Jhana and Suska

About JhanaAbout Suska

June 2013

Display, Digital photographs, Sandwich board (plywood, 23ct gold leaf).

Objectspace, Ponsonby Road, Auckland. June 14 – July 20, 2013.







May 2013

It has been decided that we will gold leaf our 1m x 1m display item, with 23ct gold leaf and turn it into a sandwich board. Nervous much?


Our muse



April 2013

and the collaboration at Objectspace.

Our project starts with these two images that Suska sent me. One from Berlin and one from Nuremberg.

Berlin_First_Jhana Nürnberg_Second_Jhana


March 2013

A few images from my project and our booth at the:

International Handwerk Messe, Munich

This Brooch cost me my credit card.









August 2012

The National show, Christchurch.

This was part of the work I made for the National. This was my contribution to a looped video work showing a selection of You Tube educational ‘How to’ videos. The videos are all versions of ‘How to’ make a ring out of an American $1 bill. I will try and export a low res version of this soon.


How to make a ring out of a $1 American banknote.
Jhana Millers, August 2012.

The text that sits at the bottom of the video:

This video will show you how to make a ring out of a $1 American banknote.

It is a video in response to these videos:


So far I have had 13 views, lucky getting views wasn’t my intention.


My artist statement for the show:

My art practice examines and questions the dominant mechanisms of exchange and value creation within our current socio-economic and political system.

In this project I employed the YouTube approach to creation, the DIY method, while investigating societies obsession with this influential vehicle of global infotainment.


Feels like it needs more work. Will update again soon…

April 2012

April already, wow, must write more.

I was treated late last week to a present from the lovely Suska, care of Peter & Hilda from Schmuck. And what a treat it was. My very own copies of Suska’s series of retouched press photographs.

I would write about them but I found this text that is far better thanwhat I would write:

“The enlarged coarse-grained press photographs show several men being touched by other men. The men are Hans Dietrich Genscher, General Pinochet, Jacques Chirac and Brotislaw Geremek. However, on closer inspection the viewer will see that something is wrong. The gentlemen are being decorated, paid tribute to or are receiving a medal. However, the object is always retouched out of the picture. Consequently, the men appear to be touching one another in public for no apparent reason. Mackert’s work is about jewels and ornaments in the broadest sense of the word. It is about power, codes, status and rituals even if there is no jewellery in sight. By means of image manipulation the artist reveals the role of jewellery whether it be a necklace or a military decoration. Here she relies on the keen eye of the observer.”

Thank you Katelijne Beerten


January 2012

A new month, a new year, but I can’t stop making work about money. It’s just too relevant right now.

Some other work I have been making (not for a Handshake) but of course it’s all relevant:

Now then, who owes what? 2012
EFTPOS and credit cards, adhesive.

Made in response to this work by Peter Deckers

Noahs big OE pendant, from the Now then, who owns what installation, 2002
Cut coins, stg. silver, glass eye

This was made for the Retrospect exhibition at The Pah Homestead in Auckland. Opening tomorrow night January 31st.



December and the Masterworks Gallery show in Auckland. It was a bit rushed, due to studies finishing for the year, but I got there in the end. Well my money bags did.

My work for the show: Material Wealth (money bag necklaces)

Materials: Coins, coin bags, fine silver, stg. silver

10c coin bag close up

20c coin bag close up

 $2 coin bag close up

 $1 coin bag close up

50c coin bag


I’m not sure whether to be happy or truly annoyed:

  • Landy1

    Michael Landy, Frieze Art Fair 2011, Photo by Linda Nylind

Michael Landy: Credit Card Destroying Machine

Posted by Liv Siddall, 13 October 2011

Our tutors used to tell us that the best work at an exhibition isn’t necessarily the interactive crowd-pleaser that everyone remembers, but at Frieze Art Fair last night I think it is safe to say that one man quite literally smashed that theory into pieces – the mercurial Michael Landy and his Credit Card Destroying Machine

Situated in the Thomas Dane Gallery (F17), Landy’s 12 ft, Jean Tinguely-inspired contraption whirrs and rumbles in front of a crowd itching to find out what on earth’s going on. They step forward one-by-one and select a felt-tip colour (red, blue, green or black) and then watch as a woman at the machine attaches the pens to a page of a sketchbook. As her foot touches a button on the floor, the machine whirrs into life, cogs roll, scissors snip, saws turn and cuddly toys wobble, producing a spirograph-like drawing.

But before taking their custom-made artwork, they must hand over their credit card, which is dropped unceremoniously into a fluoro wood chipper, to be obliterated and spat out into a hundred pieces below. Throughout this procedure, Landy stands anonymously in the queue of people listening to their reactions and inner battles with whether or not they should – or can – be separated with such finality from their credit cards.

Landy’s own homage to Jean Tinguely’s Homage to New York stole the show, and has left hundreds of people – including myself- unexpectedly leaving the fair down a credit card, up a piece of legitimate artwork and wondering excitedly what he’ll do next.


I found this article here:

http://www.itsnicethat.com/articles/michael-landy-frieze-2011, on 19 October 2011.

I guess at least I had already done my project…



The New Zealand Jewellery Show

Over the weekend of the 9th – 11th September I cut up 15 people’s current credit cards, (and one rogue visa debit). The performance was well received, in the end, and led to many interesting and enlightening conversations, as well as some wonderful muffled statements.

“Exchange my credit card for a brooch, yeah right”
“Nice idea, but I don’t want my blatant consumerism splashed across my chest for all to see”
“It’s like Billy Apple’s work”
“Oh no, I’m not quite ready to give up my credit card”
“I should get one of those for my wife”
“My husband would love it if I came home with one of those”
“Your doing it for free!”



–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––The rogue visa Debit.



Work for the exhibition at Studio 20/17.

Closing Balance ($383.48)
“The Artist has to live like everybody else”. Billy Apple, 1985
Credit card, 24 ct gold plated bronze, steel, visa statement, frame, acrylic, brass

The work I exhibited at Studio 20/17 was a two part work involving a brooch and a framed image. The brooch is made from my credit card, cut at the end of July 2011 with the closing balance from that month, placed inside a 24ct gold plated bronze setting. The framed image is my personal Visa card statement from the month of July showing such transactions as:
03Jul11 Embassy Theatre Mount Victori NZ $35.80
05Jul11 Healthpost Limited Collingwood NZ $31.50
20Jul11 Cash Payment Received Thank You $257.00
22Jul11 Kirkcaldie Stains Wellington (104) $180.00
27Jul11 Apple Itunes NZ Web LU (104) $1.29


Getting ready for the New Zealand Jewellery Show in September.
Cutting more cards with a new font and different saw blades. Still taking a long time to cut by hand, around 40 minutes with this new font.
Have looked into electronic cutting  but the manufacturers don’t think they will cut through the plastic successfully. Laser cutters leave a brown burn around the letters which takes a while to file off. Thought about a die cut, but would need a press and it would be a very expensive exercise for one stamp.

They are still a bit messy around the edges but I will work on the fastest way to clean this up and also need to get my bronze backs cast.




Graduation exam work at the Gerrit Reitveld Academie


I recommend watching the video from Nhat-Vu Dang on how his beautiful pieces work when worn.


Cutting cards:

New tests, interventions, not quite sure what works the best yet. But, thinking that the piece can only take shape once the customer/exchanger hands over their credit card with their debt balance. This debt balance is then cut out of their card and potentially made into a wearable item. Whether a brooch or a pendant, materials for the finding/backing would be gold plated bronze.



Photoshop, nice one.

This is a little project I am working on. If anyone is reading this and has an old eftpos or credit card that has past its used by date then please, send it my way.

I need more, lots more.


For my recent end of semester hand in (for my post-graduate diploma in fine arts) I recruited an artist friend to dress up and act as a courier to deliver my gold card to the university for marking. (I happened to be out of town for an exhibition on the same day). He dressed up in a slightly ill-fitted dress suit, and once there, took the card out of a steel card case and placed it onto a shelf on the wall. The shelf was sitting next to a printed email correspondence from the bank that said the following:

He then stood to the left of the work acting as a body guard. Once my tutors had finished marking the work he put the card back into its case and left.

This aspect turned the work into more of a performance/installation piece then an ‘object’.  The work was really well received by my tutors and the piece acquired a greater meaning by having a courier/body guard to look after it.

After our last Skype chat, Suska suggested that I should focus on this performance aspect to my work, then use the documentation to ‘exhibit’ if I need to exhibit it at all. I have been working on a performance piece that I would like to do at the New Zealand Jewellery show, but I need to think of some others as well.

I hope to have better photos of the card soon, gold is quite hard to photograph.


It’s been a long time since I have blogged, I have been busy with University and exhibitions, but that is no excuse. I intend to update this regularly from now on. Starting with today.

I have been busy on many projects, all related yet individual. They are all about jewellery and money, art and money, and art and the economy.
One of them is called Gold Card or Valid Thru, I haven’t quite worked out which title I will use for it yet, others are; Pay By EFTPOS, Sign Up, Statement of.
The materials I am using currently are: silver, copper, gold, EFTPOS cards, credit cards, bank statements, cheque book stubs, email correspondence and bank information.

I have spoken to Suska several times via Skype and email since my last entry. I feel so lucky to have her as my mentor, she keeps me on my toes and seems to really understand my work and the path I am on. I will update this blog regarding our conversations soon.

But a few images for now:


13 April

I have had three meetings with Suska now over Skype. Initially we were both quite excited and nervous I think;not really knowing how to create a relationship with a person you have never met over the internet. But we are going well, meeting every couple of weeks, dealing with the inadequacies of skype, video calling and local broadband connections.
On our first meeting Suska explained a little more about her work and her practice. She talked of how her work (even when an installation) is very tactile and still retains the object quality and the features that jewellery has. That she is a jeweller and her work looks at the associations to jewellery and the qualities of jewels. Her work is also always well made and crafted by hand. The book Juwelen, retains a craft quality in the care and detail that went into binding it. Although Suska does not use the techniques  or materials of the traditional jewellery maker she still has the mentality of a jewellery maker. Suska also talked of how the specificities of jewellery make the discipline strong.
Here is a selection of the images she shared with me:
Suska Mackert
Suska Mackert
Suska Mackert
This group of work (above) is Suska’s final work when she was a student at the Gerrit Rietveld academy in Amsterdam. The works are about the identity of jewellery, and how when you take away key aspects of a pieces quality it is still recognisable: It still has a strong presence through representation.
During our conversations we discuss our work, other artists/jewellers work and how to proceed with this project. Suska suggested I look back at my old work and re-make some of it, write down what I think was successful and what was not successful, and tonight I gave her a small presentation of the current work I am doing. We have talked of developing something together, but still not sure of how to proceed with that.
So, I continue with my projects, while contacting her if I need help or advice and to update her on what is successful or interesting.
Tonight Suska sent me this link http://www.liesbetbussche.com/home.html to the work of Liebet Bussche, who make urban interventions with jewellery – quite beautiful work and also several images of an ex student at the Academie – Ksenia Obukhova, who is looking at similar themes and ideas to myself; that of value and the economy. The Necklace Below is made from Russian currency.
Ksenia Obukhova


21 February

Why Suska Mackert?
The fist time I became aware of Suska  Mackert’s work was in a show at Objectspace that Liesbeth den Besten and Love Jönsson brought to Auckland in 2007 as part of Permit Symposium. The piece of Suskas that captured my attention was titled Juwelen (1998), which contains written descriptions of various pieces of up-market jewellery, without any images to accompany it.
It still is one of my favorite works of art.
From what I have seen and read  Suska makes work that isn’t tangible, it is often ephemeral and all conceptually driven. The concept isn’t the most important part but it is where the work starts off. The process with which she makes her work is slow, often using repetition to create effect or to create a large work.
Her work also sits within the art craft debate, but I have read that she doesn’t like the discussion being brought up.
Suska considers herself a jeweller, yet makes work that is often considered too distant from jewellery to be considered jewellery, so has to create her own context for her work. She has also looked at branding in her work.
I believe that having Suska as my mentor would benefit my work greatly, I hope the connection and guidance will help me work out in what context my work sits.
I find it hard to place myself and my work, if it isn’t wearable, for sale, or if it is a dvd or installation is it still jewellery? And am I a jeweller, artist or designer, or all three. Is my work art or jewellery – does it matter?…maybe it matters here in NZ and not in Europe, maybe it doesn’t matter at all anywhere.
I also want to move into more ephemeral, interactive work as well as making tangible pieces when the concept decides that, and think that is how she works in her own practice.
I look forward to meeting Suska, working with her and learning from her.

4 Responses to Jhana and Suska

  1. deb.adamson@gmail.com says:

    Hi Jhana,
    Just had a quick read and it reminded me of a you tube video someone was telling me about. I haven’t watched it yet but thought you might find it interesting. Link is below :)

    Debbie A

  2. hello, was great to see a link on my work, this necklace was made out of a 100 eur bill, by the way, you can recognise the colours…

  3. Cool, will remedy that. I am not so familiar with the euro, not yet anyway… Lovely work by the way.

  4. offon1Julia says:

    Wow Jhana really impressed with your work… Something we can all relate to. Congrats!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s