Bridget Kennedy Project Space, like all galleries around the country, is slowly getting back into the swing of things post COVID-19 lockdown(s). I guess we’re all taking it slow and doing the right thing for our community by keeping away from crowds – where we’re allowed. That has meant not going to exhibition openings, restaurants, the gym and practically all non-essential stores, and that our thumbs – thanks social media – have been the only things getting a real workout.
But luckily I’m in a place that is doing ok – in fact I’ll be heading to an opening tonight – and Bridget is also in a place that is gradually seeing the end of a few little COVId-19 outbursts, and since we’re going into summer we’ve decided it’s time for a little cautious optimism!
Thus my show, A/US, chillin’ in the window at Bridget Kennedy Project space is going to stay up for a couple more weeks. Cos, you know, cautious optimism 😉
If you are inside the right borders and do get to head in, please say a low-key ‘hey‘ from me 🙂
Open Wednesday to Friday 11-5pm, Saturday 9-1pm until October 10 53 Ridge Street North Sydney, NSW 2060
Connexions showcases new contemporary jewellery works by Australian artists Emily Beckley, Fatemeh Boroujeni, Melissa Cameron, Blandine Hallé, Eden Lennox and Sultana Shamshi. It debuts at the Parcours Bijoux International Triennial in October 2020 at Galerie Assemblages in Paris, France, then travels to the Indian Ocean Craft Triennial in Perth, Australia, in 2021.
Exhibition dates: 6 – 25 October 2020
Hours: Window display open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week Galerie Assemblages, 66 rue Legendre, 75017 Paris, France
See the expanded exhibition online www.connexions-exhibition.com from the 6th of October (we have a lot of content in development, since we couldn’t use our grants from the DLGSC and Australia Council as they were intended – to travel to France for the opening) and more via the Connexions Instagram page, where we’re sharing nuggets like this:
And finally, please put the date of our Zoom Artist Talk in the diary: 11am– Sat October 10th, Paris time, or at:
2 a.m.: Seattle 10:00 a.m.: UK 11 a.m.: Paris 1:30 p.m.: Iran 2:30 p.m.: India 5 p.m.: Perth 7 p.m.: Horn Island 8 p.m.: Sydney 10 p.m.: New Zealand
Radical Jewelry Makeover supremos Susie Ganch and Kathleen Kennedy presented Serious Bling at the Fuller Craft Museum earlier this year, and like many other shows it was forced to shut early due to COVID-19. It’s now reopened, with the Fuller Gift Store also set to reopen on the 16th of this month.
If you can travel to Massachusetts I’d heartily recommend a visit, but for those of us far from the action thankfully the online incarnation captures a lot of the exhibition. It combines installation shots with images from the artists to give you the extreme close-up that you would expect from to get to see such a show in real body.
It’s ok, put the Zoom artist talk in the calendar and we can say g’day while Bridget shows us the exhibit!
If you are in Sydney you can head along to Bridget Kennedy Project Space, 53 Ridge Street, North Sydney on Saturday the 12th of Sept for 12:00 midday. Or if you’re in another time zone, like me, it’s at:
And apparently I’ve caused a bit of a stir in the neighbourhood of the gallery, Ridge Street, North Sydney, with the title of the work that’s in the window. Bridget told me this morning that people have been stopping in to check that the gallery’s not closing!
The rack was an artifact of the capitalist system, made obsolete. I resented its presence on my street, yet I suppose I also felt sorry for it. And I sensed its opportunity. What can I say, I can’t hold myself out of this system.
The logic for making my works also came because of the rack. Designed to hold multiples (at least 16 types) of an object, plus a sign, it had very specific parameters. As did the objects it once held. While hanging from the rack designed to hold them, these 16 types of product had to be similar enough to fit, but different enough to require their own place in the grid. Their dimensions – length, width, height and weight – were almost identical, but their uniqueness was enough to necessitate that multiples of each of them be kept in the one store.
Intriguing, eh? I have my suspicions of what the rack held, but they didn’t pique my interest enough to investigate further. Instead I took it upon myself to design 18 versions of the same object, in two (almost identical) types, using the same ingredients for each one.
Each neckpiece has a circumference of 800mm (give or take) making it suitable for most people to wear. The leftover material – available once the 800mm circumference parameter was met – became tassels decorating that piece. Thus the 12 Arm works each contain the same amount of green rack as one another, as do the 6 Row works. Pricing is based on the time it took to make each piece, which went up as each Arm or Row was sliced into more parts. Thus the more tassels contained, the pricier.
Each work is different, yet kinda the same.
Please check the full-sized images out at Bridget Kennedy Project Space and pop the Zoom talk in your calendar to see the pieces in motion with Bridget. The surfaces really are luscious and they each have a very pleasing weight – the benefit of the lighter weight of steel compared to most jewellery metals. Each piece was polished up with microcrystalline wax to protect the paint, which really brought out the beautiful green colour.
If you’re far away, come say hi over Zoom next weekend – Sat the 12th of Sept at 12:00 midday Sydney time and at: – Friday 11th 7 p.m.: Seattle 10 p.m.: Pittsburgh – Saturday 12th 7:30 a.m.: India 10 a.m.: Perth 11 a.m.: Korea 12 p.m.: Melbourne 2 p.m.: New Zealand
As you can probably tell, the rows and arms on the rack were made of two gauges of steel rod, the ones that made up the Row works are about 6mm diameter, while the Arm works come in at around 4mm diameter. The sides are of a robust steel tube of approx. 2mm wall thickness, and the top – the sign slot – is made of neatly welded steel C-section, as is the stabiliser bar welded to the lower section.
All of it is painted outside, the rows and arms before assembly, though there are rust patches at some places of wear. The way the rows meet the tube at each end is through a hole in the tube. This design ‘feature‘ meant that the row/arm combos could be held by their ‘going into the tube ends’ as they were painted. This hinge also allowed the row/arm combos to move (the second row bar, below the hinge bar, limited movement to only upwards), so the whole unit could be shipped relatively flat-packed. The ends of the rod that had been inside the tube showed visible fade out of the the green spray, and were all rusted, though to less than 1mm deep. Thus on 3 of the neckpieces there are at least two distinctive 2.5cm/1″ rusted sections (polished yes, but still distinctively brown in colour), a result of this manufacture/construction method.
In terms of pulling it apart, releasing the rows from the main frame, like everything else, was done with my trusty jewellers saw. The measurements of each piece were calculated before I started cutting, so once I’d marked the hinge row sections, I’d saw through the rod at the mark closest to the right-hand-side (cos I’m a righty and doing it left would mean the rack ‘arm’ closest to me would get in the way) and pop out the right-most tail before pulling the rest of the rod, all arms still attached, from the left-hand side of the rack.
The whole row-arm sections were a little unwieldy at the bench at first but they were fairly rapidly deconstructed and kept in their groupings. Gradually each arm was removed to make a work = 12 ARM neckpieces, and each row made a work = 6 ROW neckpieces.
Well here’s what I’d do. I’d take a photo of it as if it was a museum-destined object, measure and record its vitals as if it were a patient on a guerney with cascading symptoms, then start the remodel like it was a kitchen with asbestos linoleum floors – carefully.
And so I went, layer by layer, piece by piece. At the start with vague intentions, which grew and changed as I got to know my collaborator.