Mari Funaki a quitté le monde du bijou le 13 mai dernier. Hommage à un sculpteur de bijoux.
« Mari Funaki laisse ce putain de monde un peu plus beau au travers de la délicatesse tendue de ses bijoux et leur irréductible poésie » (Christophe Burger)
» My main interest is to explore form and space, constructing the forms and details between the space with flat plain surfaces of metal. Blackened mild steel creates shadow and mystery. I work with evocative forms based on nature and the everyday environment. They might remind you of something familiar or something from your memory. I like to make my forms stir people’s emotions or imagination. » (Mari Funaki)
Mari Funaki - ‘Space between’ 2005-06 – mild steel bracelet
Mari Funaki - ‘Space between’ 2005-06 – brooches
« Mari was born in Matsue, Japan and arrived in Australia in 1979. After completing studies in painting and gold & silversmithing at RMIT University, she opened Gallery Funaki in 1995 to promote national and international contemporary jewellery. Mari works as Director of Gallery Funaki whilst maintaining an active career as a contemporary jeweller and maker of sculptural mild steel vessels.
There is a strong personal visual language in Mari’s work – her jewellery and objects express how she sees the world around her. She works very intuitively, using mild steel and gold to make brooches, bracelets, rings and objects, each piece imbued with a sense mystery and surprise. Her work starts with a sketch, then the details of the form are developed through the making process. She is particularly interested in the interplay between negative and positive volume and spaces, the juxtaposition between inside and outside. »
Mari Funaki - ‘Space between’ bracelet
« SPACE BETWEEN » : » ‘Black. Sharp, shifting contours. Familiar and alien. Confident, expressive and agile, it is easy to take the existence of these works for granted – and it is hard enough to trace in one’s mind the physical evolution back through heat colouring, sandblasting, soldering, assembling and cutting, to unremarkable, thin sheets of mild steel – let alone comprehend their conception and resolution.
They inhabit space in a way that is difficult to describe – the edge between each object and the space that encloses it is shockingly sudden.
How can something human-made be so insanely artificial and natural at the same time? It must be no accident that I described them as articulate – ambiguous and wide ranging in the breadth of associations and allusions, they can tell you everything and nothing at the same time.’ » (Sally Marsland, 2006)
Mari Funaki - ‘Space between’ bracelets – heat-coloured mild steel
bracelets – oxidized mild steel
Space Between – rings 2006 / white gold
Notes from a Conversation with Mari Funaki, July 2006
« Mari Funaki’s initial response comes from the environment – the response is part random, part constructed idea.
Funaki likes the ‘animated’ response from the viewer – allowing them to make their own associations with the work and their own meaning. The making of the work doesn’t emerge out of nothing but through the development of ideas over a long period of time.
Mari starts with a flat drawing – this approach comes from an Eastern perspective in the history of art making i.e. screens, woodcuts and scrolls. Initially when starting with the idea Mari is mentally thinking in two dimensions – then drawing out onto paper in two dimensions the ideas.
When actually making the work Mari then starts working and thinking in three dimensions – starting with a base piece of metal and working physically and intuitively around the object, to form a construction that evidences her feelings about what she wants to create. She likes the aesthetic beauty but uneasy aspect of a dead insect for example (like the Louise Bourgeois ‘Maman‘ spider outside the Guggenheim in Bilbao).
Now collaborating with architect Nonda Kotsalidis, Mari is working to produce her sculptural objects on a larger scale, up to 6 metres high. She needs the objects to have an emotional and physical impact on the viewer – both beautiful and threatening at one and the same time. How will her objects translate to a larger scale? Very well I think.
Funaki likes the physical distortion of space – and she likes telling a story to the viewer. She is working on a building where the facade is really strongly geometric and then she is embedding an emotion into the front of the building – constructing a narrative – constructing an emotional response with the viewer and establishing a relationship with the building. Here she is working from photographs of the space, her own recognition and remembrance of that space. She is having to work physically in 3D from the beginning for the first time, but still uses drawings to sketch out her ideas.
Several of Funaki’s pieces in the Cecily and Colin Rigg Contemporary Design Award (2006) at the NGV Federation Square were inspired by the work of Bernd and Hilla Becher. Their photographs of factories and gasworks, specifically the facades of such buildings (see images below), were the jumping off point for the development of the objects (the bracelets). Funaki takes the front of these buildings, a 3D structure ‘in reality’ but pictorially imaged on a 2D plane, and then twists and distorts their structure back into a 3D environment. The facades move up and around, as though a body is twisting around its own axis, pirouetting around an invisible central spine.
Each piece is created and then the next one is created in relation to the previous, or to each other. Each individual piece has its own character and relation to each other. They are never variations of the same piece with small differences – each is a separate but fully (in)formed entity. » (Marcus Bunyan for the Art Blart blog)