Photos by Sandy Connon
“Not made in Fiji” Our collaboration comes together in object space.
We fooled them all as to who made our piece – everyone said they couldn’t spot our piece without checking the catalogue (some said they recognised your pearl beads from previous use) which I think makes it a success collaboration wise – we made a piece together that doesn’t look like either of us made it. I think that’s a good way to look at what collaboration can do.
Do you know that Carl Andre (great minimalist artist) quote:
‘A man climbs a mountain because it is there. A man makes a work of art because it is not there’
To Dear Mr Freeman,
Small beads are really hard to make.
You are not a failure sometimes finding solutions is just hard stuff.
I think our beads can be made from anything that might already have a hole in it. The tubing sounded like a good starting point. Put it aside but keep looking around – just remember to think about tiny beads as you do. You can find them – you just have to feel like you own their discovery. Maybe finding something and scratching, painting, burning or hitting it with a hammer might give you the sense of ownership.
The idea of the piece already belongs to someone else but I’m still feeling ownership.
Enough trying tonight –
Your obeadient servant
Do you know that Carl Andre (great minimalist artist) quote: ‘A man climbs a mountain because it is there. A man makes a work of art because it is not there’ W
Warwick,Did anyone tell you that your a genius today?I think you have solved the dilemma of the year.I would love to make the beads for this rather interesting piece. It is very beautiful. I see it has no clasp yet, i know a lot of pacific pieces were fastend with a loop button effect. The button made in this case with horse hair could blend in very nicely.It would defiantly save a motley crew look to our plinth.The beads look like glass. Could they be made of resin or bone for this project?. I actually have had a few lessons in glass bead making I could pull it off if i got practicing. Himmmm maybe a few trials are needed.Reply:WYou can call me a genius today (no one else has) but the idea comes more from self preservation than any genius.Just couldn’t see ‘soft’ happening very easily – I even tried whittling foam rubber…..So glad you like the Fijian armband.The beads are glass trade beads – very common though the Pacific in the 19th Century.I think by trying to do a version of this piece neither of our egos are out there trying to stake a claim in how it looks – the collaboration is neutralised but the result isn’t – it might even be beautiful despite us.Your ‘hard’ beads can be made from anything I reckon – try out a few ideas – being tiny is the technical challenge. Small things with holes in them are real hard to make I find.There’s no fastening – its wrapped as an armband and so maybe just tucked on itself.I think we should stay faithful to that unless it cries out for a clasp at some stage.I like its formless, indeterminate look – a what do you do with it look – it doesn’t make jewellery sense until you wrap it around your arm – I like that.The exhibition karl and I are doing is called Wunderruma and I wrote a brief description for the Overview Newsletter (I’ve attached a copy – do you get it?)The reason the description of our curatorial intention is vague is because we are reserving the right to make it up as we go along.Its like any piece of work – you don’t know what it looks like until its finished.Do you know that Carl Andre (great minimalist artist) quote:‘A man climbs a mountain because it is there. A man makes a work of art because it is not there’Or closer to home – Kobi Bosshard:‘People make things to see what they look like after they have made them’.xW.
Germany, the chance for our works to be seen among many amazing makers. Set up concerns, The handshake book launch, artist talks, studio visits,positive feed back by collectors, Karl’s 50 birthday,Ottos retrospective exhibition, Warwick wins the big prize, and i have an interview at the royal Academy of fine art.
All coming soon.
I had the pleasure of having a photo shoot with the amazing Shantanu Sharick recently. He is traveling the world trading amazing photos for anything he needs, flights, accommodation hard drives and in my case a beautiful piece of hand made luggage.
I collect diamond shapes and Warwick collects star forms.
I start looking at branding myself with some of these diamond ideas.
Sometimes i get to a stage with some experiments that are not solved and it helps a lot to have a photo shoot. I then can see things come to life on the body and similar to costume the pieces come to life, inspiring the next move so to speak.
Taking the images into Pagers i try them out for my business card designs for Germany. This is an easy way to quickly design things as it has perfect layout suggestions. You can also cut and paste to try pages of interesting suggestions.
I also apply this to my portfolio so each page is updated and designed as i move on in my carier, this way there is a nice flow to the projects and it is easy to see how ideas grow and easy to edit quickly for any applications that might need applying for in a hurry.Below is one i was putting in for ITS awards in Italy, its theme was Good and Evil. I hope at some stage i will be able to show this to a publisher and make it into a book. The exiting thing to me about the Portfolio is it has so many exiting projects in it. However a lot of them are just starting ideas so i go through it and grow ideas sometimes and that is when i feel like something is really ready to show.
W feb 11 2013 Ok lets give them our movie script:
JW – So there is this the line of yours that has stuck with me: ‘Art is crap therapy – it’s a serious sandpit – if you want to play in it then you have to play like it’s a serious game.’ WF – I sound like Mr Tough guy. JW – Well you might be Mr Tough guy sometimes. WF – Yeah as I’ve said – I’ve never made a soft piece of jewellery. JW – I’ll make you a book on soft things, fabric and colour. Fabric is a beautiful medium, it has a curious voice. WF – I’m listening. Then I’ll make a soft piece and you will have to make a hard piece – I did say somewhere that HandShake is an opportunity to be open to influence. JW – Speaking of influence – do you like wine or a good whisky? WF – You ask tough questions.
Jess to Warwick:
For me the most active thing i have responded to your mentoring is the constant consideration of place and space. The way i look at archiving works and making works worthy to come out and see. Warwick to Jess: Thanks for finding that much clarity in the spotty contact we have had in this project – I’m impressed with you ability to sift that – I’m happy with that take. Jess: Below is experimental photos of myself, friends and my works at my home studio.
|Photos taken by Shantanu StarickModels, Jessica Winchcombe and Terzan Elliot.Support Milly Be and Wendy Winchcombe|
I have been thinking about our collaboration. I’m Making Warwick a book on soft things fabric and color.Introducing him to a new medium to work with.Here is a sneak peek of a few page’s, expressing how i am inspired by fabric use and what i look at for solving techniques,color, composition and editing.
Color Pallets scatter my studio.
Recently i was setting up for an exhibition in Master works jewellery box and was appalled to find i was missing a Yellow Ocre piece. I hadn’t made it but it would have brought all the colors together to flow for the eye.I was a bit confused why i had got that wrong un till i got home and saw i had a yellow ocre table cloth on the table i was editing on.lol
Warwick took me to see some amazing exhibitions in Auckland recently.
Introducing me to a new favorite artist. Hany Armanious,at Michael Lett gallery. I had seen Hany’s works before but the Lett gallery had curated the works in a dark room that gave the works a very alluring enjoyment. (Another example of the power of curation.) Some of Michael’s works are made from objects that have been remade in another material. Like a wooden sleeper re made in Plastic and then used again. I enjoyed that and herd the voice of Peter Deckers in my head saying (Dont just use a found object, MAKE IT YOURS) We also visited StarkWhite Gallery and had the pleasure of exploring the collaboration of Karl Fritsch and Gavin Hipkins with an empty room. The works are exiting for me as i love to see jewellery ideas and language out of context. The pieces of Art in themselves are stunning compositions.
Below:Warwick considering the lay out of Kobi’s retrospective works to be held at Object space. Each piece was laid out and considered before delicately sewn onto boards. It looks like quite an amazing exhibition with works being lent from far and wide, from personal collections and such places as Te papa.
There was this time back in 2008 were i met Warwick and he gave a talk to our class and was showing some drawings he did. He said he would put the date on the drawing when he drew it and again when he made the piece in the drawing.
I have a personal delight when i make something and then later find a collage or point of reference i had forgotten about. Today i had that very excitement. In 2010 i was traveling in Germany and I was doing a lot of collage of things i liked in my visual diary.
So in Aug i was playing on my new industrial sewing machine pimping out some clothing for an art collector and practicing on my own wardrobe when i came up with these little dudes.
The exiting thing is i am of to see my Mum soon and she has kept my visual diaries since i was a little girl and can usually trace things back to something. Like i showed her a piece of very conceptual worked out jewellery once when i was studying and she laughed and said what are you talking about, you were exploring those ideas when you were 11 years old. I guess thats the exiting thing about growing up in a art fulled home, discussing art and exhibitions around the table as long as i can remember. When we were kids ,rewards were given for creativity, it makes me laugh now but i remember learning to knit and dye wool and being pretty exited when i got to stay up 1/2 an hour longer because i knitted faster than my older sister.It will be nice to go back and look through the curious collections of my life’s art, Mum has kept and see what is relating to what i do now. I think the CURIOUS collections factor has all ways been there.
I was telling Warwick about a project i am doing with David Terplitzky (an energetic art collecter). Explaining how it has been good for me to stop and consider what i am making once and a while and explane myself.With the projects we are doing we discus the individual value of each component and make sure it is the best possible product to use for the design. HANDSHAKE exhibitions are exactly that. In fact when i first started i was a bit flustered about showing all the time in group shows with limitations of how many works and where it was placed but now i am beginning to understand it is more about being clever in the presentation and selection of the works to best represent my practice. Now i feel comfortable to really start pushing the boundary’s again like i would in a solo exhibition.
I have had some very funny emails from my collectors this year encouraging me to have a solo show and being confused about my little contributions to the Handshake exhibitions. One said that the mass flair of energy was missing although he really enjoyed the individual pieces. I assured him it was brewing, Admitting that i was working on a few projects that were going to bloom with the new year.
The exhibition at the National came together really nicely.I was there with Caroline and Becky helping set up and it was nice to have a few days to conceder the works and the whole HANDSHAKE process. It was clear that the makers are maturing in there practice and are growing from the interaction with there Mentors. Many of the shakers made the effort to come to the opening and as usual it was a really great time catching up with everyone.There was a lot of discussion about going to germany and refining the set up process as well as fundraising and general communication with such a large group.
I had some fantastic discussions about the curation ideas for Handshake in Munich Germany Next Year. Hilder Deckers and i sat down and brought up concerns about the over all show being curated in a way that expressed that it was a experimental process or a growing process. Something with lively, possibly interactive and defiantly original pushing boundaries, splashed with a high standard of works and well practiced curation. We came to the conclusion it would be best to have a practice here in N.Z with all the works prior to packing it for Munich. There is thought from Peter of small chairs painted white on the walls. I want to add perspex boxes under the chairs packed full with the projects energy, experiments to show the process. With a few of the best on top of the chair. Hilder suggested that maybe one could place there favorite on the chair.
I will be in Wellington to continu the discussion in Mid Sep and have been busy researching posible ideas that would solve certain concerns. It is so amazing we have such people as Hilder looking over the Project as well as many more un noted observers with abundant experience.THANK YOU
The set up for the HANDSHAKE exhibition was really neat. The building the NATIONAL is in is stunning beautiful and CAROLINe has a very good eye for placement and is fantastic to discus things with. It is strange she is not a maker as she speaks a very strong jewellery language and it is exiting to have someone like that representing our show.
Debbie and I had fun practicing some chair poses for the catalogue photo shoot before we went to the studio with Cindy who took our shots and said to stop posing lol…….not that it stopped us, it was to much fun.Thanks Cindy
Working away in my Queens town studio. Aug 2012
Ring silver and leather, Ring Gold band with focus point, leather cuffs.J.Winchcombe 2012 White sea pearl elbow pads sewn into a bed of brown snake skin. J.Winchcombe Aug 2012 Make less of a better Quality. Make a piece so the viewer couldn’t imagine anything better. Hair extension earring, beauty in adornment. J.winchcombe 2012 Design with someone in Mind. I bet this lady would like a piece of amazing adornment to bust out. Leather, pearls and resin, mounted on an agile frame. Yes i think this piece is for her. “I have been interested in skin for some time now. Finding it fascinating how individuals skin holds there history. I use leather in this way to tell my own versions of stores. Colored, Treated, Processed,Recycled Leather, Silver WHATS WARWICK UP TO?
I called the exhibition Room 22 as I thought I might start calling my shows by the room number. So the next show I put stuff in would be Room 23. 22 was just a place to start the count from, although I do know of an interesting Room 22.It is in the Pompidou Art Gallery in Paris – Room 22 contains the private collection of Andre Breton. It’s a simulation of his house interior – his collection of work of his colleagues and various artifacts of tribal origins. It looks like this: A very cool room. Mine is sparse by comparison – I must work harder
The last weeks have been full with progress. My portfolio design is coming along, i have some works almost resolved for my solo show in Aug at Master Works Jewellery box, as well as a solid line of inquiry for our next handshake Exhibition. Exiting times. Recently i did a Petcha Kutcha talk here in Queenstown about Handshake and it was a really great time to look at what everyone is up to and the background of everyones mentores. wow i am all ways so exited to see what an amazing bunch of talented artists i get to hang out with.These are resent works made with the idea of limiting my pallet, works in progress. Jess
Where can i even begin, i ask my self as i sit back looking at the past months works, projects and revelations. I took a little time out from the continual blogging that seemes to devour hours at a time leaving my studio lonely.
How can I package the energy of a moment in the middle of the night when a solution has been found for the next big epic idea. How can you respond to a picture of an artist change in direction or shift in mind set. These are the frustrations i have with blogging my practice. This is what i have been looking at. Jess 5 June 12
Update to come on Jess and Warwick collaboration.Hi Jess Hope your Petcha Kutcha went well. Seems there was plenty of good advice in Wellington but it’s up to you to sift it. They are all right in their own way but you have to decide what’s going to be your way….always the sifting. Advice is all good but y ou have to sort the ‘good for you’ from the ‘bad for you’ advice and you’ll choose wrong sometimes – don’t worry. Karl’s push all boundaries, make whatever ha ppens: – that’s always got to be good advice bu t you have to decide how you will work with those results – how and when is the edit going to happen. Maybe not at all, just see what happens – the crap can always go in the bin. But regardless of their output, everyone edits, even someone as prolific as Karl. Marcel’s shift the presentation intent, reposition the work: – is the plinth serving you well is a good question – are your options still the g allery? Maybe collaborations with fashion spaces are a better option? Many fashion people have been open to having their shops used as project spaces. Consider what happens to your work though when it is removed from that presentation context – ask the question – how does it work without it? Presentation is a big deal nowadays (I know I’m spending more time thinking about it) but it’s only a part of how jewellery i s viewed. Although it’s always nice to see it presented with thought – try not to insult the jewelleryness of your work. Frabritzio’s work out who are you talking to: – yes who are you talking to? I always think this is one of the differences between fine art and applied art. My jewellery is very deliberately talking to someone – a wearer – they are a real entity to me. I agree with Dorothea Prühl who has spoken on this relationshi p (see first para in quote below) The person the work speaks too ‘has rights’ – When I make I am also making a contract with the future ‘wearer’ – the work is not an autonomous art work. Manon’s – seek perfection – such good advice – slackness has no part in the work. But don’t see perfection in any narrow way (meaning technique or finish etc). Perfection could be the ‘edit’ – could be the presentation. And the advice that you should get it out there in as many places and in as affordable chunks as you can: …….well not sure that is appropriate to your ambitions and before you decide to do that, you would have to see it clearl y as a strategy that might make some money but one that won’t raise your profile as an artist. Besides price is not very often a determiner for the galleries – they don’t have to p ay up front for it. But if you decided to hit on the fashion stores then that’s probably how you did it. No reason you can’t have 2 strategies going if you have the energy. Did all that sound sage enough – wise words of advice from your old mentor…. fact is – who knows sometimes. I remember reading in a book by Frank Zappa once about his experience in the 1960s with record company executives and did they really know what was going on when they signed Zappa and other experimental artists. No he said : “Old cigar chomper guys listened to the tapes and said, ‘I dunno. Who knows what the fuck it is? G’head, put it out! Who knows?’ And sometimes they got it right. My experience counts for something but I think my T-shirt says: ‘What the fuck do I know G’head’. Our collaboration for Objectspace? You suggest some workable ideas.
e of your pieces in stone or wood and I could do a soft remake of one of my pieces in leather (that idea makes me think of Claus Odenburg sculpture from the 1960s Pop Art era that I was attracted too back then – his soft objects). A pretty basic idea but it has a nice circular, self-referencing aspect identifying our differences – a collaboration of opposites but not in opposition. One piece each – that would hit my ‘less is best ‘ sweet spot too. What is the timing for the OS exhibition? I’m off to Melbourne next weekend for my Gallery Funaki exhibition
(probably at the same time you are running up a mountain side I’ll be having a beer somewhere considerably higher over the Tasman Sea). I’m also in a show at the National Gallery of Victoria – an International survey put together by the Design Museum in London (see notice below) that I will get the chance to see while in Melbourne. Re that other question – I’m pretty well stocked for single malt at present but good Central Otago pinot noir always goes down well
All the best
AN EXHIBITION I CURATED RECENTLY HERE IN Q TOWN
With 8 other jewellery artists. Looking at jewellery on and off the body and introducing contemporary jewellery to the art crew here in the south.
New contrasting Works by Jessica Winchcombe Nov 2011
I am very interested in the way the Handshake project has pulled me in strange directions. I have a few bodys of work developing that are both conceptual and wearable or object based things that express experimentation. Its like i have to have both to breath. If i dont have the strange,extreme, pushing all boundaries pieces laying round my studio how can i make wearable things that have vibrance to them when i want to create something wearable and beautiful.
Karl Fritch said to me onece that every piece he made taught him something.Now more than ever i understand that it is so true. Every piece has a story and if it doesn’t make it to a gallery it should sit on the shelf and be useful.
The works i am submitting to the Master Works Handshake exhibition are the pieces from the shelf, the ones that i have been making during this year. Consider yourself privileged. If you bought a group like this and put it on your wall, you could potentially be inspired for a life time.
October 31st – November 11th 2011
DearWarwick,i made this and thought about some of the lines in your drawings and how you were interested in the minimalist.You really did that so nicely with the beautiful piece in the art fair. Have you got a photo for the blog?
Jess oct 4 2011
New works by Jessica Sep 2011
Well it is inspiring times, I find the more projects i have on the more creative i get. Currently the Handshake project has been a fantastic to come back and visit for some research. I can read a letter from Warwick in a different way each time i look at it. Currently i am working on 4 exhibitions and all the work is bouncing off each other. Responding to each other and the only difference is the media i am using. What a year. Jessica oct 4 2011
A lingering mental disorder in our culture is people’s compulsion to pretend that special virtues, spiritual or political, motivate artists. Two things motivate artists: talent and exigency, what they can do and what they must. The art world makes artists. Artists do not make the art world. Artists are abjectly elitist. They are idealists condemned to life sentences in luxury trades (whether or not they earn a dime). So what?
Sydney Opening 20/17 gallery
So is it the exhibition or the gathering of artists that is more potent in this Handshake project.? The creative energy that was surrounding the Sydney Handshake crew was in full swing. When we gathered to curate the exhibition we were all talking the same language. Something that made the whole week in Sydney roll so high in energy and passion for the arts, projects and developing as artists. When i did the artist talk it was so amazing to chat to individuals who really wanted to be a part of this strong community that is in total support of each other.Artist talk by Jessica and previous notes from Warwick Below.
I think because HandShake formalises the mentor/mentee relationship it gives it a more pressured feel – because it has to observe formalities; meet certain deadlines, create a blog record – this means it doesn’t unfold in the usual open ended way that I think of mentoring usually operating.
August 1st – 12th 2011
Whitireia Polytechnic 2011 Graduating Students Award Recipient
“Jessica Winchcombe has great potential as an international maker to watch. She has an energy rarely seen and has reached a maturity in her work, which is taking her to new heights.
One of our own criteria that we attached to that of Fingers’, involved an assessment of how the student had progressed from their mid-year solo show, to their graduation show at the completion of the year. Jess has done that with the most impact. Karl Fritsch and Lisa Walker (co-judges) agreed without any doubts, saying impressively, that Jessica’s new work is completely unique, stands alone, works very well as a cohesive body of work, works well on the body and has an international quality.” Peter Deckers, Whitireia Polytechnic Jewellery Programme leader “Jessica Winchcombe is a contemporary jeweller who enjoys pushing boundaries. Jessica’s concept explores exciting new materials for a fresh visual impact. In this body of work, Winchcombe has been researching a range of ideas surrounding armour and protection mechanisms. “Practical defence elements and their social implications intrigue me, from a beetles defence mechanism or a costume we can hide behind, to leather battle armour”. The precious elements in Jessica’s work are semi-hidden in order to provide a context by which the outer protective forms can be glorified. The true narrative of this work is focussing on the protector rather than the protected.” Jessica Winchcombe, 2011
This whole idea of linking to someone we admire is fantastic personally but i begin to relise how strong the jewellery community is getting as the gaps seem to be fulling with mentoring developing more and more around the world after being inspired by handshake’s projects Blog.
I guess opposites attract. I admire Warwick for everything he does that I don’t. Warwick makes masculine forms and I make feminine forms. Warwick is a technical genius and I am a simple finisher. Warwick often makes multiple concise works and I make crazy one offs. In 2008 I had the pleasure of attending a workshop with him. He had found a handle that had washed up on the beach and he had responded to it making a replica in gum. The object was beautiful. The idea was that we took something and then made it again in a different media. But I just wanted to respond to him and his works. So I made a series of narrative works that told the story of how his handle ended up on the beach. The works had a masculine feel to them but were in my style. They were the strongest and most fun works created by me all year. I am fascinated in creative collaboration in all its forms and am super exited to see what unfolds this time. Below, Recent works by Jessica Winchcombe
Warwick Freeman 7th April 2011
Pendants by Elsie Reeve from early 1920s. Collection of Museum of New Zealand. Te Papa Tongarewa
‘Warwick makes masculine forms and I make feminine forms.’
Yeah, I mean just look at those Handles – come back Sigmund, all is forgiven. Come to think of it, the work I’m making at the moment is rather pointy as well. But how much of our jewellery making world is divided along those masculine/ feminine lines? One feature of that divided world we are able to observe is the change that has taken place in the ratio of male to female jewellery makers. A quick look back at the contemporary jewellery scene will reveal that the change from that being mainly men to now being mainly women makers has happened relatively quickly – the feminisation of contemporary jewellery practice in New Zealand has taken place in less than 20 years. My cursory research on some group shows of New Zealand contemporary jewellery over a lesser 10 year period illustrates that change: Of the 12 artists in the 1988 exhibition Bone Stone Shell, only 2 were women. Open Heart in 1993 had 13 artists – 4 were women Pretty in 1998 had 12 artists – 11 were women. I said cursory, those were the first 3 catalogues I pulled from the bookshelves so don’t point out the shows that spoil that hypothesis – besides the hypothesis is borne out today when you walk into any tertiary level jewellery department in the country – and confirmed at the Boot Camp organised for emerging jewellers held in Oxford, Canterbury in February – all the participants there were female. And of the 24 involved in the Hand Shake project Karl, Fabrizio and I are the only males involved and we are amongst the mentors – the other mentors and mentees are female. Does this mean anything? No not really. It makes some sense in that women wear jewellery the most and so it seems right to me they should predominately design and make it. The first jewellery courses weren’t established in New Zealand until the late 1980’s, so the pre-institutional history of self teaching in contemporary jewellery, mainly attracted men. Generally the history of western art has been predominantly men with paint, men with cameras, men with any form of technology relating to art making and particularly men with metal. Historically guilds were probably gender specific and men got the metal department, therefore men usually made jewellery. Yes, plenty of exceptions and New Zealand jewellery does has a significant female history. (A short un-researched, pre 1980 roll call to remind us of some notable exceptions: Elsie Reeve (see her work above), Ida Hudig, Tanya Ashken, Elena Gee). Jessica’s attraction of opposites principle behind choosing me, as her HandShake mentor/collaborator, is a brave decision. Does collaboration imply a negotiation, an accommodation of those differences, or will it be an agreement to differ? Jessica and I will find out. Meanwhile – Masculine/feminine – it’s an interesting starting point.
Jessica 19th March
Warwick and Jessica Meet for Lunch 19 April 2011
We discussed were i might take the leather pieces next. I showed Warwick my models and experiments of where i had been combining two ideas together
using the shapes originally covered in leather and almost turning them inside out.
My concern was that they are a bit lost on a plinth but come alive on the body. Also that they were a bit close to what might be happening in some couture fashion accessories at the moment.
Below is the most successful combination i have been experimenting with to date.
Jessica April 27 2011
Warwick 29 April 2011
Thanks Jess That’s a nice appreciation of our first meeting. I was feeling that it lacked a certain ‘clarity’ (clarity is my word du jour – just finished writing to Amelia about her show at Photospace in those terms) so it’s nice you have done the work and thought it though in the way you have. I was looking for that ‘clarity’ in something practical – perhaps a solution involving something like colour but that would have been just part of the story. Your approach is much more astute – good thinking.
One thought I had is how you engage with fashion, and how the relationship that Contemp.Jewellery has with fashion is a fraught one. The usual role jewellery plays in fashion is as accessory and that’s not one CJ likes – preferring instead the role of jewellery as art object (to be worn or not). Unlike a lot of CJ artists I position my work along a line closer to accessory that most of them would be comfortable with. I don’t engage directly with fashion but I do acknowledge and enjoy how my work is used in that relationship. What I mean is the reading of the work purely as art object is potentially very misleading. A work can look dead as an object but come alive when being worn and engaging with costume and character. Its not an excuse to give your work less attention though and your ambition to give a work more ‘consideration’ is a good instinct to follow. Good luck. W.
Jessica thoughts 1 may 2011
I have been thinking about the Handshake project and how the process of interacting with a artist I admire, is an interesting topic to respond to in it’s self. I drew up some sketchers of response directly to the idea of having a mentor. Perhaps with the idea of how exclusive and precious the project feels after hand picking a master and them accepting the challenge of a recent graduate. Some ideas hold elements of personal interaction such as a double sided glove that my Mentor and Myself could wear at the same time with an explosion of colored sculpture in the middle. Some are more general such as a double sided brooch. Some are playful like a skipping rope that can be used by myself and mentor at the same time. Possibly each handel would be made to fit our own hand prints. I had a lot of fun thinking about these objects of interaction and imagined Warwick and i having a photo shoot with these pieces for a catalogue.
Warwick 6 may 2011
Hi Jess I’ve chickened out of doing your ‘greatest piece ‘ challenge. Instead offering something that evolved from another sort of mentoring relationship.
‘Mask’ isfrom 2007. It’s one of an ongoing collection of works that are based on found objects that Otto Künzli has sent me. It’s not a project we planned but he has randomly provided me with material in this manner for a number of years now.
The object the ‘Mask’ is based on he found in the street near his apartment in Munich – perhaps a piece of car exhaust (see below). It arrived in the mail with the usual comment about how he thought it looked like something I would make. They’re not sent with any intention that I will remake them but sometimes I can’t resist – they usually do look like something I would make – especially after I have remade them.
I pretty much hammered the 2 ounces of fine gold into shape over the found piece so it’s the same size – 95 x 150mm. The 2 rivets at the top are holding a bar brooch type fitting so the piece is a brooch.
So just like HandShake it has its genesis in a relationship with another artist.
HandShake for me is not sitting down and saying to you ‘maybe try it like this ‘ (not in the ‘Warwick and Jessica have lunch’ way) because I’m actually not very practiced in that role. Reviving the ‘masculine/feminine theme of earlier mail; men are supposed to be very keen to provide solutions to problems but in this case I suspect my solutions aren’t very likely to be yours.
I’ve had no tutors (not since my secondary school art teacher) but I’ve had a shit load of mentors – most of them informally playing the role to the extent they didn’t even know they were mentoring me. Some I even imagined in the role. Perhaps my developing the concept of having notional mentors is something you can blame on the loneliness of the long distance maker. But I’ve found, if it fuels the decision making process in my workshop, then imagined conversations are sometimes, in lieu of real ones, just as productive.
But Otto is a more than a notional mentor, a very real one as a source of my ‘remakes’ and although Otto takes no direct role in my practice he is a shaping influence because I want him to and let him have that influence. I think HandShake is an opportunity to be open to influence.
Maybe we should find each other remakes in this same manner – meanwhile here’s one of mine:
Left is my studio. I am currently working on my 2011 scheduled exhibitions, this has led me to be making constantly and developing many interesting models. Jessica June/July
Warwick says some fantastic things in relation to what could be a mentor relation ship. I was sitting with Karl and Lisa at there kitchen table having coffee and muffins at the beginning of the Handshake project and as we are all part of the project (them being mentors) asked what i hoped for. Also how My and Worwick’s first meeting went. We were having a laugh as i said it was a fantastic chance to make something different to what i usually do and that i had all ready provided answers that fictitiously Warwick had answered. I had also responded to his advice and my works were all ready developing. Funny enough Warwick didn’t give me any of the pre conceived advice when we met. In fact he was much more interesting than my Fictional practical advice. Although i must admit i still wish he said ” Hey Jess why don’t you make heaps of cool crazy fronts and ill make my amazing brooch backs for them” lol Dreams are free eh. Just for the record i did ask Warwick if i could give him my unsolved works to solve. He said he had his own jewellery problems to solve. So i could come to His Auckland studio and he would do a show and tell of his problem pieces. “Some help that was,Warwick doesn’t have jewellery problems he is famous “ Any way back to the different ways one can be mentored. I have a collection of photos on my studio wall of people wearing my jewellery and my partner likes to come in to my studio and give me feed back on what i am making. This involves him having a fictional conversation with Peter Deckers who is one of my Mentors and a good friend of my partner and myself. The conversation is usually over something i think is amazing and Tim thinks is a dud and he picks it up and shows it to the Peter Picture and tells him how it doesn’t work .Then he puts on Peter’s voice proceeding to tell me why it is not working as part of the body of work…….. Well the funny thing is i respect them both so this puppet show usually changes my mind. Just one opinion would not have changed my mind ( I am crying laughing sharing this.) Left Peter Below Tim The Puppeteer So this is how i have came to making works that are revolving around Action and Reaction or more visibly Take and replace. Some times it is so hard to pin point what influenced a move or shift in works but to be sure what Warwick has pointed out about the many mentors in his own practice is so intriguing and now he fills a gap for me just like those mentors have done for him practically or fictitiously. Take and Replace. I like that.