 
Bookings: Free event. Book here.

Image top: Deep Material Energy II, ADC exhibition view, works by Victoria McIntosh, 2023 Photo: Amy Piddington