April 13, 2012

Art and Design of Contemporary Jewellery at the National Gallery of Victoria, Australia - NGV International, St Kilda

Unexpected Pleasures: The Art and Design of Contemporary Jewellery
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne 

21 April - 26 August 2012

The exhibition explores the essential meanings of jewellery, bypassing traditional perceptions and instead tracing the radical experiments of contemporary jewellers who have challenged the conventions of jewellery design.

The exhibition is curated through a number of themes:  Worn Out – celebrating the experience of wearing jewellery; Linking Links – looking at the ways in which ‘meaning’ and narratives are invested and expressed through sub-themes such as Social Expressions and Creative Systems, and; A Fine Line – offering insight into the origins of contemporary jewellery today, highlighting key instigators of the Contemporary Jewellery Movement that started in the late 1970s.

Among the exhibited artists is the Danish artist Camilla Prasch.

Camilla Prasch
MEGA 2009
red dyed snap fasteness, nylon thread, silicone discs
31 x 11 cm
Collection of the artist
© Camilla Prasch
Photo : Dorte Krogh

Each theme within the exhibition provides an outline of current thinking and offers a unique view on how people use and interact with objects, through which design and production processes come to light. Photography in this context becomes a vital instrument for expressing the ‘wearability’ and the performative aspects of jewellery, and a selection of photographic works are also included in the exhibition.

New techniques and experimentation continue to question the relevance of preciousness, highlighting the shifting values from material worth to the personal associations that jewellery holds. The exhibition celebrates jewellery from the point of view of both the maker and the wearer. It considers the pleasures of wearing jewellery and the many meanings associated with jewellery which are at times unpredictable and, in turn, unexpected.

Unexpected Pleasures displays over 200 works by important Australian and international contemporary jewellers who have pushed conceptual and material boundaries within their practices.

Gerard Vaughan, Director, NGV said: “This is a remarkable and exciting exhibition, brilliantly installed in the Gallery’s newly redeveloped Contemporary Exhibitions space at NGV International.”

This Design Museum, London touring exhibition is curated by Guest Curator and Melbourne jeweller Susan Cohn, and is complemented by a selection of NGV Collection works and private loans.

National Gallery of Victoria
NGV International

180 St Kilda Road
Museum's website: www.ngv.vic.gov.au

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