How to join the dots as a jeweller

Since her mentorship under Blanche Tilden, Phoebe Porter has emerged as a significant jeweller in her own right. Since then, Porter and Tilden have forged a common aesthetic at Hacienda Studios, drawing on the everyday urban fabric.

Phoebe Porter_Location Devices 8_screen res

Phoebe Porter_Location Devices 8_screen res


Above, The Network panel installation, stainless steel, urethane coating 380 x 42 cm
Right, Location Device brooch, stainless steel, urethane coating, 5cm diameter
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As in their collaborative work General Assembly, Porter’s solo body of work operates at both an aesthetic and sociological level. For the Location Devices exhibition at e.g.etal Flinders Lane, Porter has constructed a sublime grid in radiant blue coated stainless steel, with blue circles embedded as nodes in a larger network. You can purchase one of these nodes, each of which can be clipped on to clothing. Porter has developed an ingeniously simple device for marking difference. The blue circle identifies the wearer as part of broader network of those who have purchased work from this grid. It’s an exemplary combination of form and anthropology.

Over the years, Susan Cohn has played a prominent role in Melbourne’s jewellery scene with exhibitions that put a rigorous modernist design to the service of urban tribalism. Location Devices shows how generative this way of working can be. But does it need the particular sociological soil that this city offers? How dependent are these bright anodised forms on the Melbourne black?

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