WORN LAND: Four Contemporary Jewellers in the Pilbara
“The Pilbara is a land I never see, there is nothing as beautiful as this, or at least not in the same way. It is raw and extreme. This is evident in the colours – they are extreme, and yet muted,” artist Nicky Hepburn said about her residency.
Exhibition curator Mollie Hewitt said Worn Land explored the disorientating intersection of desire and displacement that can accompany non-Indigenous experiences of place in Australia.
“The Worn Land artworks have been created in response to the time these remarkable artists spent in the Pilbara, and the results engage with the landscape as ungraspable and resistant through explorations of materiality and scale,” Ms Hewitt said.
“Since early colonisation, Australian landscapes have frequently been conceived of as actively resistant to Western knowledge and the non-Indigenous body, a trope that persists even in contemporary explorations into remote and regional Western Australia.”
Throughout their residencies in the Pilbara, Fujita, Hepburn, Jagiello, and Milosz- Piekarska ventured into some of the most isolated parts of northern Western Australia. Working both with and in response to materials found within these places, the resident jewellers developed works that explore the relationship between the body and these remote environments.
The artists each explore themes and subjects which were of particular significance to their personal experience of the Pilbara. Fujita’s works were inspired by the environment’s dramatic contrasts, of colour, texture, scale. “My work is about admiration and respect for voiceless life that I saw in the sublime beauty of the landscape in Pilbara,” Fujita said. “ I visualised their whispering in figurative wearable objects so that we can feel the connection.”
Hepburn researched and developed artworks made substantially from naturally materials, creating bracelets out of coral, necklaces out of iconic Pilbara red dirt, and rings from spinifex twigs. Jagiello’s works look at the dichotomies evident in the relationship between industry and nature, explored specifically through her exclusive use of discarded man-made materials. And Milosz-Piekarska explores the effects and power of colour in the geography and industry that permeates the Pilbara's horizons.
The immersive exhibition presents jewellery items that invite viewers to look closely, and opens on 22 September 2016, with all four jewellers in attendance. And because FORM believes transforming materials and making things can transform people and communities, we have a full public program alongside the exhibition, with workshops, artist talks, schools program and a creative boot camp to unlock your creativity. Visit www.form.net.au/the-goods-shed for more information.
Following its time at The Goods Shed the exhibition will tour to Port Hedland Courthouse Gallery in February 2017, with a national tour to follow.