DICHOTOMIES IN OBJECTS :
Contemporary South African Studio Jewelry from the Stellenbosch Area
Velvet da Vinci in San Francisco presents Dichotomies in Objects : Contemporary South African Studio Jewelry from the Stellenbosch Area. Curated by Lauren Kalman and Carine Terreblanche
Stellenbosch University is one of the only schools in South Africa teaching conceptual approaches to jewelry making. Twenty artists affiliated with the University have been selected by U.S. curator Lauren Kalman and South African curator Carine Terreblanche to represent a diverse cross section that reflects a broad range of highly conceptual practices, from tongue-in-cheek kitsch to more poetic material investigations of form. The jewelers in Stellenbosch are trained with a high technical proficiency and a strong conceptual understanding, with investigative approaches to jewelry including the use of contemporary media, such as digital video. The curators have chosen provocative, experimental and formally engaging work to showcase. The exhibition will highlight over 150 pieces by 20 South African artists, and will open on July 1 with an artists’ reception on Friday, July 2 from 6 to 8 p.m. Exhibition catalog will be available for $15.
« Dichotomies in Objects » will tour from San Francisco and then travel to The Ohio Craft Museum in Columbus, OH and will continue on to The National Ornamental Metal Museum in Memphis, TN.
Nanette Nel (ZA) « Verkeerdom Protea » Handbag/Neckpiece
Nanette Nel – « Om-gekeerd Protea » Handbag/Neckpiece
Nanette Nel « ROOI » Wallpiece/Neckpiece
Joani Bekker, Bea Cecile Bernard, Idane Burger, Kirsten Gerber, Marnell Kirsten, Jacomien Labuschagne, Eric Loubser, Lee Malan, Karin Rae Matthee, Marie-Louise De La Marque Naudé, Nanette Nel, Ackeem Ngwenya, Johan van Aswegen, Gussie van der Merwe, Nini van der Merwe, Maeve Roseveare, Carine Terreblanche, Therese de Villiers, Erika Voigt, Anthi Voyatjes
Ackeem Ngwenya (ZA) - ‘The Little Prince : Balance’, Neckpiece, 2009 – new silver and nylon
Bea Bernard (ZA) – ‘Etched identity’, Brooch, 2008 – warthog tusk, reindeer horn, silver, garnet.
Gussie van der Merwe (ZA) – ‘Maagspeld, rugspeld, borsspeld en boudspeld’ (series) Brooches, 2008 – silver, steel, upholstery, stockings, thread
Idané Burger (ZA) – ring — pendants
« Independent studio jewelers work within a complex political, social, and economic context. At the bottom of Africa, jewelers often express a feeling of isolation from the global metalsmithing community. Though many South African studio jewelers look toward European aesthetics and methodologies there is a connection to South Africa that seems to permeate their forms. European traditions become hybridized with the heritage of indigenous African adornment, regional landscape, and the commercial jewelry industry. The platinum and diamonds that are mined locally are a major part of the jewelry design vocabulary and are integrated with influences like colonial Dutch architecture, makeshift township settlements, and West African goldsmithing.
Many South African studio jewelers are looking to traditional African jewelry such as gold leaf, beadwork, carved wood, and basket weaving. Nanette Nel, a recent master’s student at the University of Stellenbosch, works with disgustingly pink, exotic floral forms made out of silicone rubber. Her handbags, brooches, and rings combine the intensely pigmented synthetic material with. hidden black diamonds, carved wood, and gold leaf. She simultaneously nods to the experimental materials used in contemporary jewelry practices, Ashanti gold-leafed talisman, and the commercialized diamond industry.
Precious materials are often juxtaposed with found debris. Considering the breathtaking and diverse landscape of South Africa, indigenous organic objects are naturally a major influence and material in the work. In much of the local work, finely-crafted settings cradle coal, indigenous woods, and other non-precious materials.
Some jewelers are also looking at pop culture and street crafts. These include trendy designs as well as handmade kitsch. In the jewelry, the found object is often used to produce a parody of the commercial jewelry industry.
Makeshift construction using materials like rubber, plastic and recycled metal can be seen on a daily basis from township buildings to handmade crafts designed for the tourist market. Some jewelers adopt this bricoleur mentality.
The most engaging South African studio jewelers continue to push boundaries in making their work. This gives them the opportunity to influence the commercial industry and challenge narrow views of what jewelry is and who makes it. » (Lauren Kalman )
Therese de Villiers - silver brooch/Hairpin
Marie-Louise Naude « Threaded Bloom & Pearl Bloom » Rings
Marnell Kirsten « A Private Affair: 3″ Necklace
Maeve Roseveare « Dancing on my Grave » Chatelaine
Anthi Voyatjes – Ring
Eric Loubser – Pendant
Kirsten Gerber « Alice Dutton 1880-1983″ Chatelaine
Velvet da Vinci gallery
2015 Polk Street
CA 94109 (USA)
Tuesday – Saturday 11 to 6, Sunday 11 to 4
PS : pour les codes pays, Afrique du Sud=South Africa=Zuid-Afrika = ZA