Handshake 3: Reflect
05 Aug – 03 Dec 2017
To ‘reflect’ can mean both to mirror or to cast back and respond. In this exhibition, 12 jewellers who are a part of the Handshake project have been invited to draw connections between the term ‘reflect’ and the self-reflexive nature of contemporary jewellery, which both mimics and counteracts its traditional and commercial counterparts.
These contradictory readings of ‘reflect’ are a useful metaphor when considering contemporary jewellery, which often draws its messages from the role everyday jewellery plays in our lives. For instance, a piece of contemporary jewellery might comment on how a brooch or ring we choose to wear is not only a beautiful object of adornment, but also a sign of belonging, identity or status. Traditionally, value in jewellery is implied in the maker’s use of precious materials such as gold and diamonds. Contemporary jewellers explore these concepts from a more intrinsic perspective, using design and non-precious materials to both echo and challenge these associations.
Handshake is a contemporary jewellery exchange that links early career New Zealand makers with established, internationally based mentors. Over two years, Handshake participants learn from and collaborate with their mentors as they navigate through a series of exhibitions. Handshake 3 is a combination of selected participants from Handshake 1 and 2. Their exhibition at The Dowse is an opportunity to create new work in a reflective way at the end of their time with this project, while giving audiences the chance to learn more about the nature of contemporary jewellery.
The contemporary jewellers in Handshake 3 are Debbie Adamson, Renee Bevan, Becky Bliss, Nadene Carr, Sharon Fitness, Kelly McDonald, Neke Moa, Amelia Pascoe, Sarah Read, Sarah Walker-Holt, Raewyn Walsh and Kathryn Yeats. To find out more about their journeys over the last eighteen months, visit the Handshake 3 blog.