Exhibitions

Menu

Dynasty: Works by Octavia Cook

Past Exhibition
28 Jul – 22 Oct 2012
Free

Octavia Cool, Shard of Royal Gilded Ectoplasm Collar, 2011. Courtesy of Anna Miles Gallery, Auckland

Octavia Cool, Shard of Royal Gilded Ectoplasm Collar, 2011. Courtesy of Anna Miles Gallery, Auckland

Octavia Cook, Cook & Co First Prize 2007. Courtesy of Anna Miles Gallery

Octavia Cook, Cook & Co First Prize 2007. Courtesy of Anna Miles Gallery

Octavia Cool, Off With Her Head Brooch Portrait 2011. Courtesy of Anna Miles Gallery, Auckland

Octavia Cool, Off With Her Head Brooch Portrait 2011. Courtesy of Anna Miles Gallery, Auckland

Dynasty tells the story of Auckland jeweller Octavia Cook's fictitious jewellery company Cook & Co, a play on Tiffany & Co.

The exhibition also reveals Cook's new direction following the company's staged demise. Documenting the company's rise to fame, its alter ego, cheap take off, dramatic collapse and subsequent rebirth, Dynasty reflects all the dramas that family companies entail.

Through her jewellery, Cook often makes references to her own family, deceased pets plus members of the royal family and people and moments of historical significance. Playing on her own 'plain' last name, Captain Cook was launched into service for the brand inpiring its nearly maritime theme. Cook's choice of materials also often catches us of guard, setting colour photocopies in sterling silver and pure gold chains made from acrylic.

Challenging conventional notions of value, Cook conceptualises traditional costume jewellery and the trophies of the rich and famous and contends that jewellery should be worn to ensure its unique social role.

Octavia Cook graduated from Unitec in 1999 with a Bachelor of Design in Jewellery. She has exhibited widely in New Zealand and internationally, in art, craft and design contexts. Cook's work is represented in the collections of Te Papa, Auckland War Memorial Museum and The Dowse. She has also produced jewellery collections for New Zealand fashion designers. In 2005 Cook was the recipient of a Creative New Zealand grant for new work that allowed her to develop the first Cook & Co monographic publication; 'Cook & Co: The Family Jewels.' Along with Jacqui Chan, she was selected among just 65 other successful applicants, from 27 countries, to showcase work at the prestigious annual international jewellery exhibition SCHMUCK in Munich, March 2012.