Brace Yourself Exhibition Masterworks Gallery

Brace yourselfWed, 26 Mar 14 - Sun, 13 Apr 2014
Masterworks Gallery Ponsonby
Brace Yourself for a whole new look at contemporary jewellery for the arm. In a break from its annual Neckware Show, after its tenth anniversary last year, Masterworks Gallery decided to offer local jewellery makers the challenge to create new jewellery for the wrist.
Submissions were sought from jewellers throughout New Zealand with over thirty arriving at the gallery in Ponsonby. As with much contemporary jewellery, the works received are made from a wide range of materials including plastic, fabric, wood, metals and found objects. The use of non-traditional materials and the ideas behind the making are the true stamp of ‘author’ jewellery where there are no boundaries. 
Bracelets have not always a natural choice with makers unlike neckware, rings and earrings, so many enjoyed the opportunity to create a piece that challenged their creative thinking. Not all attempts ended with a submission, but those that did are a kaleidoscope of exciting pieces.
This year’s selector/judge is Andrew Clifford, Director of Lopdell House Gallery, who bought his experienced eye to the project. His aesthetic and curatorial viewpoint was recognised as being a fresh view into the practice. His selection of the final nineteen draws on a group that includes graduate, emerging and established jewellers. His choice includes Pauline Bern, Nadene Carr, Suzette Conradie, Mary Curtis, Ilse-Marie Erl, Lisa Higgins, Laura Jer, Soo Jeong Lee, Victoria McIntosh, Matthew McIntyre-Wilson, Shelley Norton, Zoe Rogers, Frances Stachl, Sarah Walker-Holt, Lisa West, Jessica Winchombe, Lisa Woods, Ingrid Van Heusden and Kathryn Yeats.
Contemporary jewellers are looking for alternatives to precious materials and traditional ornamentation turning to synthetic materials and the discarded to construct new forms.
Shelley Norton’s practice explores the history of textile pattern, crocheting her designs using the plastic from packaging that is then melted to a flattened form. Moov, the title of Sarah Walker-Holt’s bracelet utilizes an upcycled tray and brass to investigate motion through “change in posture or position”. Lisa West’s Carapace Bracelet uses silver and is loosely designed around creatures that have articulated exoskeletons.
Brace Yourself offers yet another insight into the vibrant nature of contemporary jewellery in New Zealand.