Wild Domain: The Natural History of Jane Dodd Jewellery

Feb 20 2021 – Jun 27 2021


Representing the first major survey of Ōtepoti Dunedin-based jeweller Jane Dodd’s expanding family of works; this exhibition delves into her examination of humankind’s impact on the natural world.

Wild Domain, covers over 30 years of Dodd’s jewellery practice and includes pieces from many of her most well known and loved exhibitions and bodies of work. It begins with her works from the mid- 1990s that explored aspects of geography and landscape through projects such as Ends of the EarthSeafaring and Wild Woods. There is Dodd’s adventure into fairytales with Straw into Gold and the quirky and slightly macabre trophy traditions of Europe with Leuchterweibchen and Bloodsports. Also included are her most recent expeditions into the world of taxonomies and scientific classifications with The Family and its many iterations.

“In the past few years my jewellery practice has largely pivoted around the portrayal of animals, often with a subtext of how humans are impacting on them. I have created characters and stories illustrating the tension I felt between the exuberant genius of historic European craftspeople and the plunder of the natural world that enabled and sanctioned their art. I want to look at issues of extinction and infestation, cruelty and conflict: issues that arise at every branch of our Family Tree, affecting coral, ants, magpies, elephants. I want to challenge our ideas of animal intelligence, and exalt different sensory strengths and acumen. I want to berate us for thinking we are above or distinct from the natural world. I want us to feel that we are being watched and that stock is being taken. I want us not to get away with it." – Jane Dodd

Featuring over 100 pieces from museum and private collections, this is a whirlwind tour of Dodd’s critical, humorous and touching journey to help us recognise our intrinsic relationship to nature and the planet we all share. Each work takes on a life of its own, that when combined with a wearer’s memories and associations, builds a story and a system of interconnected links. Together, these many components form, what has become, The Natural History of Jane Dodd Jewellery.

Wild Domain: The Natural History of Jane Dodd Jewellery is part of The Dowse Art Museum’s 50th Anniversary programme. It continues our commitment to highlighting contemporary Aotearoa jewellery practice that was explored in projects such as the New Zealand Jewellery Biennale (1994, 1996, 1998, 2001), Made in Aotearoa: Jewellery by Alan Preston (2007), Wunderrūma: New Zealand Jewellery (2014) and The Language of Things: Meaning and Value in Contemporary Jewellery (2018).