"This work is based on the Blue-Berry Ash, Elaeocarpus reticulatus, Tdjeunen in the Dharawal language. The Dharawal used this plant for medicinal purposes. These remnant rainforest trees have now been propagated in small gardens and suburbs. It grows naturally along the east coast of Australia on the edge of rainforests and in eucalypt forests as an understory plant. Its bright blue berries and pale pink flowers remind us of the extraordinary rainforests that have now all but vanished. The bowerbird collects the bright blue berries to decorate their bower while many native birds eat the fruits of the Blue-Berry Ash. This necklace uses copper, porcelain and silver 925 in its construction. The porcelain blue berries are a feature that echo the precious pearls of a Pacific necklace. The textured and hammered surface of the copper reflects the fine stems of the Ash tree. Through the intense study of place, my works explore land, ecosystems and the sky above."
Alice Whish is an established contemporary jewellery artist and an experienced and passionate teacher. She spent her childhood in western NSW growing up in a rural environment. It is here that she first connected with local features of the landscape, plants, and the environment. Her work is held in private and public collections in Canberra, Adelaide, Sydney, Hobart, Italy and America.
Blue Berry Ash, 2021
Porcelain (Lumina), sterling silver, enamel and copper
Image top: Alice Whish, Blue Berry Ash, 2021. Photo: Greg Piper