Tag Archives: welcome

Welcome to Valparaíso

A soldier is welcomed back home (scene from Valparaiso workshop)

A soldier is welcomed back home (scene from Valparaiso workshop)

In recent times, the University of Valparaíso has proven a great place to prove new ideas. The students tend to be quite idealistic and their experience with the teacher Patricia Gunther has exposed them to value of regional folk culture. The workshops have all focused on the life of objects. Previously we’ve explored designing objects inspired by the queca dance, drawing on the power of the ‘cosita’ (the little thing) and creating charms in response to the earthquake (this led to the exhibition Southern Charms).

This year, the workshop followed from the Welcome Signs exhibition to consider how objects of welcome might be designed to deal with specific situations. About 46 students formed groups to determine their target context, design the object and then perform its presentation.

The situations chosen were reasonably familiar ones, such as entering university or greeting tourists. But the objects they developed were quite novel, and looked at how to realise local Valparaíso culture in material form. For example, one plate was designed for use at a ritual of ‘once’ (afternoon tea) and contained papa-pletos (buns filled with fried potatoes) for sharing with a newcomer from the south of Chile.

But what stood out particularly were the performances. This seemed a particularly dynamic way for groups to work together on social design. One especially dramatic moment was acted out as the scene of a soldier who was welcomed back by his family. He was garlanded with a ‘mock chain’ expressing the family’s wish that he stay. But distraught at his inevitable return to service, the soldier threw down the metal garlanded but pocketed the heart adorned it.

This workshop was a promising start, but I felt it could be taken further by exploring less obvious situations. There are many common contexts in modern life where a small individual sign of welcome could make a big difference, such as going into hospital for surgery or moving into a new neighbourhood.

But the challenge at the end was how to channel the students’ idealism for a more welcoming world in a way that would survive the inevitable stresses of modern life. Give a couple more years of education and we’ll see what they can come up with.

Welcome signs in Delhi

You are most welcome to visit the exhibition Welcome Signs: Contemporary Interpretations of the Garland at Ashok Hotel, New Delhi, 4-6 February 2011. If you are not able to be there personally, you can view the work online.

Welcome Signs is an exhibition of contemporary jewellery from across the Asia Pacific that draws inspiration from the ornament of hospitality.

This exhibition is part of an international survey that features in a jewellery summit titled Abhushan: Tradition & Design – Dialogues for the 21st Century. This summit is organised by the World Craft Council and occurs in New Delhi, 4-6 February 2011.

Click images for information about participating artists:

Welcome Signs is curated by Kevin Murray. The participation of Victorian artists is supported by the Victorian Government through Arts Victoria.

Saovaluck Pannont–a new Thai jewellery artist

Saovaluck Pannont

Saovaluck Pannont

Saovaluck Pannont trained in jewellery at the Gem and Jewelry Institute of Thailand. Grace represents a new generation of Thai jewellers that adopt the position of jeweller as artist to create original works that express an individual vision. To sustain this practice, Grace has also developed her own brand, Stogari.

For Welcome Signs, Grace’s work reflects a contemporary Thai jeweller that draws on her culture’s love of adornment, though rather than jasmine petals she uses stones and seeds.

Saovaluck Pannont, necklace, carnelian, onyx, agate, garnet, crystals swarovski, siver 92.5, seed beads

Saovaluck Pannont, necklace, carnelian, onyx, agate, garnet, crystals swarovski, siver 92.5, seed beads

Artist Statement

I grew up among the Lanna culture surrounded by plenty of local outstanding arts in Chiangmai, the well-known city with long history back to 19th century. I am experienced with multinational culture derived from people around the world since Chiangmai is now famous destination for tourist.

Driven by my own fascination since childhood with easy lifestyle of Lanna Culture. I have enough time to make my own things and jewelry with my own style that comes from creativity and imagination. I begin to make my first jewelry six years ago.

I create it by my own method. I start my works with Sterling Silver and semi-precious stones. I absorb powerful and outstanding characters from these natural resources, then make it become necklace, ear rings and bracelet.

I intend to make each of my work a masterpiece which is similar to no one.

Roseanne Bartley–a neighbourly ornament

Roseanne Bartley

Roseanne Bartley

Roseanne Bartley is one of Australia’s most innovative jewellers. She has pioneered both technical and conceptual developments in the use of found materials. At heart, her jewellery projects attempt to connect people together through the form of body ornament. For Welcome Signs, she has present the first in a new series that broaden the process of jewellery making to freshly engage neighbourhoods. Her work demonstrates the potential of jewellery to counterbalance the increasing physical isolation of contemporary life in info-hubs.

Roseanne Bartley migrated to Australia from New Zealand in 1988 to study Gold and Silversmithing at RMIT (Melbourne), she completed a Masters Degree by Research at RMIT in 2006. Roseanne was awarded a residency at the Australia Council Barcelona Studio in 2004, an Australia Council New Work Grants in 2001 and 2006, an Arts Victoria Presentation Grant in 2001, an Arts Victoria Artist in Schools Residency in 2008, and an Incubator Seed Pod Grant mentored by the performance Company Punctum in 2009. She has participated in cross-disciplinary workshops led by live art tactile intervention artists PVI Collective and Dr Shelley Sacks and Dr Wolfgang Zumdick of the Social Sculpture Research Unit Oxford, Brookes University, UK. Her work has been published in Sustainable Jewellery (2009), New Directions in Jewellery 2 (2007) and Craft Unbound: Make the Common Precious (2005). 

Roseanne Bartley Seeding the Cloud - a walking work in process; plastic, wood, silk, 100cm by 50cm, 2010

Roseanne Bartley Seeding the Cloud - a walking work in process; plastic, wood, silk, 100cm by 50cm, 2010

Artist statement

My work is created from the poorest of poor materials, I collect and observe from what has been left behind, in my immediate neighbourhood or as I travel. From a resource more generally viewed as disposable or of little cultural significance I find a potent materiality that retains something of the background noise of history and experience. I transform the unwanted to a state of ‘wanted-ness’ and invite a recalibration of what it might mean to be precious.

Seeding the Cloud: A walking work in process is a roving environmental craftwork. The process involves walking through the urban fabric of Melbourne (streets, laneways and parklands) carrying a small pack of hand tools. I collect fragments of hard plastic, pausing as I go at bus stops, picnic tables or park benches to drill and thread the fragments with silk thread and plastic beads. At the walks conclusion the be-jewelled length of plastic fragments is threaded to a larger matrix of looping formations.

Through repeat performances of this process a multi string necklace is formed, the product of which offers multiple forms of engagement. Unfolded it depicts a cartographic relationship between matter, time and place. Gathered up it can be worn on the body by one person or shared and interacted with by multiple  people.

My intention is to invite participants into this process and to walk, gather and work together across a breadth of neighbourhoods, states and nations. I welcome you to join me in this process.

Mariam al-Ghaith

Mariam Hamad Ali Habib Ghaith Al-Ghaith

Mariam Hamad Ali Habib Ghaith Al-Ghaith

Mariam al-Ghaith is an Interior Decorator at the National Council for Culture, Arts & Literature. She has gathered a remarkable series of skills in her training and education, including a B.Sc in interior design at the High Institute of Theatrical Arts, and diplomas in architectural drawing. Her work has involved both private and public commissions, including the Qurain Cultural Festival. In 2004, she won 2nd prize in the “Grass is Gold” competition held at Chennai-India, a precursor to Abhushan.

Mariam al-Ghaith, Golden Ivory/Millennium Wings, silver 995,cubic zircon, beads (plastic/glass)

Mariam al-Ghaith, Golden Ivory/Millennium Wings, silver 995,cubic zircon, beads (plastic/glass)

Mariam’s work for Welcome Signs is inspired by Native American body adornment. Mariam identifies across geography and culture with the artistic intentions of this work. While such ornament is not traditionally associated with welcome, the cultural exchange that it enacts, between the Middle East and north America, sets the scene for hospitality as a conduit for international cooperation.

Liz Williamson–a dark garland

 Liz Williamson, Loop Series, 2008, handwoven cotton and leather lacing, photo Ian Hobbs

Liz Williamson, Loop Series, 2008, handwoven cotton and leather lacing, photo Ian Hobbs

Liz Williamson is one of Australia’s most revered textile artists. The exhibition acknowledging her status as a ‘living treasure’ is currently touring across Australia. As a textile artist, Liz has produced innovate weaves that reflect a particularly Australian aesthetic. She is especially interested in the life of cloth, not just its fresh beauty straight off the loom, but the accumulated dignity that is gained over many years of care and repair. Liz has created an aesthetic around the act of darning.

Williamson’s work is represented in most major public collections in Australia including the National Gallery of Australia, the National Gallery of Victoria and the Powerhouse Museum. In 2008, following more than two decades of dedicated teaching at universities in Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney, Williamson was appointed as Head of the School of Design Studies at the College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales, Sydney.

For Liz, the principle form of her creative endeavour is the scarf. For Welcome Signs, she has in effect closed the scarf into a loop, creating an object that serves as jewellery, wrapped around the body.

Liz Williamson, Pendent Loop Series, 2009, photo Ian Hobbes, handwoven cotton and leather lacing, 150 x 2cm

Liz Williamson, Pendent Loop Series, 2009, photo Ian Hobbes, handwoven cotton and leather lacing, 150 x 2cm

Statement

Strands of memory, cloth and the body are interlaced throughout Liz Williamson’s practice as she explores the connections between clothing and the body experimenting with different weave structures while exploring visual and conceptual territory.

Williamson’s recent textiles play on ideas of shelter and memory as notions of containment and bodily protection, ideas presented in woven and draped shaped textiles that evoke connections with enclosing, carrying and storage while creating a place for hiding, seclusion and security.

Her Loop series are neckpieces, a hybrid between a wrap and jewellery. They play on ideas of shelter and memory on a number of levels, as their circular shapes draping the body with the contained shape inviting enquiry, a desire to know what is contained within.

Edric Ong–a treasury of pandanus

Edric Ong

Edric Ong

Edric Ong combines the role of artist with designer, architect, curator, consultant and president. He works quite closely with UNESCO, advising on their Seal of Excellence for Crafts Program. He has convened the World Eco-Fiber and Textile (WEFT) forum since 1999. And has specialised particularly in the textile crafts of Malaysia, including Sarawak.

For Welcome Signs, he has designed a series of fibre-based jewellery drawing on the traditional craft of pandanus weaving. These draw on important elements of local material culture, such as wedding ceremonies and personal adornment.

Edric Ong, Pandanus pouch necklaces

Edric Ong, Pandanus pouch necklaces


Two string necklaces featuring blue glass beads and hand-crafted pouches made of dyed ‘pandanus’ leaves. These pouches are miniaturized from traditional dowry pouches made by the Malay women of Kota Samarahan , Sarawak, East Malaysia; and were presented during the ‘akad nikah’ or exchange of marriage vows ceremony.

Edric Ong, Pandanus open-plaited necklace and belt

Edric Ong, Pandanus open-plaited necklace and belt

Open plaited pandanus straps were made by the Orang Asli of Carey Island, Selangor, West Malaysia as part of their small pouches for keeping tobacco.

In the necklace and belt featured here, they have been made as components and strung into a cord (the necklace) or added to a rattan belt as accessories.

Artist Statement

This is a series of fashion accessories I developed as part of collection to introduce the use of more natural fibers such as tree-bark, rattan, and pandanus into my work. It started with using tree bark cloth as appliqué on cottons and silks; then using rattan straps as accessories, and then using the pliable pandanus as bustiers, capes and also as ornaments for necklaces and belts.

The pandanus components are made by two groups of craft artists: the Malay women of Kota Samarahan, Sarawak in East Malaysia; and the Orang Asli women of Carey Island, Selangor in West Malaysia.

I hope that these new designs and use of their traditional crafts will inspire them to create a new product line and so generate more income for them.

Original pandanus pouch

Original pandanus pouch

Sang Hee Yun–beware lacquer

Sang Hee Yun

Sang Hee Yun

Sang Hee Yun studied jewellery at Seoul National University, then specialised in The Dept. of Ottchil-Art at PaiChai University. Since then she has exhibited her work in a number of solo and group exhibitions.

Sang Hee Yun has extended the craft of Ottchil to create striking body ornament. Korean culture has developed the art of lacquer to extraordinary sophistication, and Sang Hee Yun demonstrates who it can also be used for artistic purposes.

Her work for Welcome Signs can seem contrary to the ethic of hospitality. It is designed to repel, rather than attract. But as something that offers protection, it indicates the broad range of meanings associated with neck wreaths in the Asia Pacific region.

Sang Hee Yun 'An attack by green horns' Wood, Ottchil, 925silver, gold-plating, gold-leaf, 572 × 249 × 74 mm, 2009

Sang Hee Yun 'An attack by green horns' Wood, Ottchil, 925silver, gold-plating, gold-leaf, 572 × 249 × 74 mm, 2009

Artist Statement

The main concept of this Ottchil Ornament is an image of attack and protection.

In order to manifest it, I took out its materials from nature, inducing a variety of formative experiments by applying Ottchil (Asian lacquer) with the material characteristics of outstanding durability and moth protection to jewelry.

The purpose of this Work is to attempt to provide the women alienated from the society under the extreme circumstances such as threatening situation, horror, and sorrow with power by making accessories to make a use of varnishing with lacquer that has an offensive character and a defensive function; to grope for the new try to search for beauty by giving the experimental characteristics to the positions on which accessories are put in the relationship between the body and accessories as well.

This work had been started from the process of utilizing varnishing with lacquer positively. I used varnishing with lacquer in making accessories not only because I could include an environment-friendly defensive concept along with its perpetuity that could keep accessories from decay and deformation after a long time, but also because the property of matter of varnishing with lacquer was accorded with my concept of making accessories in many ways.

The sizes and colors of accessories had been very important to deliver the offensive and defensive feeling, and so I could solve that with the production techniques of varnishing with lacquer to use light materials such as paper, wood, cloth, and etc.

My jewelry makes the wearers get the strong existential feeling and sexual power from the mutual communication with others through wearing action; desires them to restore their mental tranquility and subjectivity.

I aspire that this could be not only a means to exist as an individual whose own values are not penetrated and but also a cry that the weak existence wounded by the outside can express with his or her body within the diversity in the modern society.

Marian Hosking-a garland of the bush

Marian Hosking

Marian Hosking

Marian Hosking is a preeminent Australian jeweller, recently designated a ‘living treasure’ for her contribution to the national craft scene. Marian trained in the RMIT Gold & Silversmithing department and following that the Fachhochschule für Gestaltung, Pforzheim. She is currently head of the jewellery department at Monash University, where she is currently acting Head.

Marian’s work explores the artistic quality of silver, using a unique combination of casting and drilling. Using silver as a creative language, she is able to express quite rare forms of Australian nature. Her work attends to the fine detail of flora, rather than the large iconic forms.

Her work for the Welcome Signs exhibition uses the form of the garland to gather elements of Australian bush. For a recent essay about Marian’s work, go here.

Marian Hosking - two silver garlands (Mallee gum buds & Gum nuts chain)

Marian Hosking - two silver garlands (Mallee gum buds & Gum nuts chain)

Niki Hastings-McFall–the new Pacific art of welcome

Niki Hastings-McFall

Niki Hastings-McFall

Niki Hastings-McFall was born in Titirangi, West Auckland, NZ. Much of her work is inspired by her Samoan heritage, discovered when she first met her father in 1992. She trained as a jeweller, and has a degree in Visual Arts from the University of Auckland at Manukau School of Visual Arts.  Both her jewellery and her larger assemblage works directly  reference her urban environment whilst maintaining strong connections to Polynesian culture.
 
Much of her earlier work is a response to the stereotyping which so often surrounds the South Pacific. As a Pakehaa / Samoan she uses the iconic to question the myth as a  way of exploring the liminal space which both separates and unites the different cultures that represent her place within a contemporary Pacific context.
 

Niki Hastings-McFall Too Much Shushi Lei

Niki Hastings-McFall Too Much Shushi Lei

Aesthetically speaking some of the work she is presently engaged with is not necessarily overtly Polynesian. However it is still generated by her signature understanding of past and present Pacific material culture twinned with an urban sensibility of post colonial Aotearoa
 
Hastings- McFall has exhibited extensively during the 15 years of her practice both nationally and overseas in Australia, France,  the USA, South America  and the UK. Her work is held in public and private collections in NZ (Auckland Art Gallery,Te Papa Tongarewa, Auckland University,  Chartwell, Victoria University, Auckland Museum etc) and internationally (British Museum UK, Museum fur Volkekund Germany, Queensland Art Gallery Australia, Tjibaou Centre New Caledonia etc)

Niki Hastings-McFall’s work features in the exhibition Welcome Signs.