Artists who Inspire - Ellie Kammer and Crowdfunding

One of our very talented artists at Karma and Crow Studio Collective, painter, Ellie Kammer, has recently launched a Crowdfunding Campaign to explore new work and build on her portfolio to present to galleries for representation.

During my time at Karma and Crow studio collective, I have watched Ellie work incredibly hard to establish herself as a contemporary artist and advocate for women with endometriosis: a debilitating disease which she and 176 million other women (1) suffer from. She has had many successes along the way, but in a chronically underfunded field, also needs a leg up to help her pave the way to a sustainable career which is both meaningful, cathartic and thought provoking.

Endometriosis (Coagulate), by Ellie Kammer, 2016. Oil on Linen. 200cm x 150cm.

Endometriosis (Coagulate), by Ellie Kammer, 2016. Oil on Linen. 200cm x 150cm.

Endometriosis (Volatility), by Ellie Kammer, 2017. Oil on Linen, 121cm x 101cm.

Endometriosis (Volatility), by Ellie Kammer, 2017. Oil on Linen, 121cm x 101cm.

Endometriosis (Quiscence), by Ellie Kammer, 2017. Oil on Belgian Linen, 198cm x 137cm.

Endometriosis (Quiscence), by Ellie Kammer, 2017. Oil on Belgian Linen, 198cm x 137cm.

The wonderful thing about supporting Ellie’s crowd funding campaign is that you are not only helping an extremely talented young artist to reach her true potential (a reward in itself) but you will also be rewarded with beautiful paintings, prints and other exciting goodies. It’s a win-win situation.

Watching Ellie put her reputation on the line with unflinching courage and determination is incredibly inspiring. With the funds from this campaign, she can continue to develop and perfect her fantastic artworks whilst raising awareness about this terrible disease.

Head on over to Ellie’s Crowd funding campaign to read all about why she does what she does and you too can make a contribution to help this talented lady inspire more people with her work.

 

(1) https://www.endofound.org/endometriosis (accessed 02/10/17)

Don't Miss Ellie Kammer's Show

If you are near Adelaide over the next few days, make sure you head over to Light Square Gallery for your last chance to see Nescience, a fantastic show by my fellow Karma and Crow Studio Collective tenant, Ellie Kammer.

Ellie's Invitation (please ignore the closing date as it will be up until the 27th)

Ellie's Invitation (please ignore the closing date as it will be up until the 27th)

Ellie's work is based on her physical and emotional struggle with endometriosis: an under-funded , under-research chronic disease which affects an alarming number of women. Every day, Ellie deals with debilitating pain and has used her amazing paintings as an outlet to express her experience of uncertainty and frustration surrounding the condition.

Endometriosis (Imponderable), 2016, oil on canvas, 76cm x 61cm. Ellie graphically depicts pain she is experiencing.

Endometriosis (Imponderable), 2016, oil on canvas, 76cm x 61cm. Ellie graphically depicts pain she is experiencing.

Sharing a studio with Ellie, I have seen her working incredibly hard to bring together an amazing group of pieces. Every day, she added more and more to her collection and by the time it came to exhibit, I felt as though her paintings had become part of our scenery at Karma and Crow. After seeing them in the dim light of our workshop for so long, it was wonderful to see the paintings within a gallery setting. The large space and specialty lighting revealed Ellie's amazing use of tone, depth and shadow. Each brushstroke and strategically positioned flash of colour beautifully depicted raw, emotional and uninhibited expression of her pain and suffering.

Endometriosis (Reclamation), 2017, oil on canvas, 153cm x 122cm. My absolute favourite piece from the exhibition. This one must be seen in the flesh to fully experience the stunningly tactile qualities of the textile and fragility of the figure.

Endometriosis (Reclamation), 2017, oil on canvas, 153cm x 122cm. My absolute favourite piece from the exhibition. This one must be seen in the flesh to fully experience the stunningly tactile qualities of the textile and fragility of the figure.

Ellie keeps her fans regularly updated on her website and Instagram feed and has made all of her exquisite paintings available for sale. She is definitely one to keep and eye on.

New Contemporary Jewellery Gallery Opens at Henley Beach

When I first visited Adelaide for a jewellery conference in 2008, I fell in love with the vibrant contemporary jewellery community and was surprised by the number of flourishing jewellery galleries located in such a small city. I was so impressed with South Australia’s support for the decorative arts that I decided to move to Adelaide in 2014. Upon arrival, I toured the same galleries I had once visited but was sad to see that contemporary jewellers Kath Inglis and Naomi Schwartz’s wonderful gallery, Soda and Rhyme, had since closed its doors.

Luckily, my disappointment was short lived and at the beginning of this year, Naomi left her home studio to begin another big adventure: to open up her own gallery and workshop in Henley Beach, just west of Adelaide.

A bright and inviting entrance into Naomi's new gallery. Photograph courtesy of  Craig Arnold .

A bright and inviting entrance into Naomi's new gallery. Photograph courtesy of Craig Arnold.

Given that most of the beaches I scour for plastic treasure are far off the beaten track, I am still getting around to visiting all the inner city beaches in Adelaide and Henley Beach was a first for me. Overlooking the ocean with a variety of excellent cafes and restaurants, Naomi has chosen a stunning location for a gallery and has worked really hard to create a working space which displays the hand crafted pieces beautifully. The space is light and airy, featuring jewellery from a variety of emerging and established South Australian artists (myself included) in elegant displays which she designed and made herself.

The gallery space is also a fully equipped workshop.  Naomi uses anticlastic raising, a specialist metalsmithing technique, to create stunningly organic jewellery. Photograph courtesy of  Craig Arnold .

The gallery space is also a fully equipped workshop.  Naomi uses anticlastic raising, a specialist metalsmithing technique, to create stunningly organic jewellery. Photograph courtesy of Craig Arnold.

Naomi's bench full of silver goodies. Photograph courtesy of  Craig Arnold

Naomi's bench full of silver goodies. Photograph courtesy of Craig Arnold

My sterling silver Microscope range is available for sale through Naomi's gallery. Each piece features a collection of tiny fresh water pearls which move freely behind a magnifying lens.

My sterling silver Microscope range is available for sale through Naomi's gallery. Each piece features a collection of tiny fresh water pearls which move freely behind a magnifying lens.

After years of decimated arts funding, cuts to arts education and a wave of contemporary jewellery galleries having to close their doors in Australia, it is both inspiring and reassuring to see artisans such as Naomi fighting back to keep Australian contemporary jewellery alive. It is such a courageous move and one which is sure to pay off. Well done Naomi!

 

Naomi Schwartz Jewellery Design Gallery
Shop 4A, 340 -352 Seaview Road
Henley Square Pavilion
Henley Beach SA 5022
www.naomischwartz.com.au
8235 2683

The Ritual of Tea - JamFactory

If you plan to be in Adelaide anytime before the 4th of June, I highly recommend paying JamFactory a visit. They are currently holding a diverse group of exhibitions: Resolved: Journeys in Australian Design, which delves into the design process behind the works of twelve contemporary designers, NC4 Kick out the Jams which features the boundary pushing jewellery of the eleven artists from the renowned contemporary jewellery studio, Northcity4, and The Ritual of Tea, a show about…. well… the ritual of tea! 


I was really looking forward to seeing all of the shows, however, was most impressed by the exhibition I had heard the least about; The Ritual of Tea. Displayed in the front gallery, Collect, the exhibition featured works by artists Susan Frost, Studiokyss, Sylvia Nevistic, Ulrica Trulsson, Bruce Nuske, Sophia Nuske, Alison Jackson, Ghostwares and Yoko Ozawa

Sylvia Nevistic's stunningly handmade teaspoons. I love how she has carried intricate detail from the bowl of each spoon right up to the handle. Photograph courtesy of Anna Fenech.

What impressed me most about this particular show was each artist’s unique ability to perfectly balance outstanding craftsmanship with functionality and beautiful aesthetics. It was apparent that each artist had deeply considered the act of tea making and drinking while the curator had shown just as much consideration for the placement of the works. The display was simple, elegant and the show is definitely worth a visit.

Yoko Ozawa has used a subtle combination of matte and gloss glazes in her collection of black and white stoneware. These are some of my favorite pieces out of the whole show and my photographs do not do them justice.

I had the pleasure of meeting Alison Jackson when she had an exhibition at Gray Street Workshop last year. I have always been a fan of her playful use of traditional silversmithing techniques and love how she has combined silver with white acrylic in her teapot.

Exquisitely handmade Hendecagon Tea Canisters by Kenny Yong-soo Son from StudioKyss. Kenny has constructed these canisters with machine-like precision.

Ulrica Trulsson's porcellaneous stoneware canisters are perfectly balanced and look great as a collection. Ulrica is a talented craftsperson who is highly skilled at creating beautifully proportioned forms.

NC4 Kick out the Jams and Resolved: Journeys in Australian Design close on the 9th of July, 2017, however, if you want to catch all three shows, make sure you visit before the 4th of June 2017 as The Ritual of Tea has an earlier closing date

My First International Show

Ahh, 2016; a year that was meant to be filled with making product, releasing a bridal range and approaching a few more galleries around Australia to stock my work. As is usually the case, life had other plans and I had the honour of being invited to exhibit with a group of established South Australian Jewellers at a fantastic new space, San W Gallery, which has recently opened their doors in Pudong, China. How could I say no?

San W Gallery is an absolutely stunning space with a fully equipped teaching studio, specialising in jewellery, glass and ceramics. Their passionate founder, Yiwei Wu, has worked closely with South Australian craft and design association, Guild House, to ensure that the space is a world-class facility. 1

San W Gallery in Pudong, China. Image courtesy of San W Gallery.

The exhibition, Nature, featured eleven contemporary jewellers, Julie Blyfield, Catherine Buddle, Jess Dare, Christian Hall, Kath Inglis, Sue Lorraine, Leslie Matthews, Alice Potter, Regine Schwarzer, Lauren Simeoni and myself. Each artist was invited based on their creativity, innovativeness and craftsmanship and the work showed great variety in technique and style. 2

A new Plastic Soup Brooch I made for the show at San W Gallery

The gallery had some beautiful images taken of my exhibition pieces worn by a model. Image courtesy of San W Gallery.

I am also excited to report that after the success of the show, the gallery have asked to display a collection of my work in their retail space and soon to be launched online store. While I am supplying them with some of my original Interlace styles, I will also be releasing some new asymmetrical earrings. I think I will definitely be keeping a pair of these for myself!

Thanks to Yiwei, the San W Gallery and Guildhouse for a fantastic show!

My new Asymmetrical Interlace Earrings for San W Gallery

 

(1 http://guildhouse.org.au/projects/san-w-gallerystudio, accessed 04.04.2017)

(2 http://guildhouse.org.au/projects/nature-san-w-studio-jewellery-exhibition-pudong-shanghai-28-may, accessed 04.04.17)

Solastalgia at Gray Street Workshop

I was approached recently by contemporary jeweller and emerging curator, Jo Wilmot, to be in a group exhibition with the theme of climate change. Given how close the theme is to both my heart and work, I naturally jumped at the chance. Together with jo, contemporary jeweller, Leonie Westbrook and contemporary ceramicist, Lesa Farrant, we began working on a collection to be displayed at the intimate gallery space at Gray Street Workshop.

The exhibition with my work at the front, Leonie's to the left and Jo's to the right. Photograph courtesy of Catherine Truman.

After much contemplation, we agreed on a name for the show, Solastalgia, a term developed by Australian philosopher Glenn Albrecht. “The word describes a form of psychic or existential distress caused by environmental change, such as mining or climate change... people exposed to environmental change experienced negative affects that are exacerbated by a sense of powerlessness or lack of control as the change occurs” 1 The term described perfectly the feeling of unease we all had in response to climate change, giving us a language to describe the distress we face given our current environmental situation.

Lesa Farrant's wall pieces with one of my sculptures tucked in there. Photograph courtesy of Leonie Westbrook.

Though we all started with a similar concept, it was inspiring to see how each artist approached the theme; applying their own skill, personal experience and passion for the issue.

Leonie Westbrook worked with a variety of materials, some discarded and others that she struggled to give away. During her research, Leonie discovered a rather concerning trend of people selling faux beach treasure which she was appalled by considering the abundance of rubbish already circulating our oceans. Her work for our show experimented with how domestic items could be reused and transformed. The results were subtle and beautiful.

Leonie Westbrook's beautiful installation. Photograph courtesy of Jo Wilmot.

Lesa Farrant spent her days combing her local beaches for plastic treasure, organic forms, noxious weeds and other items which had been introduced to the coastline. She then slip cast her bounty in delicate white porcelain, transforming what was once a pile of rubbish into stunning hybrid compositions.

One of Lesa Farrant's amazing porcelain compositions. Photograph courtesy of Catherine Truman.

Jo Wilmot collected impressions of sponges and seaweeds such as bull kelp, casting them in dark ‘oil slick black’ porcelain. Jo has been deeply troubled by the state of our oceans due to rising sea temperatures and used black to symbolise the resulted deadening of such beautiful lifeforms. She then set them within handmade brass ‘exhaust pipes.’ The pieces are magnificent and thought provoking.

Jo Wilmot's 'oil slick black' porcelain and brass looked striking against a freshly painted black wall. Photograph courtesy of Jo Wilmot.

I too spent time combing my local beaches and further explored the idea of how to display the deadly jewel-like plastics which are circulating our oceans. I used this opportunity to increase the scale of my pieces resulting in a tangle of steel seaweed and plastic which cast the most beautiful of shadows.

A close up of one of my steel and beach plastic sculptures. Photograph courtesy of  Jo Wilmot.

A close up of one of my steel and beach plastic sculptures. Photograph courtesy of Jo Wilmot.

The show opened at Gray Street Workshop, Adelaide, on Thursday the 30th of March, 2017, and closes on the 7th of May, 2017

.Follow the Solastalgia girls on Instagram to see works in progress and our future plans for the show @solastalgiaexhibition

 

1 https://www.nla.gov.au/content/solastalgia-extreme-weather-and-the-writer-s-role-in-a-climate-changed (accessed 25/04/17)

Colourful Treasure at O'Sullivan Beach

When I first moved over to Adelaide, I had ambitious plans of starting a research project exploring the environmental impact of humans on the coastlines of Adelaide. Life got busy and unfortunately my special project got a little neglected. I was beginning to miss spending hours scouring the beach for plastic and thought I would indulge in a trip to O’Sullivan Beach to see what sand tumbled treasures could be found.

A great view from O'Sullivan Beach, just south of Adelaide.

A great view from O'Sullivan Beach, just south of Adelaide.

Some of the amazing bits I found (and left) at the beach. I love the way that the ocean tangles together pieces of seaweed, coral, shells, discarded plastics and other exciting treasure so much that it was the inspiration for the interlacing links of metal in my Interlace and Plastic Soup ranges.

Some of the amazing bits I found (and left) at the beach. I love the way that the ocean tangles together pieces of seaweed, coral, shells, discarded plastics and other exciting treasure so much that it was the inspiration for the interlacing links of metal in my Interlace and Plastic Soup ranges.

There was an array of beautiful sights and marine life to be seen, but as suspected, there was also a build up of colourful but deadly rubbish wedged between rocks and littered throughout the sand. After only an hour of collecting, I had already accumulated a rather large pile which I have taken home to either recycle or reuse. In contrast to the tiny pieces I usually find in the Fremantle, Western Australia, the pieces from Adelaide were much larger and intact. I think I may just feel a sculpture coming on!

Nasty rubbish. Great for my artistic projects but terrible for the environment.

Nasty rubbish. Great for my artistic projects but terrible for the environment.

Gray Street Workshop

I had some great news recently that I have been accepted to become a tenant at Gray Street Workshop in Adelaide with partners Catherine Truman, Sue Lorraine and Jess Dare and fellow tenants Nadja Maher, Lisa Furno and Kelly Jonasson.

Gray Street Workshop ... Not actually in Gray Street anymore, just to be confusing.

Gray Street Workshop... Not actually in Gray Street anymore, just to be confusing.

Given that my equipment has been packed into Paddy's car since I moved out of the JamFactory and I have been emailing, blogging, Instagramming and carving FrogCakes on my very uncomfortable couch for a few months now, I jumped at the chance of moving in as soon as humanly possible.

My Cosy little space.

My Cosy little space.

So far, everyone has been really welcoming and the place has been busy with their 30 year anniversary celebrations. In only the first two weeks that I was there, we had an exhibition opening of the Partners' experimental work as well as four movie nights curated by a favorite contemporary maker of mine, Sim Luttin.

My new  profile  picture for the Gray Street Website taken by the lovely Catherine Truman. I believe I am getting excited about plastic.

My new profile picture for the Gray Street Website taken by the lovely Catherine Truman. I believe I am getting excited about plastic.

I have also spent the last few months in manufacturing overdrive, trying to catch up with orders so that the fun stuff can begin. Stay tuned!