Island Welcome

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Island Welcome is a group exhibition exploring contemporary jewellery as a gesture of welcome. Curated by Belinda Newick, the works seek to bring attention to asylum seeker issues and to extend the dialogue beyond art and craft audiences via expressions of Australian values through craft practice. 

With reference to welcome garlands gifted in many traditional islander cultures, each artist has made a neckpiece, lei, or garland interpreting the theme of welcome whilst considering current Australian immigration policies.  

Artists: Liv Boyle, Michelle Cangiano, Jess Dare, Anna Davern, Nicky Hepburn, Kath Inglis, Manon van Kouswijk, Sim Luttin, Vicki Mason, Belinda Newick, Lauren Simeoni, Melinda Young.

The regional South Australian tour of Island Welcome is presented by Country Arts SA and curated by Belinda Newick.


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Artists Involved

Liv Boyle
Welcome Swallow, 2018
Yellow gum (Eucalyptus leucoxylon), lemon scented gum (Corymbia citriodora), native indigo (Indigofera australis), silk

New Zealand born artist Liv Boyle works in Melbourne, Australia. With a focus on the diversity, delicacy and resilience of eco-systems across the South Pacific, Liv investigates ephemeral sites such as tidelines, and often references indicator species in her work. Playing on our romantic obsession with material, she collects by-products and detritus that speaks for its environment, transforming discrete resources into sculpture, object and contemporary jewellery.

Michelle Cangiano
Welcome, 2017.
Embossed paper, thread

Michelle Cangiano lives and works in Melbourne. Completing a Fine Art Degree in Painting she went on to study Gold and Silversmithing at RMIT. Her work is inspired by the meanings people imbue into objects. The historical and present day rituals, ceremonies and superstitions connected to jewellery as signifier are a constant source of enquiry. For Island Welcome Michelle draws on the traditions of the garland and explores the multiple reasons for its presentation and construction.

Jess Dare
Offering of Welcome, 2017.
Powder coated brass, stainless steel cable, sterling silver

Contemporary jeweller Jess Dare completed a Bachelor of Visual Arts specialising in Jewellery, Adelaide Centre for the Arts, TAFE SA in 2006. In 2007 she joined Gray Street Workshop as an access tenant and became a partner of the workshop in 2010.

Dare has a unique practice working with acuity across both metal and glass, straddling two distinct fields of practice. She has been Flameworking for over 15 years, having been taught by local and international glass artists.

She exhibits nationally and internationally and is represented in major national collections including: The National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Victoria, The Art Gallery of South Australia and The National Glass Collection. Jess has undertaken international residencies researching floral culture in Bangkok, Thailand (2014) and Shanghai, China (2015). Dare collaborated with Professor Richard Johnson to create a permanent memorial in Sydney’s Martin Place, following the December 2014 Martin Place siege in the Lindt Café.

Anna Davern
Meat and Greet, 2018.
Recycled satin and stuffing, silver (V)

Anna Davern gained her undergraduate degree from Sydney College of the Arts in 1993 and completed her Masters degree at RMIT in 2003. Anna has held three solo exhibitions at Craft Victoria and has been represented in numerous solo and group exhibitions. In 2011 she co-founded Northcity4, an ARI that provides professional and creative opportunities to the contemporary jewellery community. She has been the recipient of grants from the Australia Council, Arts Victoria and NAVA and in 2007 she undertook a residency at the Estonian Academy of Art. Anna has taught and lectured at universities and TAFEs in Australia and overseas.

Nicky Hepburn
Seaweed Lei, 2017.
Dried seaweed, hemp thread

Nicky Hepburn completed a Bachelor of Arts (Fine Art – Gold and Silversmithing) at RMIT, and a Bachelor of Education in Arts and Crafts at the University of Melbourne. She lectured in jewellery and metalsmithing for over 15 years. Nicky has been involved in numerous international group, and solo exhibitions including, Worn Land at FORM, WA, Forces of Nature at the Australian Embassy, Washington DC, and The Walk, a NETS touring exhibition. Nicky is represented by e.g.etal, and Studio Ingot in Melbourne. Her practice is currently focused on investigating the natural environment, and is based on her response to the details, light, colour and forms of the landscape.

Kath Inglis
Lei from the welcome mat, 2017.

Raised in Australia’s multicultural tropical city of Darwin, Kath Inglis moved south to Adelaide to study contemporary jewellery. After graduating from the South Australian School of Art, University of SA in 2000, Kath continued to develop her practice working from a number of studios including Gray Street Workshop, JamFactory’s Metal Design Studio and soda and rhyme. Kath lives in beautiful Peramangk country (Adelaide Hills), transforming PVC into a precious material for jewellery making in her studio at the Hahndorf Academy, and is the former Head of the JamFactory Jewellery + Metal Studio.

Manon van Kouswijk
Holding Us, Holding Oz, Holding You, 2018.
Clay, thread

Manon van Kouswijk is a Dutch artist and contemporary jeweller who lives and works in Melbourne, Australia. She studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, where she held the position of Head of the Jewellery Department before relocating to Australia in 2010. Her working methodology is based on exploring and translating archetypal jewellery forms and motifs through a range of materials and processes. An integral aspect of her practice is the framing and contextualising of her work through the making of exhibitions and artist publications often in collaboration with other practitioners.

Sim Luttin
Welcome / Un-welcome, 2018.
Oxidised, sterling silver, steel and nylon thread

As a contemporary jeweller and artist with over 21 years of experience, Sim Luttin is a highly regarded arts professional who has gained international recognition for her innovative and conceptually driven work. Born in Melbourne in 1977, Luttin draws inspiration from the natural world and explores year-long, time-based projects that respond to everyday moments. Her practice encompasses alternative materials, such as wood, graphite, glass, and sublimated aluminium, alongside her signature monochromatic silver and black colour scheme.

Represented by Charon Kransen, New York, her work has been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions in public and private collections worldwide, including the Art Gallery of South Australia, the National Gallery of Victoria, and Galerie Marzee in the Netherlands. Luttin has new works showing in the National Gallery of Victoria’s Melbourne Now 2023.

Luttin also works as a senior curator, gallery manager, and arts producer at Arts Project Australia and is co-founder of the international curatorial platform Art et al.

Vicki Mason
Garland for Azizeh, 2017.
Bamboo, powder coated brass, cotton, silk, various base metals

Vicki Mason (born New Zealand) completed a Bachelor of Arts in Classical Studies at the University of Otago and a Diploma in Craft Design from Otago Polytechnic School of Art (Jewellery) before working at Fluxus workshop/gallery with renowned goldsmith Kobi Bosshard. She was awarded a Master of Philosophy degree (Research) in Gold and Silversmithing (ANU) in 2012. She runs production and exhibition practices, teaches, and interviews for Art Jewelry Forum, the international online platform for contemporary jewelry. Mason has been awarded many grants and awards including the prestigious Australia Council for the Arts Barcelona Studio residency in 2014. Her work is held in both public and private collections including the Shanghai Institute of Visual Arts, Shanghai, Powerhouse Museum, Sydney and the Art Gallery of South Australia. She is treasurer of the World Crafts Council – Australia.

Belinda Newick
Hope, 2017.
Stainless steel, silver, steel

Belinda Newick is a contemporary jeweller whose work explores cultural hybridity, place and social engagement. Newick maintains a diverse practice as a studio based jeweller, and as an independent curator and writer. She has been an educator at Melbourne Polytechnic in the Jewellery and Object Design program since 2007.

In 2022, Newick completed a Master of Creative Arts, Melbourne Polytechnic. She has a BA in Art (Jewellery and 3D design) from Curtin University WA and a Design Associateship Metal Design Studio Jamfactory. She spent six years in South Australia at JamFactory Contemporary Craft and Design, Gray Street Workshop and Zu design jewellery + objects, before settling in Melbourne in 2005.

Newick has been the recipient of two grants international grants, an Asialink Residency in Sri Lanka 2004 and in Kerala, India 2001. She has exhibited in Asia, New Zealand and the USA and is represented in galleries nationally. Winner of 2019 Lynne Kosky Award for Contemporary Jewellery, Victorian Craft Awards

Newick is the curator of Island Welcome, which has been touring nationally since 2017.

Melinda Young
Groundfall Lei, 2018.
Found shell necklaces, oxidised sterling silver

Melinda Young is a contemporary craft artist living and working on Dharawal Country whose cross-disciplinary practice spans jewellery, textiles, installation, and interactive public art projects. Her work explores materiality, with an emphasis on found or re-purposed materials. Melinda has exhibited extensively in Australia and internationally since 1997, her work is held in public collections and included in numerous publications. Alongside her making practice, Melinda has spent the past 22 years working within the contemporary craft and design field as an educator, curator, gallery manager and sometime writer. Melinda is currently an Associate Lecturer in the School of Art & Design, Faculty of Arts, Design & Architecture UNSW and undertaking a cross-disciplinary PhD at the Australian Centre for Culture Environment Society and Space, University of Wollongong.

Lauren Simeoni
Girt, 2017.
Flag, beads, thread

Lauren Simeoni is an Adelaide artist and has a BA in Gold and Silversmithing from Canberra School of Art. She completed a Design Associateship at the Jam Factory, a mentorship at Gray Street Workshop in Adelaide. She has exhibited extensively in Australia and overseas. In 2017 Simeoni completed an international arts residency with the Yiwei Art Foundation in Shanghai, culminating with a solo exhibition at the San W Gallery China. Simeoni has a diverse creative practice; she teaches and guest lectures at universities, curate’s public programs and actively participates on art and design related boards and projects. Simeoni is the Arts Co-ordinator at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital Foundation, Adelaide.

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Image credit: Kath Inglis, Lei from the welcome mat, 2017. Faceted segments hand cut from used thongs, silk thread, sterling silver + patina. Photo: Kath Inglis.

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