This week sees me getting schooled. By Helen Britton no less. Last year I did the Bettina Speckner workshop (again at RMIT), which was a really great experience, and during which I made many new friends. This year will be different as I’m more knowledgeable about the artist and her works (yeah, I’ll admit it, I’m a fan), I know some of the people going, and because I’m now familiar with the studios and format. Last year was great in part because it was all so unexpected – I had no clue what I was getting in for, so I just drank it all in as it bubbled along.
This year it’s hard not to have some expectations.
The first formal schooling that I did that had anything to do with research jewellery (or artist jewellery, if you prefer that term) involved Helen, back in 2004. (Well, outside of high school that is, which was arguably not in the ‘research jewellery’ arena – and thanks LSHS for the jewellery workshop and for employing Sarah Elson to teach art when I was in year 12.)
In April of that year I attended a mini-symposium, organised by FORM, to present the four jewellery artists who were in Perth topping up their local inspiration for the exhibition to follow – Home Ground. Helen and Carlier Makigawa on the one bill (and lets not forget the aforementioned Sarah and Bronwyn Goss) speaking about jewellery was very inspirational. And for me, an interior designer at the time, taking in all this amazing-ness was intertwined with the knowledge that they all started off in Perth… Incredible!
During my studies that followed I even read the MA thesis that Helen completed at Curtin Uni.
I’m going to try not to get all night-before-Christmas, but, in the words of the long-since-departed Big Kev, I’m excited!